Fashionable Patio Decorating


By: , – By Terry Trucco, Family Circle
  :  20 comments   :  10,383 Views

When California designer Jennifer DeLonge fashions an inviting patio, she believes the sky's the limit. "The trick is to apply indoor decorating rules outdoors," says DeLonge, mother of two and creator of a children's furniture line. That means composing seating areas using comfy, indoor/outdoor furnishings. DeLonge favors versatile pieces and personal touches that make the backyard feel more homey. And she isn't afraid to use bold pops of color. DeLonge transforms her patio into a living area, a place for dining and a cheery play spot for kids Ava, 7, and Jonas, 3. Who says a room needs a ceiling? 

A patio or deck situated in the shade of a big tree is the perfect place to roll out a rug, arrange some furniture and create an instant room.
Comfort Zone
If you could peek inside DeLonge's house, the living room arrangement might look a lot like this—a sofa with an ottoman, a couple of chairs and maybe a small table. To define the area, she sets out an inexpensive flat-weave rug —DeLonge likes stripes and animal prints—and borders it with potted plants. "Everyone feels much more comfortable in an intimate setting," she says. "You don't want your furniture to look like it's floating in a great big space."

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  • 20
    I have tables, chairs, a fountain, a few plants and patio lights. we put down a nice outdoor rug. I love your ideas, thanks for sharing. - 6/30/2012   4:14:31 PM
  • 19
    Having a nice outdoor space is good for the soul. We have old patio furniture that we have had for 25 years if you can believe it. They are very comfortable chairs with comfy cushions and a chaise lounge. I have lovely flowers in containers which brings lots of colour into the picture and a container of fresh herbs. We sold our large home a few years ago and moved into a condo so this suits of perfectly. We can sit outside, overlook the golf course and mountains and enjoy a lovely respite form the rest of the world. Thanks SparkPeople for reminding us that our health is more than just our weight! - 6/27/2012   5:55:03 PM
  • 18
    Nice ad for family circle (to which all the links lead) - 6/27/2012   9:38:30 AM
  • 17
    For those that are wondering why Spark would have an article like this, it's because there is more to health than weight and exercise. Spark is a healthy lifestyle site. You can eat salads and walk up and down the stairs at work all day long, but if you have chaos all around you and don't take the time to mentally unwind you won't be truly healthy. Having a nice outdoor living space contributes to alleviating that chaos - the kids are outside playing and not blasting the TV or playing video games. Fresh air, greenery, flowers, butterflies, birds -- you may not notice any of these in detail but when you're in them, they all contribute to helping you relax.

    My ultimate dream space is to have a large waterfall pond with seating near it, a meandering path through a bamboo garden leading to an open covered patio area (think thatch roof, slowing moving ceiling fans, strung with lights) and next to that a bar and BBQ. I have an acre so it's doable - I just need the funds! - 6/27/2012   9:10:40 AM
  • 16
    Huh? And this is here why........? At least I got some points reading it! - 6/27/2012   7:05:03 AM
  • 15
    Sparks covers a huge array of articles that include gardening, college education, finance, brides and grooms as well as green living. Check out the Lifestyle Centres at the top of each Spark page, everything should be included for a lifstyle to be complete. - 6/27/2012   5:49:05 AM
  • 14
    Yes, I agree that I too laughed initially, and wondered just WHY the Family Circle patio decor article was a Spark - People feature! Still ... decided to just go with it :)
    BDThom - wouldn't mind trading some of our 105 degree summer days for a few of those 62 degree summer days. Bet our flowers would enjoy the respite as well. -- Maryjean - 6/27/2012   2:35:04 AM
  • 13
    We have a large screened patio since mosquitoes are a problem here in Florida at night. - 6/27/2012   12:16:19 AM
  • 12
    The Spark team is getting fairly far afield from its mission (or what I thought to be its mission). Perhaps the mission now is to monetize? - 6/26/2012   1:18:49 PM
  • 11
    I'm amused that the picture seems disconnected from the recommendations (aside from the bold pop of color). That said, what makes that patio in the picture so inviting to me is the way it feels built into the outdoors and nature. It ~isn't~ just an indoor seating moved outdoors. - 6/26/2012   1:13:33 PM
  • 10
    Great ideas. We love our outdoor patio! Last year we put in a dining area and a living area, with a swiveling fireplace separating the two. Love having the fire facing us when we are eating, then turning it to the living area when we sit there. Solar lights also add a wonderful touch. I'm surprised there was no mention of those in the linked article. - 6/26/2012   12:14:58 PM
  • 9
    In Seattle it's 62 degrees and raining (again). All my outdoor furniture grows moss. An open weave rug would rot, so I go for a natural, growing carpet. Really, I love outdoors spaces. They add greatly to a house and yard. My color pallet just can't clash with green. - 6/26/2012   12:10:07 PM
  • 8
    My husband and I bought our home less than a year ago and my husband is building our patio now. This article has gotten me excited to decorate it!! :) - 6/26/2012   11:17:51 AM
  • 7
    That's very cool - 6/26/2012   10:25:37 AM
  • 6
    I'm sure this somehow ties into healthy eating, exercise, or lifestyle balance somehow. Maybe you get exercise from cleaning the patio and rearranging furniture? - 6/26/2012   10:15:46 AM
  • 5
    I don't have a patio, just a small porch. In the summer I decorate it with plants and decorations that I have found mostly at the dollar store, you can find some very cute stuff there. And if it gets beaten up by the weather, you aren't out a lot of money.

    I also find cute things at Rite Aid and Walgreens when they have their garden decor on sale. I'm on a tight budget, but it's surprising what you can do with very little money and a lot of creativity.

    I have an awning so it's shaded, I love to sit out there and read during the summer. - 6/26/2012   9:48:24 AM
  • 4
    The tiny east-facing patio of our temporary apartment is the only area that is somewhat "girled out" in vintage white wicker: an old-fashioned glider with over-sized cushions sits between a trunk topped with a vintage white wicker lamp, and a small chest that holds garden supplies (coiled hose, snips, garden gloves, miracle-grow, extra potting soil etc.) and outside needs (citronella candles, long-handled lighter etc.) The top railing of the 4 foot wooden privacy fence is topped with seven 30" long rail-top white planters, over-filled with bright blooms [red and pink geraniums, golden marigolds, red & white begonias, aubergine trailing sweet potato vines, hot-pink/ dark green"Splash" vines]. Nine hanging pots hold fuchsia and purple Wave petunias, white vinca, & white begonias, or bright red impatiens. The walls are nearly hidden by several LARGE wicker planter stands and baskets holding multiple plantings of caladeums, red geraniums, and hot pink begonias -- plus the necessary tomato pots against an end wall. Our favorite item is a custom-built raised bed (about 10" high) white planter 5' long by 2' wide, that sports... grass. Yep, our planter-lawn gives our fiesty Westie his own place for play or potty, or to watch my husband grill something healthy. Okay... the propane grill is neither white nor wicker... but it is an essential! We are still searching for an outdoor-rated 36" - 40" white ceiling fan with wicker-styled blades to add much needed cooling breezes.
    We do enjoy this lovely space for early morning coffee, or a quiet escape in the evening, even though the north Texas temps keep it quite hot (104 yesterday) and we share it with lots of mosquitoes (they seem to like the 'repellent' scented marigolds and geraniums!!) -- Maryjean - 6/26/2012   9:16:57 AM
  • 3
    Awesome thank you for sharing. - 6/26/2012   9:02:56 AM
  • 2
    Wow, want to come over to my place and decorate? Mine is a hodge podge of colors and pieces that don't match! - 6/26/2012   8:05:24 AM

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