Before and After: Perfect Patio Design

A typical terrace is transformed with a simple, elegant arbor and purple accents.

After: Colorful Outdoor Retreat

David gives the uncovered portion of the patio structure with a simple arbor, making the space feel more enclosed and cozy. A fire pit and teak benches create an inviting seating area, while arrangements of urns provide a colorful backdrop to the space. To complete the trellis and create a romantic atmosphere, they hang birdcages full of candles and purple flowers.

paint for pottery (2075-20, Mulberry; 2073-20, Autumn Purple) — Benjamin Moore
purple embroidered pillows (394346) — Cost Plus
rug (66042298); solid red pillows (67110100) — World Market
balusters — Big Daddy's Antiques
tall garden ornaments (20802); tallest garden urn (39176); urns (2888, 491627) — Home Goods
outdoor lamps (533920549) — Expo Design Center
moss spheres (858597); hurricane birdcage (918763); mossy lion (858563); mossy urn (858589); giant cast iron urn (680538); large woven planters (897439) — Smith and Hawken
indoor/outdoor curtain panels (357820) — Crate and Barrel
wooden benches (13103) — The Wooden Duck

David's Design Tips:


  • When looking for containers for outdoor plants, don't always use terracotta vases. Mix different shapes, sizes and textures to create drama and keep the garden looking exciting and unique.

  • Spread out landscape plants and pots, so the patio doesn't feel too cluttered.

  • Arranging items in odd numbers of threes or fives always leaves one thing in the center, thus creating balance.

  • The key to a unified garden is consistency and repetition. Having similar elements, whether plant type, color or texture, will allow the garden to come together as a whole.

  • If an arbor doesn't work for you, try planting a wall of plants or shrubs to get a similar effect.

  • If you want to use your outdoor space year-round, fire pits and heat lamps are a must-have.

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