How To Setup Your Backyard Patio – Project Guide

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While the breathtaking views and unforgettable scenery of the great outdoors is hard to beat, there’s something irresistible about comfy moments at home.

It’s high time to uncover the beauty in your own backyard! With a well designed patio, you can easily enjoy nature from the comfort of your home.

But where do you start when planning your backyard design project? And how do you know the right products to choose?

This comprehensive guide will help you begin defining your unique outdoor experience and Bring Home Outside.

Finding the Perfect Furniture

backyard patio furniture

Finding the right furniture is the most important part of designing a patio. After all, you can’t make use of your space without adequate seating, tables and storage.

But remember that furniture that lives outside must be designed to survive in nature.

Therefore, before you invest in any outdoor furniture, its important to know the basics about their materials and construction.

General Materials

No matter what you’re searching for, when shopping for the best value you must prioritize durability.

With unpredictable weather and rougher outdoor use, investing in weatherproof furniture will keep you from buying replacements every season.

The most weather-resistant options tend to be synthetic.

While natural wood and wicker are tempting choices for their beauty and timeless appeal, they are vulnerable to inclement weather, rot and damage.

They typically don’t survive the whims of nature as well as man-made or chemical alternatives.

For example, one of the most durable options is powder-coated aluminum. Powder-coated furniture resists scratches, dents, rust, and the peeling and fading caused by UV exposure.

It’s often used for commercial grade furniture that is intended to last a long time despite heavy use, like stationary picnic tables and school lunch tables.

On the other hand, aluminum construction is also durable, yet lighter weight for portability purposes. This makes it ideal for camping, hiking or traveling.

If you enjoy the wood look of furniture, we suggest wood alternatives like polywood or composite lumber.

Polywood is made of high density polyethylene, while composite lumber is a material that is a mixture of wood fiber, plastic, and some type of binding agent.

These alternatives offer the timeless look of wood while being weather, insect and rot resistant.

If wicker is more your style, consider going for an alternative like resin wicker. Resin coating resists moisture absorption and UV rays, thus saving you from mold, mildew and fading.

In terms of soft fabrics, like those needed for cushions, couches or rugs, select materials that are stain and fade resistant. This will make them easy to clean and longer-lasting.

Sunbrella® fabrics are a popular choice and well-trusted by many in the outdoor furniture industry.

With high-quality, weatherproof furniture, you can skip the worrying as you pull up a seat and unwind around the fire. Just don’t forget a patio umbrella in case it rains!


Now that we’ve covered general materials, we can move on to the specific furniture components which typically constitute a patio.

Good seating is an absolute necessity. Fortunately, there are a plethora of diverse chairs, sofas and lounges on the market, each of which can bring an entirely different vibe to your backyard.

Classic options include patio lounge chairs, adirondack chairs, and outdoor rocking chairs.

You’ve probably seen these archetypal chairs everywhere, from commercial gardens to your friends backyards. They tend to be lighter and more portable, easy to rearrange or mix and match.

best outdoor rocking chairsThese kinds of chairs are typically made from synthetics like polywood, resin wicker, and plastic.

Outdoor chairs designed specially for camping and travel are often built with plastic or aluminum instead.

Either way, all of these options are all designed for outdoor use and changing weather patterns. That’s why they’re so commonly used!

If comfort and flexibility are your main priorities, consider a zero gravity chair or a hammock chair.

Zero gravity chairs are designed to provide a weightless experience- they recline just far enough to suspend your body in a neutral posture, putting your feet in alignment with your heart.

These are great for people in need of more back support.

Likewise, hammock chairs relax the muscles and take tension off of pressure points. Some even come with stands so you don’t have to go through the hassle of suspension and installation.

best hammock chairIf swinging is your thing, you could also go for one of the many beautiful patio swings that we reccomend. These allow for a relaxing and refreshing seating experience while retaining a timeless, classic look.

But your chairs don’t have to be basic. Modern innovations in design and architecture have gifted the consumer market with an overwhelming array of cool choices.

If you crave a more modern and clean aesthetic, or want to add some futuristic appeal to your backyard, consider investing in a hanging egg chair or an outdoor daybed. 

Their spacious, circular designs make them not only aesthetically pleasing and unique, but also surprisingly functional.

Hanging egg chairs provide an elevated aesthetic with a relaxing swinging feature, while daybeds are the perfect option for lounging and napping in the sun with company.

Both add a unique flavor to any outdoor area.

If your main concern is portability, you could even go for an inflatable lounger. These soft chairs can be inflated and deflated, and pack down for easy storage.

They are great to have on hand for when you have unexpected extra guests, or want to bring elements of your backyard with you while traveling.


In selecting tables, durability remains a key factor. An outdoor table must be strong enough to withstand changing weather conditions, consistent use and accidents of all kinds.

However, your table must also work in harmony with the chairs you choose, and convey the type of vibe you intend for your outdoor area.

On the market currently are an endless list of diverse patio dining set options. These come in all shapes, sizes and materials to suit everyone’s lifestyle and taste.

best patio dining set
Photo courtesy of Amolife

Whether you need a round or rectangular table, or prefer resin wicker to aluminum or plywood, our guide to patio dining sets will surely have an option for you.

If you want something a bit more casual than a formal patio dining set, consider investing in a picnic table for your backyard!

Picnic tables are a great alternative to patio dining sets because they tend to be lighter, more portable, and easier to switch out.

On top of that, they’re generally less expensive – and many models come with chairs included.

Most picnic tables are also built with the same range of wood alternative and plastic synthetic materials as patio dining sets.

If you choose wisely, no one will be able to tell the difference between your beautiful picnic table and chairs, and a high quality outdoor dining set.


With the key elements (chairs and tables) out of the way, its now time to focus on accessories.

This is the fun part – finding special accessories is the easiest way to turn your backyard into a unique sanctuary tailored to your specific tastes.

Keep reading for more design inspiration!

Gas fire pits are a great way to offer warmth and light on chilly evenings with family. Not only do they function as a focal point for your space, they also extend your outdoor season.

Gas Fire Pit Table

While the crackling of wood-burning fires is a highlight for many, propane or natural gas fire pits offer major advantages that are hard to ignore.

Natural gas fire tables are clean-burning, which eliminates unpredictable smoke and flying sparks for increased safety and control.

These smoke-free fires are also friendly for guests with allergies or those with smoke sensitivities – and you can still roast marshmallows over the fire.

Nothing brings everyone together like a good ol’ s’more (or two… or three) over the fire!

After you consider the purpose of your fire table, think about your style preferences.

Do you want to match your interior design theme, or are you thinking about creating a unique backyard style?

From modern industrial design and contemporary accents to farmhouse style and rustic comfort, fire pit tables are available in a wide variety of looks that are sure to please.

If you want warmth without fire, consider investing in a patio heater. These are less of a focal point and more of a handy add-on for the cooler months.

A good patio heater won’t detract from the aesthetics of your patio, but instead provide a subtle blanket of warmth for year-round comfort.

If you’re planning to utilize your outdoor spot for game days or movie nights, you could also include a TV or projector with a screen in your exterior design!

backyard movie projector
Photo Courtesy of Doace Outdoor Projectors

These can be a great way to get your family to come together to watch a movie by the fire.

If you’d rather escape the screens, incorporate a sound system or high quality bluetooth speaker to play music in the background while guests interact on the patio.

Poolside Accessories

As summer rolls around, you might be in need of some poolside accessories to bring a bit of light and laughter to your backyard.

If you already have a pool, why not spice it up a bit? Consider getting some floating pool loungers so you can take your daytime naps into the water.

If you have kids or pets who would like to bring playtime to the pool, pick up a floating water mat!

best floating water matAlso known as swim pads or lily pads, these function like floating foam walkways resting on the water. Extremely versatile, they are ideal for reading, relaxing or group play.

If your children are high energy, you could also consider browsing inflatable water slides – these are sure to keep little ones (as well as adults!) entertained for hours on end.

Don’t have a swimming pool? No worries – you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on consultation, installation and construction to enjoy a dip in the water.

Why not just pick up an inflatable pool? These are great way to cool off during the summer heat without breaking the bank!

These are often available in thick PVC material and come with inflate/drain plugs for easy erection and deconstruction. They are easily portable and can be moved around at will!

When the weather cools down, you can simply switch it out for an inflatable hot tub and enjoy a rejuvenating soak in the warm water.

Inflatable pools and hot tubs are great because you don’t need space for a permanent installation and you can easily store them when not in use.

Child-Friendly Attractions

If you want to entertain the kids on dry land, consider investing in a swing set or jungle gym! These will provide hours of energy-consuming recreation for children.

best backyard playground
Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Jungle Gym

Swing sets and jungle gyms can also add life, color and movement to an otherwise static patio area. Remember that your outdoor space should be just as fun to experience as it is to look at!

Another great option is a trampoline. While these are traditionally the playthings of children, trampolines can be a great source of fun and stress-relief for adults as well.

Be sure to measure the dimensions of whatever product you choose and compare them with the available space you have in your home.

Shade & Shelter

As your outdoor theme starts forming, don’t forget another key element – shade and shelter.

Your patio should have some sort of covering to protect you and your furniture from the wear and tear of the outdoors.

UV rays, moisture and inclement weather can all take a toll on your patio, and degrade the quality of your expensive furniture.

A retractable awning is an ideal way to prevent this from happening. If your furniture gets stuck in the rain before you get the chance to move it out of the way, an awning is a life saver.

These can simply be pulled back when not in use, making them a versatile solution.

You could also consider a pop up canopy, which functions as a sort of portable awning. These foldable coverings can be taken to the beach, camping, or simply set up in your patio when needed.

They are affordable, quick and perfect for all kinds of weather, provided it isn’t extreme rain or flooding.

If you want something even more low hassle, consider buying a patio umbrella to go with whatever table you decide on.

It’s good to have at least a little bit of shade to protect your furniture.


backyard grill

If you’re looking to serve some refreshments and snacks outside, an outdoor kitchen island with a small grill may do the trick.

Pick your outdoor appliances based on the types of occasions you plan to host. Do you see yourself hosting backyard barbeques, game day parties, family dinners, etc.?

What type of food will you make for those occasions? Grills, stove top burners, ovens, and small fridges tend to be top picks for outdoor cooking.

Many hosts also enjoy a wine or beer cooler, meat smoker, blender, or brick oven in their backyard kitchen.

Before overdoing it on the appliances though, make sure you consider how often you’ll actually use them so you make the right investments.


Finally, you can consider adding a couple of garden-related elements to your outdoor space. Why not bring a little bit of nature to your home?

Products like rain barrels and compost bins are a great way to both save money and the environment! These eco-friendly options can help you cut down your water bill and nourish your garden for free.

If you want to scale up your garden or small plot, you could even invest in a greenhouse kit. These are the ideal way to protect and house plants in all kinds of weather conditions.

They protect plants from excess sunlight and create and maintain the high humidity levels necessary for flourishing vegetation.

Greenhouse kits can help you get a self-sustaining garden up and running in no time!

With all these different elements to consider in designing the perfect patio, you might be running a little short on space. That’s where a garden storage shed could come in handy.

These will provide the space for you to store any off-season accessories or toys, and give you room to keep the home and garden tools necessary for maintaining a well kept backyard.


Now, you have all the tools and inspiration necessary to create a beautiful patio tailored to your lifestyle and tastes!

The sky is the limit – this is really a chance for you to exercise your creative muscles and put together a space that will provide comfort and peace for years to come.

Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

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Richard Remick

Richard is the founder and the chief editor of Outside Pursuits. Passionate about the great outdoors, Richard spends much of his time in Colorado enjoying skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, and camping. When at home in Florida, he is most often found in the water. He loves water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. He is a certified scuba diver. Because of his wealth of knowledge and experience, Richard has been invited to contribute articles to many outdoor-focused websites, such as Florida Rambler, and has been profiled on travel websites such as JohnnyJet.

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