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Outdoor Patio Design Tips: Eliminate These 3 Common Mistakes

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When designing for outdoor part of the house like garden or patio, there are things that need to be considered to make sure you get the most of your makeover. Here are some of them:

Following Basic Design Rules and Common Sense for an Outdoor Room

Rooms inside a house are pretty straightforward: a dining room is used for dining, a bedroom for sleeping, a bathroom for bathing, and so on. How you approach designing your outdoor space is an entirely personal decision, but there are some basic rules to follow. Among them:

  • Focal point: Establishing a focal point is an essential part of smart design for an outdoor room. Focal points help guide the eye to a favorable part of the room and away from a less favorable area. They can also act as points of interest.
  • Vertical space: If your outdoor room has a wall or two, or even a suggested wall, take advantage of the space by using urns or vases with tall ornamental grasses or patio trees, climbing vines or espaliered shrubs. Also think about using hanging outdoor lights, chandeliers, wind chimes, pedestals and raised planters.
  • Style or design: If you have no clue how to decorate, consider the architectural style of your house along with its proportions and the exterior materials that are used. Also look at the house for patterns and details you can replicate in your outdoor room.

Knowing the mistakes commonly made in decorating an outdoor room might help you weed out the good from the bad and prevent you from going down the wrong road.

Forgetting It's Outdoors, Not Indoors

Some enthusiastic decorators get so carried away that they forget they are furnishing an outdoor room. Maybe you've seen someone's patio that looks like they pushed the living room sofa, lounger, coffee table, and even fake plants outside. Or, they've relegated the old sofa from the den to the patio or backyard. Don't even think about it.

It's always good to reach for a seamless transition between your interior and exterior, but using the same furniture (or something very similar) is taking it too far. You are, after all, outside. Loosen up and relax.

Too Much or Not Enough Furniture

You're thrilled to finally have a designated outdoor room —a place just outside the back door where you can get away from it all, entertain, escape, spend time talking, eating, playing games or even watching movies with your favorite people.

Inside those three-or-so outdoor walls you have amassed your favorite patio furniture— that lovely chaise lounges will that you got from a real estate sale last year, along with Grandma's porch glider, your husband's beloved couch from the deck of his former frat house, and the kids' plastic dining set. No wonder it looks more like a patio furniture yard sale rather than a cohesive, carefully curated and arranged outdoor room.


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