A diy patio is what most people have in their backyard. The problem is that they haven't really made a concentrated design effort. It's more the way their patio was designed by default. Instead you can take a proactive stance to learn a few design skills and invest in a few do it yourself projects that will really make a lot of impact just by following these few simple tips.
Paint is a staple in interior design and the same is true for the exterior. When painting outside surfaces you want to make sure that you use a high quality paint and that you are prepared to repaint every few years. You can also experiment with a lot of different concrete stains if you'd like to mimic a stone effect on a budget and just bring a lot of warmth, life and texture to your space.
Find a way to fix up that fence. The color of your fence will really help determine your design style because it is such a large surface area. Think of it the way you would your walls in interior design. Granted, you probably don't want to go with a very bold color because of all the bright plants in your yard. However, just change up the existing color. Darker stains can seem rich and unexpected for an air of elegance. For more of a beach vibe try a weathered gray or blue. For a country cottage or traditional space then go with a bright white. You can experiment with neutral creams, taupes, tans, browns and even black for a contemporary space. For a modern look you won't want the natural wood grain to show through and your plants should be oversized and have a sculptural element to them.
Another way you can use paint on your patio is through craft projects. This doesn't require a huge investment in time or money. It's an easy way to add color and personality to the great outdoors. Plus, you can create a theme or just get a few weekend projects done with your kids. You can assemble a variety of small pots and planters to paint. If your space lacks character then go with something fun such as polka dots or stripes. You can even use faux finishes to make terra cotta pots look aged for a Tuscan or traditional garden vibe that will also be elegant. For more of a sleek look then just paint them with a dramatic solid or metallic color so they will really get noticed.
Your patio furniture can also really benefit from a little bit of spray paint. You could turn basic white furniture into something more special and trendy by going with a bronze metallic paint. You can always just buy new cushions or recover your old ones to really to get an entire new look and color palette that will be custom to your back yard. You'll really want to pay attention to the lines of the piece when you pick out the color so that seems cohesive. If you have a bistro set then you could go with a traditional black or green shade. Another option would be to have more fun and give it a coat of yellow, pink or blue for an outdoor cafe look. This is a project that you can easily do in a weekend but it really makes a big impact.
You might have a mismatched set or a bunch of planters. You might be holding off on doing any projects just because they seem like junk. Oftentimes you'll just go buy new furniture when you are having an outdoor party and you just need a few more chairs. This can result in a hodge podge effect that can make your space seem messy. This can even mean that you get discouraged when you look outside. Instead trying painting all of the chairs and planters the same color. You'll still have a lot of character from all the different lines but everything will look a lot more thought out and planned.
There are a few ways that exterior decorating differs from interior decorating and you'll need to be aware of this when you do projects yourself. This will save you from wasting money but also assures that you get a designer look even if you did do the projects yourself. A big thing to consider is color. Outside, green is a neutral and white will really pop against it. You really need to coordinate the green and in some cases even tone down the colors of the plants and trees by the other materials that you bring in if you want a soothing effect. In this case go with a gray or a taupe. You want to make the color look intentional so it doesn't just seem like concrete.
One thing that you'll see on a lot of garden makeover shows is that they seem to break the cardinal rule of home ownership when they create a theme or custom patio. They might just paint the back of the house instead of the entire house. This can seem like it's going against the natural order of things but it doesn't have to be the case. Usually only people who you invite to see it will get to see your backyard. Plus, consider the fact that these spaces have walls of windows and French or sliding doors so you aren't really using that much color which means it can be more daring. Plus, it will be a lot less surface area to paint. This helps both with cost as well as design durability because you can always paint it to match the rest of the house if you don't like it. This gives you the opportunity to bring in a rich terra cotta or even gold depending on your part of the country.
The part of a DIY patio that may just really make you cringe are the plants because you might be afraid to invest a lot of money into something that you may accidentally forget to water. You really don't have to bring in that many plants to make a big impact. This will save you money, helps on allergies and is easy to take care of. Instead of large planter boxes try stone surfaces. This will be more expensive than a traditional patio covering but it adds warmth and texture to your space. Plus, it's an investment that you can really have around for a long time so you can afford to spend a little bit more on it. Then just try bring in a container garden so your outdoor space doesn't seem harsh or cold. The secret to these is to really vary heights and sizes. Even if you use the same plant in every pot this will add interest and will make the plants seem more substantial than they actually are.