Enjoy the outdoors by creating a space dedicated to relaxing. It can be made simply with a couple of well-placed chairs or more elaborately, like building a dream patio. We collected our favorite ideas to help inspire you.
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Whether you live near the water or not, setting up a couple of comfortable chairs beneath a tree facing your favorite view is a lovely way to experience the sun setting.
Photography: VICTORIA PEARSON2 of 14
A Fragrant Pool Area
Aromatic plants emit a subtle scent, which can waft through on a breeze. Choose plants to grow with scents that you especially like. This pool uses a lush assortment of lavender and roses to create a complex fragrance.
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A Cozy Porch Swing
The perfect place to take an afternoon nap or to read a book in the shade is a porch swing. This piece was made by covering an old waterproof hospital bed with heavy cotton. The fabric fades over time to create a worn but beautiful look.
Photography: VICTORIA PEARSON4 of 14
A Modern Patio
This patio's modern feel was made by using a quartzite flagstone floor with a Douglas fir ceiling –- which is mirrored in the patio pavers and roof overhang. On the gravel floor, sleek vinyl-mesh butterfly chairs are arranged for leisure.
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A solid piece of art, centrally located in this garden, exudes a soothing presence.
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An Easy Fire Pit
This propane-fueled, no-logs-required “firebowl” was designed by sculptor Elena Colombo, who wanted to simply “flip on a fire” at her beach bungalow home. A fire pit is a great way to gather people around a cozy location.
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This fenced-in patio acts as an extra-special second dining room perfect for entertaining. Simple decorations like succulent plants and hanging lanterns beget an eclectic elegance.
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A Casual Table
Cover a long table with white cloth and add a few charming decorations like fresh flowers and hanging planters, and you have the perfect spot to dine alfresco!
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Rocking Chair Nook
Reserve a space on your porch for two rocking chairs with a small table in between like the stone-topped iron one shown here. This area will not only relax the chair’s inhabitant but will foster good conversation that may last long into the night!
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An Elegant Porch
For an impressive-looking porch, pair a wooden slated swing with a simple table atop a pretty rug. The look is minimal and elegant. Bold, patterned pillows and potted leafy plants in various sizes and color add a nice touch.
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A No-Fuss Patio
If you like to dine outdoors but want little hassle doing so, a tiled patio adjacent to your kitchen is a great solution. Without having to care for plants and other natural elements, the set up -– and clean up -- will be a breeze.
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A Rustic Sitting Area
Wooden furniture placed casually on a green lawn, like these Adirondack chairs and low table, looks rustic yet polished. The wood will age and grow faded over time, which is part of its charm, so there’s no need to bring it all in because of some rain!
Photography: Christopher Baker13 of 14
A Framed View
Frame the outdoor landscape by placing a mirror on the porch to reflect what’s beyond. It also serves to widen the room and it reveals a beautiful, ever-changing vista.
Photography: VICTORIA PEARSON14 of 14
A Romantic Loggia
This house created a loggia with arched openings to face the tranquility of the pool. Soft, romantic lighting is installed in the long passageway.