Culture & Lifestyle

The 5 Worst Patio-Decorating Mistakes—And How to Avoid Them

PENNY PINCHING on your outdoor décor isn’t the only backyard folly decorating pros dread. Some big-ticket installations also flummox them.

“I’ve never understood why people want to use marble on their patios or porches,” said New York designer Young Huh of flooring an outdoor space in the opulent stone. “It’s porous and stains.” If you want Pompeian luxury, she advised, opt for an ultra-durable flooring alternative that mimics natural stone.

Below, five more decorating goofs you’ll want to avoid as you kit out your patio this spring, plus professional remedies.

1. Unfinished Business

Even Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse had an assortment of accessories on its deck. Without washable rugs or weather-resistant throw pillows, said Memphis, Tenn., designer Sean Anderson, “the space feels flat and lacks character.”

Instead: “Lay the space out exactly as you would a comfortable den,” said New York designer Gray Davis, who encourages clients to find a focal point like an outdoor fireplace. Then add finishing touches. Fill ceramic vases with flowering branches and convincingly candle-like LED lights inside glass lanterns. Arrange weatherproof objéts onto an aluminum tray as you would in your living room.


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