Decorating Dilemma: Jean’s Patio

Decorating an empty patio

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I’ve just added new travertine pavers to my back patio. Now it’s time to start decorating!

The patio is 280 Sq feet, and unfortunately the pavers are looking more gold then I thought they would. I’d like to know what color to paint back brick wall (I have primer on it now).

Last but not least, what Ballard Designs furniture pieces should I purchase!? I’d like a table, chairs, and a chaise.

Thanks for your help,


back left corner
sliders and window
wall straight onwood fence to right

Dear Jean,

You patio space is lovely and very well done! To minimize the complexity of the color palette for the space, we suggest painting your wall the same color as your home. This will keep a simple canvas on which you can add color with textiles, accessories and flowers! There are many different directions you could go with color depending on your preferences, but we pulled together a more serene color story that would tell of relaxation.

Our Amalfi Outdoor Collection is perfect for your space! The profile of this collection is graceful, and it is made of powder coated cast aluminum so it will hold up in the outdoor weather! The oval table and chairs is a great option for creating a dining area. This table is equipped with a hole for an umbrella so add one of our 9’ Auto Tilt Umbrellas to provide shade for your table. Select the canopy in Seneca Stripe Spa to set the color palette for the other textiles. Our Marina Rug in mineral is the ideal rug to slide under the dining table. The Amalfi Bar Cart could fit under your window to serve as a buffet when entertaining. For more color, add lumbar pillows to the chairs in canvas spa and bring in various sizes of Toulon Planters for all your beautiful plantings.

In the opposite side of the patio, it would be lovely to add 2 – Amalfi Chaise Lounges with a celadon Garden Seat or Amalfi Side Table positioned in between. Remember to add throw pillows in Seneca Stripe Spa to bring pattern and color to this side of the patio.

We might also suggest you add either some outdoor wall decor (like our Salina Sunburst Plaques) or a wall mounted planter (like our La Reine Planter) to your concrete wall, for a fun focal point!

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating an empty patio

Do you have a decorating dilemma? Send us your own questions here.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.