7 Patio Designs That’ll Match Your Fave Summer Cocktail

Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner. As the temperature rises and the sun stays out longer, we're more inclined to spend most of our waking hours outdoors. After all, a Netflix binge session doesn't hold a candle to a great breeze, warm sunshine, and the smell of freshly cut grass.

Since you're in the midst of planning your summer activities, now's as good a time as any to update your patio with small, yet impactful, design tweaks. Below are seven stylish patio design ideas that will help kick off summer on the right foot. And once you're done doing the heavy lifting, go ahead and unwind with a refreshing cocktail that will complement your new space.

1. Throw Some Shade

Very few things can ruin a beautiful summer day like a bad sunburn. You could add an umbrella to your outdoor dining set, but a retractable awning feels considerably chicer. Let U.K.-based blogger Jess from Gold is a Neutral show you how it's done. Depending on your space and type of awning you choose, this tweak might elicit some sticker shock; however, it's an investment you can enjoy for many years to come.

Cocktail Combination: There's something about a chic awning that makes us feel like we're on a European holiday. Satisfy your wanderlust with an au courant Aperol Spritz by Kathryne from Cookie and Kate.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 ounces prosecco

  • 3 ounces Aperol

  • 1 ounce club soda

  • Orange wheel

  • Ice

2. Stylish Seats

Maybe you've already decorated your outdoor patio to your liking, but you want to give it a small refresh this year. Shake things up by adding new bistro chairs, like these stylish seats by Sarah from Life on Virginia Street. It's a quick fix, plus an awesome opportunity to experiment with different textures.

Cocktail Combination: The only other thing that can bring a group together like a beautiful sitting area? A large pitcher of red wine sangria compliments of Minimalist Baker.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 medium apple (cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces)

  • 1/2 medium orange (rind on, sliced into small pieces, large seeds removed, plus more for garnish)

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of organic brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup orange juice

  • 1/3 cup brandy

  • 1 750 milliliter bottle of dry Spanish red wine

  • 1 cup ice

3. Layer Up

There's a good chance your living room sofa is strategically layered in throw pillows and blankets, so why should your deck be any different? As this backyard dining area from Chris Loves Julia proves, layering rugs and table runners on your patio can bring a cozy, inviting vibe to the great outdoors.

Cocktail Combination: Go big or go home with this tequila sunrise from Chungah over at Damn Delicious. The subtle ombre in this cocktail will pair nicely with your layered sanctuary.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice

  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice

  • 1 cup blanco tequila

  • 1/4 cup grenadine syrup

4. Tiled Treatment

Psst ... there are more options for your patio's hardscape than concrete or brick. We love how Emily Henderson injected some much-needed color into this space with a beautiful, tiled floor. Don't want to spend the time and money redoing the flooring in your backyard? You can fake your way to an eye-catching patio with tile decals. Just be sure to read our tips before you take peel-and-stick tiles outside.

Cocktail Combination: Want your outdoor patio to pack a punch? You'll need a bold cocktail to match. Not only does this blue Hawaiian by Krystle from Baking Beauty serve up some seriously tropical vibes, but its bright hue also matches the tiling Henderson used in this cheery space.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 ounce coconut rum

  • 1 ounce blue Curacao liqueur

  • 2 ounces pineapple juice

  • 1 cup crushed ice

  • 1 pineapple slice

  • 1 maraschino cherry

5. Pretty Plants

outdoor patio area with sofas and coffee table
credit: Monika Hibbs

Attention all green thumbs: This is the outdoor patio idea for you. Sure, your entire backyard might be covered in grass, trees, and bushes, but who's to say you can't bring some leafy greens to your patio, too? The addition of potted trees and plants in this dreamy space belonging to Monika Hibbs warms up the area, blurring the lines between man-made and Mother Nature. Plus, it's a great excuse to flex your gardening muscles this summer.

Cocktail Combination: A refreshing mojito is the perfect pairing for your foliage-filled patio. Just don't forget to add some mint!

Things You'll Need

  • Ice

  • 6 ounces light rum

  • 12 mint sprigs or spearmint (8 broken apart)

  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 4 tablespoons sugar

  • 4 slices of lime

  • Club soda

6. Keep It Light

white outdoor patio seating area in front of fireplace with hanging chair and sofas
credit: Studio McGee

Repeat after us: You don't have to sacrifice your style during the summer. While bright colors are practically synonymous with the sunny season, a bold palette isn't everyone's taste. If your aesthetic skews more minimal, bring light and airy vibes to your outdoor space with light-wood furniture and neutral hues. Let Shea from Studio McGee teach you how it's done.

Cocktail Combination: The light-colored wood and off-white fabric oozes chill, laidback vibes. Bring that ease to your home bar with a grapefruit margarita like this one from Monika Hibbs.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 ounces of tequila or mezcal

  • 3 ounces grapefruit juice

  • Squeeze of fresh lime

  • 1 to 2 slices of jalapeño

  • Lime wedges (for garnish)

  • Himalayan pink salt (for the rim)

7. Dotted Decor

rooftop outdoor patio seating area with sectional sofa and round area rug
credit: Sugar & Cloth

Or, if you're looking to spice up your space, upholster the furniture in a funky pattern with a neutral color scheme. We can't help but smile when we look at Ashley from Sugar & Cloth's rooftop patio makeover in this adorable polka-dot print; however, the black-and-white palette keeps this setup from feeling juvenile.

Cocktail Combination: Between the polka-dot pattern and pink accent pillows, this fun idea basically screams rosé all day, and Camille Styles has the perfect homemade "Frosé" recipe to get you started.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 750 milliliter bottle of rosé

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup strawberries (halved)

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish


Kelsey Mulvey

Kelsey Mulvey

Kelsey Mulvey is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor. Her work has been featured in Lonny, Apartment Therapy, and Wallpaper*, among others.