8 Things People With Beautiful Patios Always Have for a Welcoming Outdoor Space

Patio season is here, and here's what you need to set the perfect ambiance

terrace patio with terracotta flower pots and outdoor living room by Ryan Street
(Image credit: Ryan Street Interiors/Julie Soefer)

There's nothing quite like bathing in the sun and breathing in some fresh air on a warm summer's day, and why should you have to venture out of your home to get the same relaxing feeling you get on vacation? We've found that a little time outside amidst a beautiful patio setting can take away the stress of a tiring day and have you feeling at peace in no time.

Styling your patio to fit the summer trends is crucial to emulating that vacation feeling, and from what we've heard from the experts, all you need are a few chic seasonal additions to transform it into a space bound by serenity. We've rustled up some of the best elegant decor that's likely to bring about a newfound adoration for your outdoor space, and you're bound to have witnessed them in the most beautiful patios.

1. Sleek Furniture

patio garden with white furniture

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Usually, the most central zone in a patio is occupied by outdoor furniture, making this a focal point of the entire space. Perhaps you could opt for elegant neutrals for a timeless minimalist backyard or maybe you can dip into the color trends of the season and style the space with a vibrant piece of furniture. Either way, sleek yet comfortable modern outdoor furniture is a must for your patio.

According to Katherine Aul Cervoni, landscape designer at Staghorn NYC, there are three key factors that should play a major role in the decision-making process leading up to a furniture purchase - style, durability, and comfort. 'Generally, I've found that there are numerous styles of furniture to choose from and it can be overwhelming,' she says. 'My advice is to select pieces that vibe well with whatever style pieces you have indoors. That way your outdoor space will feel like a true extension of your home.'

2. Accent Lighting

A patio with soft furnishings

(Image credit: Brett Ryan Studios. Design: Paul Sangha Creative)

Choosing indoor lighting is a thoughtful process, and outdoor lighting should take on just as much importance when styling your patio. Great lighting can optimize the space for entertaining and won't limit your time outdoors to sunset hours.

Katherine tells us that decorating with lighting is one of her favorite ways to jazz up a patio. 'There are numerous options for adding light to your outdoor space and my preference is to go with a layered approach,' she says. 'Low voltage uplights nested amidst plantings give a beautiful, glowy feel to your space while overhead cafe string lights add romantic and functional light to your space. LED lanterns are another way to light up darker corners and table tops and look chic during the day, too.'

If you're looking for a flexible lighting solution that caters to a transitional outdoor space, Katherine suggests portable table lights as they work perfectly for small patios as well.

3. Cantilever Umbrellas

outdoor sun loungers and umbrella by LH Designs

(Image credit: LH. Designs)

Nothing says summer like a colorful cantilever umbrella standing tall on a lush sunlit patio. Not only do patio umbrellas inject the space with personality but we find that it's one of the easiest ways to adopt a resort-like backyard aesthetic.

And we're not the only ones that think so. Interior designer Elana Mendelson also happens to be a big fan of decorating patios with bright cantilever umbrellas. She tells us that these outdoor umbrellas are the ultimate combination of form and function and finds that it's the best time of the year to bring them out of hiding.

Whether you add them to your sun loungers or beside your outdoor dining area, these lavish accessories offer much-needed shade while simultaneously elevating the visual appeal of your backyard. Katherine tells us that cantilever umbrellas offer the most flexible type of shade since their tilt and location are the most adjustable. 'I’m seeing a lot of fun designs with these that have a vintage vibe with tassels, playful patterns, and colorful trim,' she notes.

4. Fluted Planters

covered deck with furniture and outdoor fireplace

(Image credit: Trex)

Planters are always a lovely addition to any space and while most backyards do have their own flourishing flora, container plants make the perfect finishing touch to a patio space. Whether you flank your entrance with them or place them beside the seating area for a touch of earthy elegance, these are a common feature among the most beautiful patios.

Katherine informs us that one of the most popular styles of the season is fluted planters. 'It's a trend that I’m seeing a lot of this year and I'm loving the fluted treatment on planters,' she says. 'There's a certain underlying beauty in the subtle texture and it’s a great nod to classical Grecco and Roman architecture.' Albeit as an accent, artfully arranging outdoor planters featuring fluted designs is a lovely way to add clean lines and visual dimension to any living space.

5. Outdoor Pizza Ovens

A pizza oven in the backyard

(Image credit: Ooni Pizza Ovens)

At first glance, this may be an unexpected addition to the list but the more you think about it, the more it makes perfect sense. Grills and barbeques are common outdoor additions so why not a pizza oven to your patio setup? If, like us, you love the concept of outdoor dining, this simple patio addition will have you eating al fresco every night.

Katherine explains that outdoor pizza ovens are one of the trendiest items for patios this year and recommends Ooni for state-of-the-art appliances that also come in space-conscious sizing. We can picture it already - a swinging summer soirée with cold fruity beverages in one hand and a warm slice in the other. What more could you ask for?

6. Path Lights

outdoor fire place in an urban garden with stone patio

(Image credit: Marion Brenner)

Bob Berriz, creative director of Berriz Design, tells us that cohesive decor is a necessity for outdoor spaces as it happens to be the key to effortlessly connecting the area to its surroundings. When asked, he said his favorite addition to a pretty patio is garden path lights.

'Strategic placement of ambient lighting, such as soft LED pathways creates a warm and inviting space,' he says. 'I recommend incorporating task lighting in cooking or dining areas and ambient lighting for general patio illumination to balance functionality with mood.' This forgotten element elevates any outdoor path and increases the charm factor of the space. And if you have walkways adorned by floor-side foliage, these lights will truly set the tone of the patio as you make your way into the backyard.

7. Vibrant Pillows

patio garden with chic built in bench

(Image credit: Phillip Durrant)

Accessorizing your outdoor furniture with a colorful cocktail of pillows is a quickfire way to bring life into the space. Katherine shares that arranging pillows of varied colors, shapes, and sizes is a brilliant way to elevate the space. 'In the vein of maximalism, bold and colorful throw pillows are everywhere this year,' she says. 'Whether you prefer geometric patterns, block print, or a vibrant floral print, there’s something for just about everyone.'

A curated collection of vibrant pillows can take even the most basic pieces of furniture from boring to fabulous. However, if there's one thing to double-check pre-purchase, it's the durability of the fabrics to ensure that they're made to weather the outdoors. Make sure you store outdoor pillows properly too to extend their lifespan.

8. Outdoor Firepit

fall backyard ideas with outdoor fire pit by Ryan Saghian

(Image credit: Ryan Saghian Interiors/Lance Gerber)

As the sun goes down and the cool winds set in, you can continue to savor the summery outdoors with a stylish outdoor firepit. You can't argue with the total allure that an outdoor firepit brings to a patio. Tempting designs aside, the functionality of this addition makes it a clever buy to invest in.

Interior designer Nina Lichtenstein tells us that outdoor firepits add a warm, inviting glow to any patio, making it a popular feature. 'As stories are shared under starry skies and marshmallows are roasted, the fun and laughter are enveloped not just by the warmth of the flames but also the warmth of lasting memories,' she notes. If you're interested in designing a cozy patio for yourself, an outdoor firepit will do just the trick.

Compared to a total revamp, sprucing up your patio might not seem like it'll do much for the space in theory but we truly believe that these gorgeous outdoor additions will efficiently convert your backyard into a blissful vista. And you have all the time you need to give your patio a facelift in time to spend your lazy, hazy days of summer outside and in style.

News Writer

Amiya is the News Writer at Livingetc. She recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London and has lent her words to beauty, fashion and health sections of lifestyle publications including Harper’s Bazaar and Women’s Health. Her experience as a research analyst has equipped her with an eye for emerging trends. When she’s off the clock, she can be found reading, listening to music or overanalysing her latest Co-Star update.