Tips for decorating your outdoor space with accent pieces
The key to a well-designed outdoor space lies not only in thoughtfully selected furniture but also in purposeful decor. Decorative accent pieces have the power to elevate your outdoor area, making it an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable space for lounging, dining, and entertaining. What good is an outdoor dining table and chairs without lighting and dinnerware? Or what good is a sofa without cushions, pillows, and an outdoor rug? It’s been said that “it’s all in the details” – and this is certainly true of outdoor settings. Accessories, textiles, planters, and more will instantly enhance your space. Read on to discover patio design ideas and how to style your outdoor area for maximum comfort and style impact.
“Decorative accent pieces and accessories are a must-have for any outdoor area. No matter the size of your space, these thoughtful touches will lend comfort, function, and style to outdoor dining and lounge settings alike.” — Rebecca, Design Expert, DWR Houston store
How to style a modern patio with
Decorative elements and functional accessories are the difference between a good outdoor area and a great one. Here, we’ve compiled a list of patio and porch decor ideas that will lend both beauty and pragmatism to your space.
Place a tray atop a cocktail table or ottoman for serving drinks and appetizers. If your outdoor space surrounds a pool and you’re hesitant to use glassware, invest in chic yet durable melamine dinnerware or BPA-free plastic dishes. Consider incorporating an outdoor bar cart, too. Keep your bar cart paired down to the essentials, and store dinnerware and linens on the bottom shelf. As an alternative to an outdoor bar cart, use a garden bench as a serving area for beverages.
Set the mood with warm, soft lighting. Decorate your outdoor dining table with sculptural candleholders, incorporate outdoor hanging décor with string lights, or surround your seating arrangement with a few globe lanterns.
- Sound system
Install a sound system to play music and host outdoor movie nights. Or opt for an easy-to-use Bluetooth sound lantern that offers both light and a portable speaker.
Curtains add a tactile element to outdoor spaces, and they can help create privacy. They’re especially easy to hang on a porch or covered patio.
A foldable umbrella is an ideal accessory for a patio or deck that gets direct sunlight. It offers shade throughout the day and can be collapsed for better views of the sky at night.
- Heat lamp
To extend the use of your patio into the cooler months, choose a heat lamp. This type of accessory is optimal for outdoor dining arrangements or lounge seating that doesn’t surround a fire pit.
- Water feature
A fountain or pond adds a visually intriguing element to outdoor areas. Today’s options are relatively simple to install and make for easy deck decorating ideas.
- Wall decor
Outdoor patio wall decor will instantly elevate your outdoor area. Shelves are an effective way to maximize vertical space and provide a place to display potted succulents or herbs. If your patio has a petite footprint, hang a mirror to reflect light and make the area feel bigger. Finally, install hooks on an outdoor wall to hang towels, hats, and light jackets.
How to choose outdoor cushions,
pillows, and throws
Cushions, pillows, and throws help soften outdoor furniture, adding dimension and warmth to a space. Always choose pieces covered in weatherproof materials. For example, select pillows covered in UV- and mildew-resistant Sunbrella fabric and floor cushions crafted from waterproof woven silicone cord.
These accessories can – and should – speak to the overall design aesthetic of your outdoor area. Striped cushions and pillows convey a more traditional coastal style, while solid versions read contemporary. Mix prints and patterns for a Bohemian-inspired look. The beauty of cushions and pillows is that they can easily be swapped out seasonally or depending on the occasion at hand, such as a child’s birthday celebration or an evening cocktail party.
Consider these backyard accessories ideas for enhancing your space with outdoor textiles. Top outdoor sofas and lounge chairs with streamlined seat cushions, and incorporate plush pillows for added comfort. Remember, large pillows can double as floor cushions when extra seating is needed. However, ensure that your pillows aren’t so large that they overwhelm your seating.
Play with sizes and silhouettes by combining square pillows with rectangular and even round styles. It’s easy to create visually pleasing, symmetrical pillow arrangements on your outdoor sofa. Start by placing large pillows in the far corners, then add smaller pillows in descending sizes toward the middle of the sofa. Finally, drape a throw over the arm of a sofa or accent chair. When not in use, keep the throw in a storage ottoman or bench to protect it from the elements.