Investing in a gorgeous new patio is only the beginning. There's no point in having all that wonderful new space just sitting there naked and neglected. Furnish your patio well and it will complement your home, and provide a perfect outdoor space for relaxing and entertaining your friends.
Stuck without ideas? Here are some great tips to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Separate 'rooms'
Think about the purpose of your new patio, and use groups of furniture to mark out different areas or 'rooms'. A lounge area needs comfortable deep seats, and perhaps an occasional table or two; add an ornamental bistro table and chairs for dining, and finish off with a dedicated sunbathing area with comfy loungers and umbrellas.
A plain bare floor is boring. Use a few vibrant rugs to break up the space, incorporate some interesting outdoor sculptures or artwork, and utilise trellis or natural willow screening to create interest. For the complete 'room' feeling, add a ceiling using a patio cover or pergola complete with interesting planting.
3. Green it up
Containers and troughs filled with plants and aromatic herbs are an easy way of adding interest to your patio. Choose from natural terracotta pots or more modern painted containers, depending on the look you want to create. Use lush green foliage or dazzling cascades of scented colour to form exotic islands between the different areas of your patio.
4. Add Fire & Water
There's nothing more dramatic than flickering flames against a perfect night sky. Portable fire pits are all the rage at the moment and make a great addition to the patio.
Water features can also add a wonderfully earthy element to your patio 'rooms', incorporating sound as well as movement to add interest. Water ornaments come in all shapes and sizes to fit everyone's budget. Stick to a simple bubbling urn or pebble bowl or go all out with a tall statue of a water nymph or dolphin to add vertical impact. Many simple water features use static fountains that are fully portable too so you can change your look as and when you want to.
Remember to accessorise. Fat cushions in coordinated colours look great scattered around comfy chairs; vases and unusual ornaments or pictures provide interest for visitors, tea-lights and tall flickering faux candles create a relaxed romantic ambiance for evening entertaining.
Furnishing your new patio is just as important as designing its construction. Whether you want to create a smooth transition from your indoor space to outdoors, or to add a whole new dimension and feel to this part of your home, consult patio and pergola experts in your area to get started.