Creative Back Patio Design Ideas

By Annie Rainford , last updated March 22, 2011

Turn your back patio into an outdoor room you'll live in all summer long with creative back patio design ideas that express your personality and make you feel at home. Designing an outdoor space requires using materials that are resistant to weather damage and moisture, and remembering to bring those that are less resistant, such as cushions, tablecloths and dishware back indoors when you close up for the night.

Flooring

If you have a cement back patio, consider painting it for a bright, fresh backdrop to show off your furniture and planters. Pair it with a contrasting floor mat for even more design appeal. Try red cement flooring with a large white floor mat for a splash of modern color. Sections of modular wood flooring specially designed for patio use update worn flooring for a chic look. Try them with wood patio furniture for rustic appeal.

Furniture

Find new sets of patio furniture made from wood, plastic or metal in coordinating styles and shapes that appeal to you at home decor outlets, or shop for mix-and-match pieces at new and used retailers. New furniture can be an investment that you don't regret if you intend to spend a lot of time hosting family barbecues; used furniture or retro pieces can add charm and quirkiness to your patio scheme. If you don't have much money to invest, go with plastic furniture, and spray-paint it custom colors. Kids will love furniture in a rainbow of colors; go with one hip shade like acid yellow or mint green for a DIY interpretation of plastic glamour. Add stencils if you're feeling exrtra-creative.

Lighting

Drape lanterns or holiday lighting around the patio for an enchanting, sparkly look that you can enjoy late into the evening. Place votive candles in glass jars filled with an inch or two of sand and line them around the periphery of the patio for additional ambiance.

These design ideas can give your patio a fresh new look you are sure to enjoy all summer long.

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