Home & Garden

7 patio trends you’ll see everywhere this summer

Outdoors is the new indoors.

Cozy patio furniture with plants, throw pillows, and a blanket. Credit: Getty Images / KatarzynaBialasiewicz

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Have you been longing for this moment all year? To lounge outside and prop your feet up, a cold drink in hand, with the smells of the season’s first barbecue wafting through the air. Now that warmer temperatures are in sight, it’s time to embrace your patio space with open arms.

A big home design trend for this year is about incorporating elements of Mother Nature—like sisal rugs, grasscloth wallpaper, and rattan furniture—into the décor inside your living room, office, or den.

Conversely, designers and DIYers are also bringing styles and pieces traditionally used inside the home outdoors onto patios and porches to create comfortable, inviting spaces. “[Outdoor spaces] are becoming a real extension of your indoor space,” says Melissa Hill, interior designer and co-founder of Hartley and Hill Design.

Since you’ll likely be spending a lot of time at home this summer, with travel plans and beach days thwarted by COVID-19, why not refresh your patio, deck, or porch with the latest? Here are seven patio trends for the summertime.

1. Cozy textures

Cozy textures
Credit: Getty Images / KatarzynaBialasiewicz

An outdoor rug easily creates that cozy feeling.

Creating a comfortable space that mimics the indoors is amongst the top requests that Hill receives from her clients. Think big comfy couches, soft fabrics, and accessories you would see in your living room.

Outdoor rugs are a no-brainer for creating that homey feel on the patio. Go for a rug that can withstand outdoor elements or can be washed. This soft, neutral rug from Ruggable is water-resistant and can even be thrown in the washer and dryer when it needs to be cleaned.

2. Multipurpose greenery

Multipurpose greenery
Credit: Getty Images / BbenPhotographer

Green plants are the new go-to accent for the patio area.

In past years, flower gardens have been a go-to for the outdoor space. But this summer, Hill says that plants like succulents, vines, and green plants are becoming popular on the patio.

There’s an abundance of greenery options that can liven up your space, including potted trees, wall-mounted containers for herbs and spices, or ornamental grass—all of which can be mixed and matched around your patio.

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to work on your green thumb, start a vegetable garden on your patio. “Gardens are popping up all over this place—everyone’s wanting their own produce,” Hill notes. Make your spice and produce garden part of your patio décor, along with various heat-tolerant greenery like bamboo trees and succulents.

If you’re tight on space, look to buy hanging pots and vertical planters, like this top-rated macrame hanging planter from Anthropologie.

3. Sustainable pieces

Sustainable space
Credit: Coyuchi

Small choices like fair trade pottery and organic kitchen towels make for a more sustainable space.

Sustainability has increasingly become top of mind for many shoppers, and that mindset shouldn’t stop at patio décor.

Growing your own plants and produce is a great start in creating a sustainable patio space. Additionally, consider switching out old lights in your outdoor fixtures for energy-efficient options—or even better, try solar-powered lamps and lighting.

You can also look to environmentally conscious furniture and décor that will last. Fair trade planters and vases are small details you can add throughout the patio. You can also make swaps for kitchen accessories, like these best selling organic kitchen towels from Coyuchi.

When shopping for patio furniture, keep an eye out for recyclable materials like wood (which also happens to be an on-trend accent).

Brands like Yardbird are also making eco-conscious furniture more accessible, with furniture that uses some, or even all, recycled materials.

4. Outdoor cooking with a twist

Outdoor cooking with a twist
Credit: Getty Images / Onfokus

Homemade pizza is a summer staple.

Summertime calls for a whole lot of grilling, and flat top grills, which function similarly to griddles, are becoming increasingly popular this year.

“They’re not just for a typical grill dinner—it’s for any time,” Hill tells us. From eggs in the morning to burgers at night, flat top grills are a summer staple for any foodie.

Outdoor pizza ovens are on the rise as well, proving to be a patio must-have. If you’re willing to splurge on this appliance, customers seem to love this wood-burning, outdoor pizza oven at The Home Depot.

5. Warmth by the fire

Fire pits
Credit: Getty Images / chandlerphoto

Gather friends and family by the fire.

Fire pits are the quintessential patio accessory, and that won’t change this year. “A simple fire pit is something that everyone is wanting,” Hill says.

They are the ultimate centerpiece to gather around on a summer evening, and they can add a layer of privacy in the patio, creating a cozy nook for entertaining. Plus, when fall rolls around, you’ll still be able to cozy up outside.

This top-rated propane-fueled fire pit features a stylish faux wood tabletop, and it even has an adjustable flame control knob for full control on the fire.

6. Mix and match lighting

Outdoor lighting
Credit: Getty Images / vgajic

String lights remain an essential accent on patios this summer.

Layering different types of lighting can help to create depth and dimension to any space, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. On a patio or deck, it adds a special ambiance, particularly after dark.

String lights have become a fixture on patios, porches, and decks over the last few years, and large versions are still a staple, says Hill. Draping and zig-zagging string lights creates a cozy atmosphere while relaxing on the outdoor couches or roasting marshmallows by the fire pit. Customers give these weather-proof outdoor string lights from Wayfair rave reviews.

But, in 2020, also look to layer a wide variety of fixtures, like landscape lighting and wall lights. This method has become popular and has proven to add versatile lighting purposes. Consider wall-mounted lighting, for example, on surrounding walls or columns to provide ambient lighting throughout.

If you own a pergola, try hanging pendant lights to draw attention to a dinner table or couches surrounding a fire pit.

Having outdoor lighting raises a question on how to power them. There are many solar-powered options, like this top-rated LED solar hanging chandelier.

7. Storage as furniture

Outdoor storage 2
Credit: Birch Lane

Make storage smart (and stylish).

Outdoor storage is not an eyesore anymore—rather, use storage containers for essentials like gardening tools, cookware, and towels, as outdoor accents that tie together patio pieces.

For example, bar carts serve as chic space savers and can decoratively display your favorite cocktail glasses, potted plants, or candles. If you’re looking to stow items, rather than display, then stand-alone cabinets are also simple ways to keep bowls, plates, and other miscellaneous items accessible.

Storage benches and ottomans create discrete storage options and are stylish, too. Try this highly rated deck box from Wayfair for organizational bliss.

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