This Is *Exactly* How an Interior Designer Would Lay Out Your Patio

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Jillian Jones

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Published on March 1, 2023

We could all use a little escape, even if it’s right outside your door. Because whether you’re savoring just a few months of warmth or have the luxury of lounging al fresco all year long, we’d argue that a dreamy outdoor setup is just as essential as any indoor living space. Think of it as an excuse to decorate a whole new room, and all you need are a few weather-proof decor upgrades and some SPF. 

If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space, it’s never too early to start thinking about sprucing it up. From sprawling backyards to the tiniest of balconies, you can turn any slab of concrete or patch of grass into your own outdoor oasis. Here, our designers share their go-to patio layout ideas for the most stylish backyard (or front porch) ever. 

1. Poolside lounge

Patio layout ideas

Goodbye, plastic pool chairs. These wooden lounge chairs are enough to make any pool deck feel like a resort in the French Riviera. Get the look by mixing nautical stripes with tropical florals for a healthy dose of poolside sunshine. 

2. Pretty pergola

Patio layout ideas

This curtained pergola carves out a comfortable outdoor space that matches any living room. (And better yet, gives you just enough privacy from your next door neighbors.) Round out the look with cushy seating, hanging lights and a patterned rug. 

3. Stripes on stripes

Patio layout ideas

The great outdoors is a low stakes place to play with pattern. We’re loving how this classic mix of stripes contrasts effortlessly with beachy rattan—it instantly makes a poolside layout feel even more warm and inviting. 

4. Patio party

Patio layout ideas

A corner sectional with two folding chairs maximizes seating and conversation, while a decorative stool doubles as a stylish drinks table or an extra spot to sit. Your guests will feel right at home with mixed-and-matched pillows and cozy overhead lanterns. 

5. Makeshift movie night

Patio layout ideas

Sometimes the best outdoor setup is the one that doesn’t require furniture at all. Make good use of your grassy space with lots of blankets, pillows and poufs for a dreamy movie night under the stars—no outdoor furniture required. 

6. In full swing

Patio layout ideas

Move over, hammocks. A hanging chair is a game changer in any patio layout. Not only is it a comfy spot to curl up, but it’s a stylish statement piece that plays well with other seating. Here, it fits perfectly in this modern and textural outdoor living space. 

7. Welcome home

Patio layout ideas

When it comes to patio layout ideas, an inviting front porch is the ultimate first impression. Emulate the ease of beachy living with a pair of rocking chairs and lots of planters—it’s the perfect spot for a glass of iced tea and a good book. Trust us, you’ll never want to leave. 

8. Keep it cool

Patio layout ideas

When you’re lounging on a roomy chaise sectional like this, nothing kills the vibe faster than the beating sun in your face. Block it out with a canopy made of sun-reflecting fabric to cool things down (in more ways than one). 

9. Ambiance al fresco

Patio layout ideas

This patio layout idea is an entertainer’s dream. Use a geometric rug to separate your seating area from your dining setup and elevate the look with a chic umbrella. And perhaps most important for any dinner al fresco, set the mood with candles and string lights. 

10. Conversation pieces

Patio layout ideas

Rugs are a foolproof way to define your outdoor seating area with color and pattern, like this swoon-worthy patio layout idea. Here, two chairs opposite a sofa create the ultimate conversation spot. And thanks to string lights and lanterns, you’ll be lingering long after the sun has set.

11. Balcony hangs

Patio layout ideas

Apartment and small space dwellers, this one’s for you. A small wooden bench and petite chair will make good use of that coveted outdoor space. Throw on a few pillows and a cozy blanket to add personality to your postage-sized patio.

12. Stand tall

Patio layout ideas

This patio layout idea proves that a lounge chair (or two) and a bistro table can go a long way when it comes to making the most of your limited square footage. Pro tip: create height with potted plants and tall greenery to make your patio feel even bigger. 

Want expert advice on your actual home, straight from an interior designer? Start with our style quiz to work with a design pro one-on-one.

Words by Jillian Jones