Designing the Perfect Patio in 7 Steps

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Designing your outdoor space can be a challenge; with weather, lifestyle, and the physical attributes of your patio to consider, the perfect outdoor patio design can seem like an elusive goal. At Sunbrella, we want to make your life a little easier with these seven patio design ideas to take your family’s outdoor living to the next level.

Patio design ideas are made easy with Sunbrella

Establishing your layout is one of the most important and functional patio design tips.

Step 1: Define the Layout of Your Outdoor Patio Design

At the top of our list of patio design ideas and tips is defining a layout for your space. Whether you are working with substantial square footage or are trying to maximize a tight space, planning allows you to ensure that your outdoor area is functional and comfortable. Consider the size of the space relative to the size of furniture that you have and the number of pieces you can integrate. Too many pieces or disproportionately large pieces of furniture can make your patio feel cluttered and busy. When in doubt, keep it simple to avoid overwhelming the space.

Colored Sunbrella fabric pillow offers maximum durability for your whole family to enjoy.

Keep your space functional with Sunbrella fabrics, which are designed for outdoor living.

Step 2: Design for Functionality

Before you dive into furniture and accessories, consider how you and your family will use the space and what kind of conditions your patio will be exposed to throughout the year. Certain features and fabrics may not be practical for the intended purpose of your outdoor area. Choosing pieces of furniture and fabrics built for longevity allows you to get the most use and enjoyment out of your patio, without worrying about everyday wear and tear. All Sunbrella fabrics are bleach cleanable and mold and mildew resistant, so you won’t have to stress over damp conditions or accidental messes. Sunbrella fabrics are built for outdoor living, so that your outdoor fabrics can be both beautiful and functional for your family to enjoy year after year.

Sunbrella shade from Shadetree brings cool comfort to your outdoor patio designs.

Awnings with Sunbrella fabric from ShadeTree bring the ultimate comfort and sun protection for your outdoor patio.

Step 3: Incorporate shade

A little shade goes a long way in making sure you get the most out of your patio. An awning or umbrella will not only help keep your patio and outdoor furniture cool throughout the day, but it will protect you and your family from the sun’s harmful UV rays. ShadeTree offers a variety of stylish and practical shade solutions using Sunbrella fabrics to provide maximum durability and protection for your outdoor space.

A stylish patio design idea is setting a focal point with hanging plant baskets or fabric with a statement color.

Mandi Gubler uses a rich forest green fabric and hanging plant feature as the perfect focal point for her outdoor patio design.

Step 4: Set a Focal Point

Make a statement in your outdoor space by incorporating an eye-catching focal point. Whether it’s a bold patterned fabric, a statement piece of furniture (like this custom sofa!), a fire pit, or a DIY vertical garden, a focal point helps to round out the space and create a visual balance that anchors your outdoor furniture. Drawing the eye around your outdoor patio is a simple way to add visual interest, showcase your unique style, and create the illusion of a larger space, making this one of our favorite patio design tips.

Bold patterned Sunbrella fabrics are the perfect addition to your outdoor patio design.

Patterns like Resonate Citronelle bring a fun pop of color to your patio design.

Step 5: Add Pops of Color

Neutrals are great for their versatility, but color ensures that your space reflects your unique personality. Keep your outdoor patio design fun by infusing subtle, yet striking, pops of color into your accents. Unlike many fabrics where the color is only on the surface of the fabric, Sunbrella has color at the core and is finished with a proprietary protective coat, rendering them both fade proof and stain resistant. This ensures that colors stay fresh and vibrant year after year, rain or shine.

Sunbrella fabrics make for durable and stylish accent decor for your patio.

Incorporating accent decor is one of our favorite patio design ideas for comfortable and stylish outdoor living.

Step 6: Add accent decor

Accessorizing isn’t just for indoors! Blending indoor and outdoor living spaces is a trend that is here to stay, and Sunbrella fabrics make it simple for you to create a patio that is as comfortable and stylish as your living room. Accent decor effortlessly adds aesthetic appeal and polish to your outdoor design. Incorporate simple elements like planters, outdoor art, throw pillows and blankets to tie your space together and create a cozy atmosphere that your whole family will enjoy.

String lights bring whimsical energy to your outdoor patio design.

String lights or lanterns are a fun way to ensure you can enjoy your patio in the twilight hours.

Step 7: Finish with lighting

Nothing creates an ambiance like strategic lighting. Incorporating outdoor lighting allows you to use your patio beyond daylight hours and sets the mood for a relaxing evening outdoors. String lights and rattan lanterns add a fun decorative element that basic flood lights cannot provide, while allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space late into the evening.

We can’t wait to see your outdoor patio designs! Follow along and tag us @Sunbrella to share your outdoor living #SunbrellaMoment and get a chance to be featured on our social channels! To learn more about how to prepare your outdoor spaces for warm weather, check out our Tips to Prepare Your Outdoor Furniture for Summer.

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