CAPTION: Create a place to keep beverages cold on your patio. ATTRIBUTION: Wicker Paradise (Flickr)

Create a place to keep beverages cold on your patio. ATTRIBUTION: Wicker Paradise (Flickr)

Patios are commonly used as an outdoor extension of a family’s indoor living space, providing a place to lounge, eat, and entertain. Whether it’s constructed of brick, stone, or concrete, a paved patio is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors without having to wander too far from home. If you’re still developing your picture-perfect patio, check out these awesome ideas.

Choose a Color Scheme

Select two to three primary colors to use throughout the space. A color scheme can help your patio appear polished and well-put-together. Opt for light, airy hues that complement Mother Nature, such as bright yellows, teals, and greens.

Invest in Seating

Whether you’re nestled in a comfy chair reading a novel or sitting around the table eating dinner, you’ll want plenty of seating for family and guests. Outdoor couches and love seats provide multiple places to sit, while a porch swing or wooden rocker adds country charm.

Add Area Rugs

Incorporate one or more small outdoor area rugs to your patio for extra warmth on cool mornings. Bamboo mats and sisal rugs add texture to any space and hold up well against the elements.

Get Umbrella Coverage

When the sun is beating down, you’ll want an umbrella to shield you from its rays. Select a colorful umbrella to cover your patio table set, or choose a freestanding umbrella that can be moved to where it’s needed most.

Decorate With Plants

Place planted and potted plants around the patio to add instant color and life. Use larger plants or topiaries to soften sharp angles around the perimeter of the patio. Use a variety of containers for potted plants, such as galvanized tubs.

Light it Up

Illuminate your patio with a variety of lighting sources. Line the sides of the patio with tiki torches and oversized paper lanterns to achieve a warm glow. For brighter lighting, consider hanging a ceiling fan with a light.

Integrate Warming Elements

An outdoor fireplace, patio heater, or chiminea will allow you to use your outdoor patio even when the weather gets cool. Arrange large stones in a circle to create your own fire pit where you can warm your hands and toast s’mores.

Consider a Water Feature

To give your patio extra pizzazz, consider adding a water feature. Build your own small pond with flowing waterfall or purchase a beautiful outdoor water fountain or bird bath.

Find Storage Solutions

Your patio can look less than picture perfect when there are balls, buckets, and other random items strewn about. Provide the kids with a place to store their toys after they’re done playing, such as a bench seat that opens to a storage box.

Keep it Comfy

Place some plush throw pillows on your outdoor furniture to keep things comfy. Opt for mildew-resistant textiles that will add vibrant color to your patio even after your flowers have faded.

Pave the Way

Use various colors and textures of stone slabs to create an intricate patio floor and pathway. Gravel can be used in spaces with little foot traffic to add more texture while staying within your budget.

Build a Grilling Station

No patio is complete without a place to cook delicious food. Set up a grilling station in a corner of your patio, complete with built-in counter space and sink. Your grilling station will allow you to cook outside throughout the year.