If you think of your patio as an extension of your home, instead of a separate space, you will approach patio design with a different mindset.
A comfortable outdoor patio can be used throughout the day and night for a variety of activities.
You may start your day with a cup of coffee and the morning paper. You may want to curl up in a spot of sun to nap or read your favorite novel.
You may want to create a mini kitchen garden with an array of herbs, tomatoes and flowers. The choices here are endless, from huge variety of pots and planters, to hanging baskets or even a planting "wall."
Retractable awnings can be used to control sun and shade areas. They can also be used as privacy barriers especially on condo or apartment decks and patios.
While the colors you choose within your home may be subdued and subtle, you can experiment and have fun with your outdoor space. Try adding bright colors such as oranges and tangerines as well as yellow of all hues. Experiment with texture and especially with light.
Your night time color scheme could include patio lights in various yellows and whites or a blast of your favorite blue.