Get This Look: Pump Up Your Patio for Summer With These 7 Design Trends
The inside of your home might look a-maz-ing, but your flair for decor shouldn’t stop at the door—especially if outdoor entertaining is on the menu this summer.Bland patio decor with mismatched, threadbare furniture isn’t going to take your parties to the next level—and it certainly isn’t on trend (was it ever?). To help you improve your outdoor look, we talked with industry experts to uncover the latest design trends in patio and porch decor. Raise a glass of rosé, and check out these fabulously fun ideas. You’ll thank us all season long.
1. That ‘indoor’ look
“One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces,” reports John Leggett, CEO and founder of On Point Custom Homes in Houston.
How do you get it? Well, selecting the right flooring or decking material is a good start. Leggett’s team sometimes uses the same tile in the living room and outdoor patio area, while also matching the ceiling color and texture. You’re essentially creating an outdoor living room.
“Sliding glass doors make it easy to divide the rooms without disrupting the design,” he adds.
Get the look: Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason of the Brooklyn-based interior design firm AphroChic used a gray hexagonal tile from Vesta ($3.98 per square foot at Lowe’s), above, in their modern outdoor lounge. Or you might match styles by choosing colored or patterned decking from AZEK ($10 per sample) that complements the exterior of your home, says Patrick Barnds, the brand’s lead designer.
2. Fancy furniture
Photo by Lori Shaffer
Don’t just haul out any old chair and table set from the garage! If you’ve been relying on your fraying mesh chairs or rubber-slatted furniture that’s falling apart, consider this your cease-and-desist order. You can elevate your porch’s look in an afternoon’s time by splurging a bit on quality (and weatherproof) furniture. Plus, choosing luxe-looking pieces will help you achieve that seamless vibe between the inside and outside of your home, Hays adds.
“Just because you’re outdoors doesn’t mean things have to look scattered—a sleek oasis is much more on trend,” she says.
Want the luxe look without spending too much? Try upcycling old materials into patio furniture, and you’ll get an eclectic but rich vibe.
Get the look: Try this affordable yet elegant dining set in brown glass ($470 at Lowe’s). Or nab this plush seating set on Wayfair for less than $700. Simple copper lanterns complete the look for under $25 each.
3. Statement planters
Photo by Prestige Residential Construction
Rather than relying only on your gardens for that meticulously landscaped look, take a few eye-grabbing greens and put them in statement pots and planters around your patio, suggests Craig Jenkins-Sutton, co-founder and president of Topiarius in Chicago.
Planters are definitely having a design moment now, Hays says in agreement. “It’s all about mixing and matching and layering different finishes.”
Get the look: If you want the vivid and vibrant look of the patio above, Wayfair has a similar lime-green planter for $102. Not your thing? Colorful terra-cotta planters can be found at every price point (Amazon has them from $22, while the Elia five-piece set from One Kings Lane will set you back $800). Add in ceramics for variety, such as these earthenware pots from Terrain, starting at $68.
Photo by Bess Jones Interiors
A pimped-out porch should include a comfortable spot to swing, design pros say. Put in any kind of hanging chair and everyone will be tempted to try it, says Bea Pila of B. Pila Design, in Miami.
“Today’s lifestyle has become so hectic, but a swing allows you to take a moment to relax while still giving you that feeling of movement and a little action,” she explains.
Get the look: Try this sleek, upholstered deep seat swing from Houzz for $719 or this affordable wicker swing from Wayfair for $244. Or embrace your inner minimalist with B. Pila’s lucite single seat, which comes in more than a dozen fabrics for easy customization.
5. Light it up
Have a single bulb on the side of the house for outdoor light? It’s long past time to upgrade—and we don’t just mean to two lightbulbs. Just like lighting has become increasingly important indoors, it’s also taking center stage outside.
“We’ve been watching LED products develop at a breakneck speed,” says David Gray, sales manager in the professional division at Lamps Plus. LEDs used to produce dim light in less-than-pretty colors and limited styles, but today’s products offer a wide range of bright solar lights that can be installed in seconds, he adds.
Get the look: For a cheap and simple fix, consider this set of four deck lights for under $50. Or combine light and decor, as in this gorgeous set of copper shades from Lamps Plus ($120). Go bold and splurge on some colorful LED strip lighting, like this electric blue waterproof lighting for $139.99 at Houzz.
6. Alfresco artwork
Photo by Houzz
Artwork? Outdoors? We understand your double take: It might not be the first place you think to hang a painting, but covering up cinder block or plain siding with bright, dynamic art is a look that’s growing in popularity on patios and porches.
“Bring the color you’re using in a wall hanging into your seating and tabletop by coordinating the pillows and tableware,” Gray recommends.
Just make sure it’s either protected from the elements or made with waterproof materials. Scientific instruments as art are also hot now.
“A thermometer, barometer, or radiometer provides useful information, plus it decorates the space,” notes Jenkins-Sutton.
Get the look: This hydrangea print from Lamps Plus ($119) is actually ideal for high-humidity environments! Weather instruments abound in all shapes and styles, including this thermometer and clock combo from Houzz ($56).