Designing A Patio

Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Designing A Patio

Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Designing A Patio

A patio can be a great addition to your home, allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors in comfort. That said, designing a patio space can be both exciting and daunting. You probably know what type of patio you’re hoping to build, but you often forget to see the bigger picture. 

In this article, you’ll learn the top mistakes that could make your concept of outdoor entertaining challenging. 

1. Purchasing the wrong furniture

Furniture is a key element of any patio design. And choosing the wrong one is one of the biggest mistakes you’ll make in your patio project. 

In terms of patio furniture, the material is your most important consideration. Don’t be tempted to simply move an old futon or coffee table outside and call it a day. You need to invest in pieces of furniture that can withstand the outdoor weather. Materials that perform well outside include wicker, rattan, timber, plastic, wrought iron, and steel. 

In particular, timber outdoor furniture is a popular raw material for furniture thanks to its natural beauty. It also blends well in an outdoor environment. Make sure to opt for hardwoods that can resist weather damage and last for decades when treated properly. 

Metal materials, on the other hand, are a more contemporary option, offering a more complex design. Meanwhile, wicker is highly durable, low maintenance, and lightweight, which makes it suitable for boho or casual aesthetics.

You can use at least two materials, uniting them with a color scheme. Also, always opt for high-quality furniture, despite its price tag. You don’t want to buy cheap furniture that will only last you a season or two.

Patio Design

2. Poor furniture arrangement

As important as picking high-quality pieces of furniture, you also need to pay attention to how you arrange them. Think about creating conversation areas when arranging seats. 

The chairs should be close enough so people can have conversations without shouting, but also leaving enough space to move around. In general, chairs should always be gathered around a low table for food or drinks. Having multiple seating areas arranged is suitable if you want people to have separate conversations. 

Avoid lining up your furniture against the walls. This sort of ‘firing squad’ layout leaves you with a big bare spot in the middle of the space and makes conversations awkward. 

3. Skimping on lighting

Most homes have one overhead light for their outdoor space. And while this may be enough to let you see well outside, if you’re thinking of lounging on your patio after sunset, you’ll need to plan more about your outdoor lights. 

There are several options for outdoor lighting ranging from solar-powered lights that illuminate pathways to string lights draped on deck railings or patio ceilings. Just be careful not to add too much light, which makes the space so bright it looks like daytime. Consider striking a balance by adding warmer light whenever possible. 

When done properly, patio lighting can create a welcoming ambiance while making your outdoor space functional and safe at night. 

4. Forgetting about plants

It’s easy to forget to add greenery to your patio design. After all, it’s already outside. However, adding plants to your patio can make or break your overall design. Plants can break up the large expanse of patio paving, create zones, and provide a balance of intimacy and open space. 

You can use potted plants to spill onto the terrace, softening the area. Consider adding tall plants or small trees in planters in strategic areas to create shade from the mid-afternoon sun while distributing luxuriant foliage in your outdoor space. 

If you have a pergola, consider adding creeping plants such as Boston ivy or climbing hydrangea that turn your bare pergola into decorative greenery while adding some privacy. 

Also, consider adding sweet-smelling plants such as plumeria into the mix to create a pleasant experience when light evening winds kick up the scent. 

5. Not considering the sun

The sun’s direction on your patio can affect your overall outdoor enjoyment and comfort, especially in summer. So, always keep this in mind when planning furniture placement as well as key areas in your patio. You don’t want to sit with the harsh sunrays beaming on you all day or make this space non-functional for specific times of the day. 

If arranging furniture doesn’t work, add an awning, shade sail, pergola, patio umbrella, or gazebo to ensure you have proper shade. As previously mentioned, small trees and tall plants also make great sun protection while helping in creating a cooler environment. 


A bit of planning can go a long way to ease frustration and stress in designing your patio. It’s always a great idea to be informed of the most common patio-designing mistakes, so you don’t create more stress for yourself when getting your patio project rolling. This way, you can create a well-balanced space that’s comfortable, functional, and inviting in no time!