Outdoor patios are far too underrated. These coveted spaces are not only rare slices of square footage, but they’re also an easy way to enjoy a bit of fresh air and sunshine without doing much more than opening a door. So why don’t we pay them more attention? After all, once the gray and cold days of winter give way to the warm and blue ones of summer, a patio can be much more appealing than even the coziest living room. All it takes is some consideration.

If you’re one of the lucky few who have an outdoor patio of your own, then don’t let it go to waste. Clear off the wilted plants, brush away the dirt from the sun-bleached floor, and consider this area your new blank canvas. Once you get a look at these seven patios, which show the potential in verdant greenery, colorful seating areas, and bold tiling, you’ll feel inspired to do more with this enviable extension of your home. And that’s a good thing, considering that there are plenty of blue-sky days ahead.

If you’re big on alfresco dining…

Photo by Dustin Aksland for Elizabeth Roberts Architecture Photography by NA

When you have an outdoor patio that’s right off your dining room, follow this example set by Elizabeth Roberts and seamlessly connect the two spaces together. Sliding doors can help create one open area, and the same tiling used throughout will make the transition seem natural. It goes without saying that a hammock in the corner is a good idea to copy, too.


If you want your patio to have personality…

Photo by Tessa Neustadt | Designed by Emily Henderson Photography by NA

Emily Henderson also relied on tiles to define this outdoor space, although this choice is of a bolder hue. When styling your patio as a “room,” a confident tiling job will do the trick. In this instance, the blue graphic tiles match the seating area, but they also contrast against the rest of the house. There’s no mistaking that this is a place where you’re welcome to hang out.

If you’d like for everyone to gather outside…

Photo by Sara Tramp | Designed by Emily Henderson Photography by NA

A covered outdoor patio can be considered an alfresco living room, if you want to emulate this look from Emily Henderson. A sturdy couch, which comes in all-weather-friendly materials, is accompanied by coffee and side tables to provide all the comforts of inside. Once again, colorful tiling gives the space its own personality.

If you want an outdoor space with a bohemian vibe…

Photo by Erin Kunkel for Dekorla Photography by NA

If you’re of the mind-set that an outdoor space should have a bohemian feel, try this look from Isabelle Dahlin. A wide daybed covered in a range of colorful pillows would be a great place to spend an afternoon, especially if it’s all shaded overhead. For extra color and texture, plenty of oversize plants make the area feel even more laid-back.

If you want an artsy feel to your patio…

Photo by Crystal Sinclair | Design by Alyssa Yarusinsky Katehis and Crystal Sinclair Photography by NA

Art can be a tricky thing in outdoor spaces, and that’s why the idea of a living wall is so appealing. This one from Crystal Sinclair Designs enlivens a minimal palette and can be rearranged with the seasons. Include a variety of plants in your arrangement, which will add an eye-catching focal point.


If you want to embrace your green thumb…

Courtesy of Studio DB Photography by NA

With a little creativity, small spaces can be full of life—and that is especially true of green terraces like this one. If your patio is slightly cramped, embrace the challenge with a wide range of greenery that can provide shade, privacy, and color. Add in a bistro set and a love seat: That’s all you really need.

If you have plenty of room to work with…

Courtesy of Studio DB

If space is on your side and you have all the room you need to spread out, take advantage of it. An outdoor patio can be just as open as an indoor living room with coordinating furniture. Since you’re designing for a more casual area, feel free to use happy shades like bright yellow.

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