Creating an outdoor room is like adding an extension to your home – minus the expense, noise and dust. Whether you’ve got a roomy deck, rustic little patio, or tiny high-rise balcony, this three-step plan to set up your patio furniture will maximize your home’s outdoor space.

Step 1: Get inspired (but not to set up your patio furniture just yet)

Browse images of good patio design. Check out Pinterest, Instagram décor magazines (like the latest issue of Hello Yellow, of course!), as well as other websites for inspiration. Find out what you like, whether it’s the latest trends or classic looks. But don’t focus on patio furniture yet – at this stage, think big picture:
• Do you see yourself hosting dinner parties or BBQing up a storm?
• Prefer lounging around with your family while sipping iced tea?
• Are you more into a private nook to share with your love and sipping sangria?
You can borrow from indoor spaces on how you want the outdoor furniture to function. Is it for entertaining? Or maybe it’s more about hanging around the campfire. This stage of setting up your patio is bout what kind of outdoor space would make your life happier, and take it from there.

Step 2: Plan out how to set up your patio furniture

Now consider the zoning for your outdoor furniture. You may have room for multiple activities and functions – cooking and entertaining, perhaps – or just one top priority, like a cozy lounge for two. If you are more about entertaining, then set up your outdoor furniture set like this.
Don’t lose sight of your space’s dimensions when window-shopping for patio furniture. Note the measurements of patio furniture you’re considering, and use painter’s tape to mark them out on your deck, patio or balcony floor.
Live with these outlines for a few days to determine if the arrangement works for you.

TIP: Save space with multipurpose patio furniture pieces like an outdoor ottoman that doubles as seating. Consider shape too. A circular patio table is easier to walk around than a cornered one. And with a round outdoor table, you can squeeze in an extra seat or two, too!

Before you buy an outdoor sectional – read this!

Step 3: Set up your patio furniture and style it!

Set up your backyard living space so that it reflects back to your thoughts in Step 1. Have the patio furniture pieces so that they face each other, surround a fire pit, it’s time for the finishing touches with some smart outdoor styling.
Many homeowners don’t pay enough love to their outdoor space with accessories. For a standout patio furniture set-up, decorate the same way you would indoors:
• Hang artwork and/or mirrors. (If it’s not meant for outdoor, make sure you take inside when it rains.)
• Add a lantern or two. Group lanterns and votives throughout the space.
• Toss accent cushions on seats, sofas and sectionals.
• Drape a throw over a sofa or sectional arm.
• Bring life to your outdoor room fresh-cut flowers or a potted plant.

Refresh the space periodically with design finds like a brightly-hued table tray or beautiful, potted succulent arrangement. (Here are 10 more ideas for making over your patio furniture set.)

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