Patio: BeforeIt’s a common feeling: You have a patio in your backyard. It’s pretty plain and ordinary, but you want something more -- whether it’s more privacy, to make the space more usable, or just to add more color and life. We know the feeling, too -- so we transformed this patio and are sharing our before-and-after tips and strategies with you.
Patio: AfterOur main focus with this before-and-after patio makeover was to create a more comfortable, usable space. The patio had a good start with patio furniture, which we rearranged to make the patio feel more cozy. We also added a rug, which helps give the space visual warmth and makes it appear more inviting.
Add PlantsIncorporating a variety of plants is the easiest way to bring interest and life to an otherwise dull patio. One of our favorite things about plants is that there’s such a wide selection from which to choose, and you can find varieties perfect for every look and style. And, in general, plants are a great value because they offer so many benefits (visual and otherwise).
Choose a Fun Focal PointTo create an eye-catching centerpiece, we added a couple of planters (one with cacti and succulents; the other with 'Pink Zazzle' globe amaranth') atop two stands. The planters bring in a riot of color that infuses life and personality to the space. If you’re in need of a tabletop for outdoor dining or entertaining, simply relocate the planters and place a surface (such as tempered glass, wood, or metal) on top of the two stands.
Make it Easy to Care for with Cacti and SucculentsNo-fuss cacti and succulents are perfect for adding bold style to any outdoor space. Because they have low water needs, they’re a cinch to care for, too! Here, we used a mix of grafted cacti for a burst of color, along with the simple elegance of purple and silver echeverias. To bring in more color, we planted a ‘Campfire’ crassula right up front. And, to give the planter a finished look, we mulched with gravel.
Enjoy Bold BloomsTropical hibiscus instantly add rich color and tropical style to any outdoor space. We relied on them as anchor plants for our before-and-after project here. A mix of warm, summery shades was just what this all-white patio space needed. For extra color, we potted several different varieties together; you can create just as much impact in your outdoor space by planting a few of the same variety in one large container. The choice is yours!
The hibiscus varieties we used here include Bahama Mama, Rum Runner Remix, and Sunrise Mimosa.
Soften the EdgesLow-water, heat-loving Texas sage is a beautiful subtropical shrub ideal for decorating any deck or patio. We love its silvery leaves, lavender-pink flowers, and low care requirements. Texas sage is amazingly drought tolerant. We placed a pair of Texas sage shrubs behind the patio furniture here to soften the edges and add privacy as the plants grow.
Choose a Color ThemeSelect a theme to help your favorite outdoor space feel more designed. We chose blue for this makeover because blue and white is such a classic combination. To make the blue pop, we accented with hot shades of yellow, orange, and coral.
Play Up TextureTo offset the boldness created by our Tropic Escape® hibiscus and cacti and succulents, we added a couple of planters with majesty palms to bring in textural contrast. The palms’ delicate-looking fronds add airiness and help the patio look larger.
We accented the majesty palm with some impatiens SunPatiens Compact Royal Magenta for nonstop blooms all summer and the lush, flowing locks of golden creeping Jenny. We particularly love the way the creeping Jenny's bright foliage contrasts with the blue pot.
Create a Cohesive LookRepetition is one of the easiest tricks in a designer’s toolbox for giving a space a finished look. We created cohesion with our planter choice (a mix of pairs of blue planters, but in different sizes to keep it fresh).
We paired this majesty palm with easy-care impatiens SunPatiens Compact Pink and golden creeping Jenny so it plays well with the other containers, but is just different enough to add an extra layer of interest.
Plan for Vertical InterestUsing vertical plants to draw the eye up also helps spaces feel larger. We did that with this gorgeous mandevilla. Its bright red flowers also help draw attention away from the pillar (and attract hummingbirds, as well). Mandevilla is one of our favorites because it holds up to heat and flowers profusely all summer.
Accentuate the fabulous verticality of vining mandevillas by planting them in tall, narrow pots like we did here. To keep the base from looking a little too bare, we added an easy-care foxtail fern.