Punch Up Your Patio with Color-

Color Basics

Gradient Line

Here are a few color design basics that should help you bring your patio to a more colorful, vibrant life.

Choose no more than three colors for any decor—a main color, a secondary color and an accent color.  Having a hierarchy of colors is an easy way to maintain balance. Keeping colors in balance is important to draw the eye through the space.  The rule of thirds works well.  This is the proportion of two-thirds of your main color, one third of your secondary color.  Accent color should be just that.  A little splash here and there will providevisual movement for a pleasing design.

Warm Color Chart
Warm Colors

Cool Color Chart
Cool Colors


Hot or cold?  You have a choice of warm colors and cool colors. Professional designers are adept at blending warm and cool colors, but for the sake of simplicity pick the color range that fits your personal style best.  You really can’t go wrong if you stick with one range (warm or cool)..  Advanced color theory, with information on analogous and complimentary colors is available here if you want to do more research or venture further into the science of color. 

For a bold statement use only one bold color.  Less is more when it comes to spicing up neutral spaces.  If you have a lot of neutral tones on your patio, you will want to use an accented neutral color scheme.  One thing to take into account is the warm or cool tones of your neutrals.  A lot of brick is warm.  A lot of concrete is cool.  An accent color from the opposite family will be foolproof in this instance.

Another time to use one color is when you have an eclectic collection of odds and ends.  To bring things together you will want a unifying element.  Using one bright color will tie in all the other elements to create a stylish whole.  This allows you to find those sustainable and ‘shabby chic’ outdoor furnishings at flea markets or craigslist.org and still keep your patio in fashionable.   It also makes it easy to change your look when you need to freshen things up.

For patio colors, as with many other decorating challenges, simple is best.  Keeping these three easy guidelines will give a polished, fashion look to your patio.  Enjoy your venture into color!



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