10 Easy Ways to Make Over Your Patio

© iStockphoto/Thinkstock When the weather is warm, an outdoor space is a great place to gather with family and friends.

Patio© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

When the weather is warm, an outdoor space is a great place to gather with family and friends. Here are some simple tips for punching up your patio this summer.

1. Give your furniture a facelift: Make old outdoor furniture look new with spray paint, which comes in many colors and finishes for just about every type of surface. If you need new furniture, choose durable materials that can withstand moisture and intense sunlight. Teak, cypress, and wrought iron are all good options.

2. Add colorful fabrics: Patterned pillows and bright cushions give outdoor space a more dynamic look, and ottomans and floor pillows provide extra seating. A colorful, weather-resistant outdoor rug will liven up your patio and create a visual center, while a large umbrella adds shade and brings color overhead.

3. Let there be light: Add nighttime ambience with outdoor lighting. Group lanterns or hurricane lamps together to brighten up a dark corner, or string lanterns from one side of the patio to the other. To help protect the environment, choose solar products or low-voltage, energy-efficient bulbs.

4. Add a container garden: Group flowerpots of various sizes together to make your patio more lush. Mix flowers of different textures, leaf sizes, shades, and types. You can also plant favorite herbs to use in the kitchen.

5. Just add water: Bring soothing sounds to your patio with a water feature that includes a small re-circulating pump.

6. Be shady: Plant shade plants such as hostas and calladiums around your patio. They’ll provide a shady retreat from the heat and add summer-long color. A canopy over part of the patio will also create a shady oasis.

7. Feel the burn: A fire pit creates a warm gathering place on cool evenings. You can purchase one, or you can do it yourself using materials such as flagstone slabs and small boulders. Be sure to research your local fire code and ordinances beforehand.

8. Create curve appeal: Curved edges add character and a sense of informality to your patio. They are also more relaxing than straight lines.

9. Feed the birds: Hang bird feeders around your patio’s perimeter to attract a variety of birds throughout the year.

10 Make a grand entrance: A charming arbor, a metal arch or gate, or a couple of lengths of picket fencing will give your patio an entrance, whether it’s attached to your house or standing alone in your yard. Blend the entrance into your landscape with flowering and climbing plants.

Plus: Easy Ways to Clean Your Patio Furniture

Sources: bhg.com, denverpost.com, people.com

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest