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How to design the perfect patio

For homeowners looking to expand the amount of livable space their homes offer, adding a patio may be the perfect fix, but it can be a looming task for decorators jumping into it without a game plan. Decorating a patio is much different than decorating the interior of your home, and there are a few important things to think about before getting down to business.

How does your patio fit into your home?
It's important to evaluate how your patio fits into the rest of your home. Figuring that part out starts with location. If your patio begins just outside your doorway, it's a good idea to try blending your interior with the outer space. Try using a similar floor design or a similar pattern or theme of outdoor furniture. Make the indoor space flow into the outdoor space so you're just as comfortable outside as you are inside. On the other hand, if your patio is far away from the house, it'd be a great opportunity to use other elements to mark the difference. Incorporate plants and use the surrounding nature to really set the space apart. It's also a perfect excuse to build a fire pit so you can use the area even on those chilly fall nights.

What materials should you use?
Whether your patio is under an awning or you're out in the sunshine, you should always buy materials made for the outdoors. Outdoor furniture can be just as neat and cozy as indoor furniture. There are plenty of weatherproof rugs, chairs, tables, couches and pillows to choose from if you look in the right places. Try looking at some designs from Houzz to fuel your imagination. If you're lucky enough to have some outdoor lighting or even an outdoor fireplace that uses electricity, use a durable and decorative switch plate  that suits the space. There's a whole collection of outdoor designs that can match your area perfectly.

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