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Backyard Patio Ideas for a Cozy Outdoor Space

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Hi friends! Today I’m sharing 10 backyard patio ideas to help make your outdoor space more inviting. When we purchased our home in 2019, I was unsure of how to create a cozy outdoor living space. Our backyard is a place that we spend a LOT of time with our kiddos, and we wanted to be as comfortable outside as we are in. I kept adding decor in hopes of bringing the space to life, but it honestly just felt like I was adding and not actually creating the cozy patio that I wanted.

Over time, I’ve been able to narrow my must-haves for creating a comfortable outdoor patio. Less is truly more in this case, and I’ve discovered that there are a just a few staple things that you need to make your patio a restful, cozy haven for you and your family.

So with no further ado, here are a few backyard patio ideas for make your outdoor space more inviting!

cozy patio

Below is our backyard when we first purchased. As you can see, FULL sun and very little going on. So let’s dive in to what we did to make our backyard a place that we WANT to spend time in.


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1. Add a Pergola or Retractable Shade.

Out patio was just a concrete slab when we moved in. After our first summer of having zero shade in the backyard, we decided that a pergola was a must for us if we wanted to actually enjoy being outside! So if you have an uncovered back patio, this first one is really for you.

We have a blog post here on how we built our pergola.

Alternatively, you can purchase pergola kits that just need assembly!

2. Invest in or DIY nice and comfortable outdoor furniture.

This is a big one. My deal-loving self had a hard time biting the bullet on a nice furniture set. But I can’t stress enough how much this will really be the base of creating an outdoor area that you want to be in! If you are looking to purchase used furniture, Spring time is the perfect time to be searching your local FB Marketplace for furniture sets that people are clearing out.

We ended up finding a deal through Joss & Main on ours, and unfortunately it is no longer sold. However, here a few along a similar vein at Amazon!

We are also a big fan of classic Adirondack chairs. We have these on our front porch and back patio. They are affordable and comfortable – win-win!

It should be noted that outdoor wooden furniture takes some care. We purchased covers for ours and keep it covered unless we are outdoors. Linking these below! We also sand and re-stain them every couple of years to keep them looking new.

I have a post for re-storing outdoor, wooden furniture here. It’s super easy!

3. Throw in an outdoor rug.

We found our 8×10 patio rug on Marketplace and it has lasted us 3 seasons already. This really helps our outdoor space to feel like a living room. And let’s be honest, it’s way more comfortable on the feet than concrete!

We just roll it up when winter comes and bring it back out for the following Spring. We powerwash it a couple of times a year. This powerwasher is very affordable and similar to what we have.

4. Add interesting and warm lighting.

Adding string lights to our pergola probably does more for adding warmth and coziness to our space than anything else. If you don’t have a pergola and would like to add string lights, you can always build garden posts and string them around the space! Lots of DIY’s on this via pinterest.

We zig-zagged bistro string lights across the top of our pergola, and it is one of my favorite parts. I truly do not think it would be as cozy or inviting without them. These are the Amazon bistro lights we love! They hold up SO well.

Alternatively, you could add lanterns, solar lights, candles, electric candles, etc. The sky is the limit!

5. Add a fire pit, fire column, or outdoor fireplace.

We LOVE our fire column for the early mornings and evenings. It is the perfect way to bring inside coziness outside and is so easy to use. I’m linking one like ours (I can’t find our exact one anymore sadly), as well as a couple of others below.

In terms of backyard patio ideas, this one has helped so much with creating the cozy feel I was after.

patio ideas
backyard patio ideas

Here is one I’ve found that is incredibly similar to what we have!

6. Incorporate real and/or faux plants and flowers.

I love to mix faux and real plants in containers. I do much better with faux flowers in containers, I’ll be honest!


If you go the real plant route, I am a big fan of boxwoods for containers. They are harder to kill and thrive in both sun and shade.

cozy outdoor patio
This was our porch last summer where I planted real boxwoods and yews. You can see the blog post on our summer porch here!

I also like to take cuttings of plants that do well in full sun and plants them in small pots to go outside for the summer. My Hoya Carnosa is perfect for this!

cozy outdoor patio


You can make faux flowers look more realistic by “potting them” with real potting soil. I usually fill up the bottom of the container with a box or some kind of paper, and then fill the top with potting soil so that it’s not heavy or using a ton of unnecessary potting soil. Looks pretty realistic, huh? 🙂

backyard patio ideas

I picked the “plant” above because of its size and “spreadability.” It was also 50% off at Hobby Lobby for only $4. This is the one!

TIP: Look for plants with stems that you can “fluff” out and bend to make them look more realistic. You don’t want them to be perfectly straight or proportional. It’s the unpredictability of the stems that makes it look realistic!

beautiful patio
Add real potting soil to a potted faux plant to make it more realistic

7. Consider landscaping around your outdoor area.

Landscaping around our concrete patio made a world of difference. It really tied everything together for our outdoor space!

We were able landscape for less than $100 with affordable brick as edging, mulch, and Andora Juniper from Home Depot. We chose Andora Juniper because it’s such a tough plant, and we have kids driving little jeeps around in our backyard. These have been run over many times and still thrive!

Our pup, Charlie, next to the juniper for size reference – hehe 🙂 I appreciated that these were already a pretty good size when we purchased!

8. Sprinkle in outdoor throw pillows and thin blankets.

These little touches make all the difference, and here is where you can make or break it! I like to go all out with this. Drape a blanket over the side of a chair. Have a basket where you store blankets specifically meant for outdoor use. Have at least 1 pillow per chair and 2 pillows per couch.

Go the extra mile with these comfort touches, because they really make all the difference.

cozy patio

An alternative to outdoor throw pillows is using indoor throw pillows and spraying them well with Scotchguard. I did this to some of our old throw pillows last summer and they have held up just fine.

backyard patio ideas

9. Add an outdoor fan!

We purchased this fan last summer to mount to the side of our pergola and it has truly changed our summer world. This thing is powerful and really cools the space down.

10. If you have a pergola, consider additional shade (if needed).

Our pergola provides amazing overhead shade morning to midday, but in the afternoon/evenings the sun shines directly in. We fixed that by adding pull-down shades and curtains. The curtains were a lucky Marketplace find, but the shades can be found at Home Depot.

We also stapled shade fabric to the top of our pergola that’s been a lifesaver. Linking it here!

backyard patio ideas

Hopefully this list of backyard patio ideas helps you create your own cozy outdoor living space! This has helped our patio feel like another room in our home, and honestly makes being outside way more fun!

Until next time,

Looking for more outdoor project ideas? Check out these posts!

How to Build a Pergola

Refinish an Exterior Wooden Fence

Refinish Outdoor Patio Furniture (In One Afternoon!)

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