Patio ideas for 2021

Following months of routine and indoor isolationyou may be looking to spend family time outside of the house, even if it’s only as far as your patio. To help curate your very own sweet slice of paradisewe’ve chosen ten stylish, easy and affordable patio ideas to inspire youfrom trendy décor to long-term investment pieces that will effortlessly transition from this season to the next. 

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1. Dress up bare spaces with plants.

Plants enhance the aesthetic of any space, and let’s be real—you can never have too many of them. Beyond being beautiful, they’re also proven mood boosters and have been shown to reduce anxiety and increase attentiveness and memory,[1] making them must-haves—particularly for this challenging year! They’re also cost-effective and come in a variety of shapes and colours. Consider potted flowers for vibrant pops of colour, or large greenery for sprucing up dull spots.

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2. Create a backyard oasis with a pergola and bench-style dining set.

Strike the beautiful balance between luxurious and casual with a wooden bench and vine-covered pergola. Bonus: a well-made picnic table improves with age, accumulating unique marks for that rustic, lived-in look, while a living pergola is both a shelter and a serene backdrop. Growing lush vines can take years, but starting a long-term project like this now can be a nice way to remind yourself that better days are ahead. But if sun protection is all you’re seeking, opt for a pergola with a sun shade.

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3. Mix and match patterns for added excitement.

Your patio is a space to have fun and be free, especially now when options are limited—reflect this in your choice of patterned pillows, rugs and even deck tiles. From posh patterns like damask to more playful ones like polka dot and floral, there’s enough variety to find a pattern (or two or three!) that will resonate with your style vibe. If patterns are too much, try playing with different fabric textures like a classic basketweave or velvet.

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4. Bring the warmth of the indoors outside by investing in a fireplace.

Summer evenings can get chilly—an unfamiliar feeling after being cooped inside for so long. With a fireplace, outdoor festivities can carry on longer. Create a comfortable setup around the fireplace or electric patio heater complete with Muskoka chairs or a conversation set. If you’re working with an enclosed space, consider including an outdoor ceiling fan to combat discomfort on humid days and nights.

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5. Set the mood with sophisticated lighting.

There’s nothing like thoughtful lighting to set the mood. Elegant wall fixtures and romantic string lights are beautiful, functional, and generally better at promoting relaxation than the sleep-disrupting blue light we often expose ourselves to at night (hello iPads!), especially for kids.[2] Choose the lighting that best suits your style, knowing that lighting the way for more outdoor time is always a healthy choice.[3]

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6. Elevate your entertainment style with a refreshment cart.

A classic refreshment cart can serve your patio experience in a variety of ways. Load it with your favourite outdoor dinnerware, adding herbs and flowers for garnish if you’re feeling fancy. Add a bucket of ice, ingredients for thirst-quenching drinks (we recommend this minty mocktail), and don’t forget the snacks! When the fun is over, your refreshment cart can double as a mini garden shelf. Stylish and functional!

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7. Insert a chat set for one-on-one quality time.

After months of social deprival, this patio season is an opportunity to reconnect in the relative safety of the outdoors. Conversation sets are ideal for catching up on lost time—from a safe distance—with your favourite neighbour over a cup of tea, while a smaller bistro set can help fill that small space you’ve been struggling to decorate. Complete the setup with cheerful greenery.

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8. Add a little whimsy to your patio with a floating chair.

A dreamy floating chair is the enchanting patio escape we *all* need right now. This coveted patio item is sure to get the whole family outdoors—just try not to fight over who gets to use it first! Kids will get a kick out of swinging (just check the safety specs and choose an age-appropriate option) and you’ll get a well-deserved rest spot. Bonus: the back-and-forth movement of swinging also has the potential to improve your core strength and balance.[4] Relaxation and light exercise? Don’t mind if we do…

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9. Integrate durable décor elements like wicker.

Long favoured by grandmothers, wicker furniture is hip again, reflecting a renewed interest in timeless, durable and low-maintenance décor across generations. Easily incorporate this trend into your backyard by adding touches of wicker throughout (as much or as little as you want)—from staple pieces like dining chairs and conversation sets to embellishments like outdoor ceiling lights and storage.

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10. Consider a chaise lounge for days of pure relaxation.

What else pairs so well with a sunhat, a book and a beverage? Not only do they bring the Zen, but chaise lounges also never go out of style. Choose a model with an adjustable back for ultimate comfort and place it in the coziest spot you can find. Naturally you’ll need a spot to set your drink between page turns—consider a side table to complete the lounging experience.

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