27 Dreamy Patios, Pools, and Porches

This blogpost about patios and porches was updated in June 2022.

Patios and porches to inspire your outdoor room

No matter how large or small your outdoor space is, we think everyone should have a pool, patio or porch where they can unwind and enjoy the gorgeous weather summer has to offer. We dug through our archives to find our favorite outdoor furniture spaces simply to bring you inspiration on these dog days of summer.

1. Dining Al Fresco

One of our must-haves for any dream outdoor space is a stylish place to entertain and host a dinner party. Nothing says summer like a big green salad and something hot off the grill. Invite guests over for a casual, impromptu evening on your patio or porch, and plan a super chic meal and go all out with place settings and flowers.

Read more: 10 Backyard Entertaining Ideas

2. Patios and Porches in Neutral Shades

If you’ve got a beautiful landscape or a fantastic view, keep outdoor furniture neutral. We love these two spaces just for that reason. Our Amalfi outdoor furniture and Suzanne Kasler’s teak campaign chair are certainly chic but they don’t upstage the main event.

If you want something with a little more personality than neutrals, bring in blues and green which won’t compete with your garden.

3. Pair Up Chaise Lounges

If you’ve got a pool, a pair of chaise lounges should top your must-have list. They provide a spot to enjoy the sun and for watching family or guests swim. Add an umbrella and a side table, and you’re ready to enjoy a cocktail al fresco.

Read more: Backyard Pools Ideas and the Best Decorating Tips for Your New Pool

4. Style It Like Suzanne’s Patio and Porch

We always look to acclaimed designer Suzanne Kasler for the ultimate style tips, so you know we’re taking notes on how she furnishes her own outdoor spaces. In both of these outdoor rooms, she used her classic Directoire collection mixed with plenty of stripes.

5. Sectional Seating on Patios and Porches

If you’ve got a big space, a sectional is a great way to pack in a ton of seating for entertaining or perhaps a big family! In both of these spaces we chose a large sectional and brought in black and white accents.

Patios and porches to inspire your outdoor room

If you’re floating your sectional in your garden or yard, consider a round sectional. You can bring more seating in, while round corner don’t block traffic pathways.

6. Fall Color

As the weather cools, there’s no reason you can’t keep using your outdoor space. Bring in a freestanding fire pit or strike up a crackling fire in your outdoor fireplace. The key is not to forget all of the accoutrements — throw blankets, candles, and other cozy details to draw you outdoors.

Read more: Decorating Your Outdoor Space for Fall

7. Cool Off By the Pool

Pools are the ultimate backyard paradise, and we love giving you plenty of ways to enjoy them. Chaise lounges are a natural choice, but you may also want to place a dining area or a hammock nearby so you can enjoy your pool even if you aren’t taking a dip.

8. Gauzy Curtains

We love how romantic outdoor curtains feel. They enclose patios and porches, making your outdoor room more intimate. Solid white panels let in plenty of natural sun light but still give that airy, gauzy effect.

A Large, narrow outdoor patio and porch designed by Suzanne Kasler | Ballard Designs

9. Break Up Patios and Porches

If you’ve got a long, narrow porch or patio, break it up into smaller seating areas. Here, Suzanne Kasler used her Directoire collection to create two large seatings areas that are mirror images. Plenty of comfy pillows and coffee tables for snacks make this a space you’ll enjoy for reading, entertaining, and maybe even napping!

10. Outdoor Lighting

Don’t forget to set the mood with outdoor lighting. Hanging string lights, a great chandelier on a covered porch, or wall mounted lanterns are a great way to make sure your outdoor space has plenty of light and you can relax even after the sun goes down.

Read more: How to Hang String Lights

11. Stripes & Shade

In sunny backyards or seaside spaces, you’ll want to stay cool and comfortable in your outdoor space. A large tilting umbrella is the perfect solution. They’re super functional and stylish, and our favorite 9′ and 11′ Auto Tilt Umbrella comes in 30 colors!

12. Lush Greenery

Every outdoor space needs lush greenery, even paved patios! Bring plants in containers onto your patio and porch to help fill in the space and create a more lush room.

If you don’t have a green thumb, consider using a mixture of real and faux plants. Watch our How To Style Faux Boxwoods video, and try underplanting one of our Faux Boxwood Planter Fillers with easy to care for greenery.

13. Porch Swings and Sunny Days

There’s no more iconic outdoor perch than the perfect Southern porch swing. We’ve given ours the ultimate comfort with a deep foam cushion so big, you’re guaranteed to take a nap. If you’d rather swing during cocktail our, we’ve got a perfect side table that holds your wine so you don’t miss a sip.

Shop outdoor furniture, or find more decorating inspiration and know-how in our most popular blogposts below:

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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.