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Ideas & Inspiration

8 DIY Ways to Transform Your Patio Into a Summer Escape

by DecorMatters|May 30, 2024

A patio can be a beautiful place to spend summer afternoons and evenings. It’s where loved ones gather to relax, eat and socialize. Homeowners who want to spend more time in their backyard this season can use these DIY ideas to transform their patio on a budget. It’ll be ready just in time for parties and gorgeous sunsets.

1. Add Mood Lighting

outdoor balcony idea with mood lighting

Anh Lin

Lighting changes how people feel in any room. Research shows that 21.6% of individuals with generalized anxiety feel physically uncomfortable around fluorescent lights, making mood lighting essential for any relaxation space.

Homeowners can hang mood lighting around their patio to instantly elevate its design while creating a soothing aesthetic. String lights, Edison bulbs, and lanterns could be great places to start. Exploring all potential options designed for outdoor use will help people find the lighting that matches their preferences.

2. Build a Pergola

pergola outdoor patio decor ideas

Justyna Duchnowska Wnętrza

People build pergolas in their backyards to add character and create unique places to hang out. Each features at least four columns and beams that make a roofing grid. The sun shines through the crisscrossed roof to promote air circulation, so it may not be the best patio upgrade for homeowners in frequently rainy regions.

Anyone can create a pergola by digging 2-foot holes for each column. Secure them in concrete and allow them to set overnight before screwing the roofing beams into place. Vines could grow across the pergola’s roof while curtains hang in the corners. It depends on what each homeowner wants their patio space to look like.

3. Place Patio Pavers

patio paver ideas for the outdoor patio

Winnie Au

No one wants to hang out where the ground remains soggy after a rain shower. Patio pavers solve that problem. They’re flat pieces of brick, stone or concrete that form a rugged floor for a patio. Anyone can place them on flat land and align them side by side before securing the pavers with mortar. Afterward, homeowners can add furniture, grills and more to transform the area into a beautiful summer escape.

Remember, the flattened section of patio space still needs a 3% incline to direct rainwater away from your foundation. A motor grader can help make that precise dig by churning and slicing soil to your specified incline percentage.

4. Plant Local Flowers

flower ideas for backyard

Dani Sandels

People love summer because it’s one of the two annual seasons when plants thrive. A patio might not look complete until it has flowers growing in pots on outdoor tables or in the yard. Spending time around exposed dirt and undecorated outdoor space isn’t as fun as a place blooming with plant life.

Local flowers are an excellent way to add life to any patio and support the ecosystem. The National Wildlife Federation provides a free database so anyone can find native plant species that thrive in their zip codes. Bees and wildlife will appreciate the recognizable food sources. Native plants also won’t potentially invade the area and threaten other species, keeping your garden eco-friendly.

5. Hang a Hammock

hammock outdoor backyard ideas

Sara Toufali

There’s nothing better than kicking back after a long day. Hammocks are an excellent resource for doing that outside. Homeowners only need two sturdy trees at least 10 feet apart and a carabiner to create the ultimate hammock getaway. Secure the rope with a bow knot or use two tree hooks so it doesn’t slide down the trunks.

Anyone decorating an existing patio can also hang a hammock from porch columns. Attach it with the same methods to relax in style whenever the weather’s nice. Covered hammocks won’t deteriorate from sun and rain exposure, so homeowners should consider if they’d rather place theirs under a covered patio or a decorative umbrella.

6. Create a Fire Pit

fire pit patio decorating ideas

The Joshua Tree House

Summer doesn’t feel complete until someone breaks out marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers for s’mores. Anyone can enjoy them in their backyard by adding a fire pit to their patio area. Homeowners should check with their local fire department to learn if there are any legal placement requirements. They may enforce how far away fire pits must be from homes or low-hanging trees.

After getting placement specifications, clear a section of the ground by removing grass. A few circular rows of brick or stone sealed in place with mortar will keep future fires contained. Consider burning dry, untreated wood that won’t release chemicals and relaxing in comfortable chairs to start making memories this summer.

7. Construct a Bench Swing

bench swing decorating ideas

Móveis de Paletes

Bench swings make it easy to recline on a patio and get a slight breeze during summer heat waves. Homeowners can build one to their patio’s specifications by following a video guide or buying one from an outdoor furniture or hardware store.

Either way, heavy-duty swing hangers will secure the bench to the patio’s roof. Homeowners could also construct a pergola with a closed roof that can support the swing’s weight. Decorate the bench with a sealing paint to weatherproof the wood and add comfortable cushions or pillows to complete the project. A small table to the side is the perfect addition to place cold drinks or magazines.

8. Install a Fountain

outdoor fountain patio decorating ideas

Alessandra Branca

Relaxing spaces need a soothing ambiance. Although anyone can create a laid-back vibe with mood lighting, comfortable seating, and shade, a fountain lends a luxury feel to any patio. They come in all sizes and styles to suit each homeowner’s needs. Consider adding one to an unfinished patio to make it a serene getaway.

Smaller fountains may only need a hose or water line to work. More elaborate models will require level soil and an underground water hookup. It’s crucial to consider how much time and effort the project will take before deciding which type of fountain to add to any backyard.

Create a Summer Escape

outdoor patio design created in DecorMatters app

Lynne Geis

Anyone can get their backyard ready for the sunny season and all the parties they want to host. These additions transform patios into serene getaways on any budget. Patio ideas like laying pavers, building a porch swing, adding flowers, and hanging mood lighting will kick-start any outdoor upgrade project just in time for summer activities. All homeowners need to do after making these upgrades is plan the perfect party to celebrate the season.

Ready to take your patio transformation to the next level? Download the DecorMatters app to visualize and plan your dream outdoor space easily, making your summer escape even more spectacular.

This article was written exclusively for DecorMatters by Evelyn Long. Evelyn is a writer passionate about simplifying interior design for homeowners and renters alike. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Renovated Magazine where she shares her expertise on interiors.

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