Your Guide On How to Decorate a Patio

As we’re getting ready for more outdoor hangouts and lounges by the pool, it’s time to design your patio into a welcoming space. You’ve probably spent some time laying out different rooms inside your house but maybe haven’t given much thought to your patio or deck. 

As you begin to think about how to decorate your patio, consider the shape, size, surfaces, and furniture materials. After reading this blog, you’ll become inspired to start decorating your own space!

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Decorating for Your Patio Shape

Before we get into the best patio accessories, it’s important to look at your space as a whole. Generally, there are three different common patio shapes, the shape of your patio helps you decide what furniture will look best.

  • Rectangular. A rectangular patio allows you to use more of the space in comparison to other patio shapes. 
  • Circular. Typically a smaller patio or circular patios often have a centerpiece of some kind, for example, a fire pit or dining table. 
  • Free-Form. An irregular patio shape forms more naturally with your landscaping and can be unique to your home. A free-form shape can be easily adapted to fit your design aesthetics and needs. 

As you begin decorating your patio, think about the shape of your patio and the shape of the furniture you want. Your patio design should create harmonious lines with differing shapes.

Determine Your Patio’s Purpose

What will you be doing on your patio? 

Considering how you will use your patio helps you identify key accessories you need to include. For example, if you’re planning to have cookouts and dinners on your outdoor kitchen patio, you’ll need to incorporate appliances and a table into your design. 

If your patio is going to be used for you and your guests to lay around a pool or suntan all day, consider lounge-style chairs and maybe a shaded area to escape the sun every once in a while. If your patio doesn’t have natural shading with trees, you can include patio curtains attached to a pergola

No matter the purpose of your patio, it’s important to keep in mind key interior design elements that can naturally flow into your outdoor space. This ultimately creates a cohesive look throughout your entire home.

A pergola with an outdoor kitchen underneath and a pool on the side.


Decorating With Your Patio Surface In Mind

In order to support your cohesive look, you should look at all the elements of your patio, including the surface material. The spectrum of patio surfaces ranges from foundational and simple to more decorative. 

Depending on your style, you may want to put more decorative elements on your patio and keep the surface more simple. Or, have a busier patio surface with designs and accent that with simple furniture. Balancing the two allows you to create a calming and aesthetically pleasing space rather than feeling busy and overwhelmed.

Vinyl or Wood Furniture, or A Mix of Both?

While keeping your style and patio surface in mind, your larger furniture pieces will likely be vinyl or wood, or a mix of both. Smaller furniture can be a wide variety of materials, and it’s best to mix and match to create a balanced look. 

Wood Furniture. This type of furniture creates a natural and outdoorsy look for your patio. This material is very versatile and sustainable. With wood furniture, you can stain or paint it whatever color you want so you’re perfectly matching the rest of your outdoor patio decorations. 

Vinyl Furniture. Although a less natural look, vinyl is virtually maintenance-free which makes it an attractive material to homeowners. These pieces of furniture are also resistant to weather elements and can withstand the test of time. 

Additionally, there are a variety of colors to choose from to match the rest of your patio, but you can only paint your vinyl furniture once whereas a wood furniture piece can be repainted whenever your style changes.

How to Decorate a Patio Based On Size

The size of your patio will also play a role in your outdoor patio decorations. You want to make sure you’re filling your space for a purpose and getting decorations that don’t make your patio feel or look too crowded. 

Below, we’ll highlight some features to consider when decorating for a smaller versus larger patio.

A smaller patio with three chairs and a fireplace in between them.

Small Patio Decorations

If you have a smaller patio and limited space, the best patio accessories will be aesthetically pleasing and functional. So a majority of the furniture you pick out should also serve a purpose. This maximizes the space and ensures you and your guests aren’t feeling overwhelmed or crowded with unnecessary furniture. 

Here’s our list of some must-haves for your small patio decorations. 

  • Outdoor rug. Better define your space and keep it cozy with an outdoor rug. There are a wide variety of shapes, patterns, and materials of rugs you can choose from to match the rest of your space. 
  • Light Colored Furniture. White or neutral colors will help your patio feel larger and more open. This can also be done with white walls or a fence surrounding your patio if that’s applicable. 
  • Firepit. Create a focal point and intentional gathering space with a small firepit on your patio. By adding a firepit, you can also use the space longer and in colder weather while creating a sense of ambiance for you and your guests.  
  • Folding Chairs. With especially smaller spaces, folding chairs can be a temporary solution for larger gatherings without being permanent fixtures. Penn Dutch Structures Country Garden Poly Furniture offers a wide variety of outdoor seating, including folding chairs. 
  • Large Plants. Maintain a sense of privacy with large plants surrounding your patio. Taller plants like Cherry Laurels, can be naturally beautiful and shield your patio space. 

In a smaller, more secluded space, privacy can be an important factor. Plants, panels, and fencing can all be used to make your patio more intimate.

Large Patio Decorations

Sometimes, having a larger area can be daunting if you’re not sure how to effectively use it and design a welcoming space. Below, we’ll list out some of our best patio accessories that can help you fill the space without it being crowded. 

  • Pergola or Pavilion. If your patio is larger, you can stay outside longer and be shaded from intense sunlight with a pergola or a pavilion. Also, it can define your patio space and create a structural design. 
  • Dining Table. There are a few pieces of furniture that can act as your patio’s focal point. A dining room table can bring people together and be a functional piece for your patio. Later in this blog, we’ll give some examples of how to decorate your patio table. 
  • Large Plants. Incorporating greenery into your patio helps it feel welcoming and cohesive with the rest of your landscaping. Depending on your style, there are a variety of plants to include in your patio design. 
A close-up of a patio table set with a floral centerpiece and pillows on the benches.

How to Decorate Your Patio Table

No matter the size of your patio, you will likely have some sort of table in your space. We’re here to give some insight into the best patio accessories for your table. 

Your table decorations may change based on the season or if there’s a special holiday or event you’re celebrating. But you should have a standard design that stays out for the majority of the season. 

There are a few decorations you can add to the top of your table to bring out a bit of personality and elegance. As you begin decorating, remember to keep in mind what you’ll be using the table for. Is it more of a decorative piece, or will you be using it as a functional table to eat outside? 

  • Umbrella. If you don’t have a shaded pergola or patio curtains above your patio, you can put an umbrella on your dining table to keep the area shaded. This can make the area more intimate and allow you and your guests to stay out of the sun during the day. 
  • Centerpiece. Just like having a focal point in your entire patio design, you can also have centerpieces, or a focal point, on your table. Centerpieces could include candles, a floral arrangement, or small light fixtures. 
  • Placemats. If your table is a functioning dining table, finding a set of placemats that match your decorations is essential. As you are searching through different styles, find ones that match your interior home’s aesthetic and are versatile for any occasion. 
  • Outdoor Lighting. Whether you’re using lighting as a centerpiece or incorporating it around your table, it’s one of the best patio accessories. Choose between lanterns, spotlights, string lights, step lights, or even small lamp posts for your space. 

Whether you’re decorating a small, circular patio or a large rectangular space, it should represent your home’s style and design. Create a similar aesthetic and welcoming space for you and your guests whether they’re inside or outside your home. And don’t forget to add your own personal touches!

Want More Ideas on How to Decorate Your Patio?

Browse Penn Dutch Structures’ backyard entertainment products for more inspiration.

A free-form patio with a pergola on top and a table set underneath.
Pine Santa Fe Pergola