How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (2023)

For many of us, our patios are the central hub of our backyards – it's where we entertain loved ones, cook alfresco, and soak up the sun's rays. Giving it a luxurious look will make it more enjoyable to spend time in, for both you and your guests – and with a few simple design tips, it's easier than you might think.

Sure, a bigger budget can help to achieve a high-end look, but this doesn't have to be the case. Even if you're looking to splash less cash on your patio makeover, there are ways to create a considered, cohesive space.

5 ways to create a luxe look for your patio

The home improvement experts share their insights on ways to elevate an outdoor living space.

1. Choose landscaping materials that feel luxurious

How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (1)

(Image credit: Mabo / Alamy Stock Photo)

The foundation for an expensive-looking patio – quite literally – is the material you use underfoot. This sets the tone for the entire space, and affects how practical it is, too, so it's well worth investing in.

True, pavers generally cost more than poured concrete, but they go a long way in elevating the look of a patio, and there are tons of styles available for a range of budgets. Large-format, porcelain pavers are particularly well-suited to chic, modern backyards, while natural stone has timeless appeal and a more textured, naturalistic look. 'Opt for a classic style, such as flagstone or slate, or go for a more exotic look with travertine or limestone,' suggests Jacky Chou (opens in new tab) from, an editorial magazine about architecture, home and garden.

Todd Saunders, the CEO of FlooringStores (opens in new tab), recommends adding a touch of creativity into your paving choices. This could be as simple as using an interesting paver pattern, or setting a border around the space with pavers in a complementary hue. He also suggests interspersing pavers with gravel, which will offer a more unique and textural look while improving drainage. Planting low-growing ground cover plants between the slabs is a further option and will offer a splash of vibrant green.

Composite decking is another patio material that gives off a luxury vibe, and will retain its smart appearance for longer than timber decks, which are prone to rot over time.

If concrete is more suited to your budget, however, try stamping or painting it with design elements to make it more sophisticated without breaking the bank, suggests Joe Raboine (opens in new tab) of Belgard.

Once your outdoor flooring has been selected, allow it to inform your choices for other features around the space. For instance, you may want to include a half wall nearby in the same texture or color as the floor for a sense of harmony.

2. Combine neutral tones for a timeless color palette

How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (2)


(Image credit: John Lewis)

'A cohesive color scheme can make your patio feel more polished and put-together,' says Jonathan Faccone (opens in new tab), Founder of Halo Homebuyers. He suggests using two or three complementary colors throughout your patio design, including in your furniture, accents, and decor.

Carmelo Carrasco (opens in new tab), Interior Designer and Realtor of Axel Property Management, agrees, recommending muted shades rather than bright and vibrant tones. 'Neutral colors like white, grays, taupes and beiges can help create a more expensive look that will last for years without looking dated,' he says.

Incorporate different textures to maintain a sense of character and depth within the space. Woven outdoor rugs, soft throws, wood and poly-rattan in similar shades will layer together to create a sophisticated zone that feels considered.

How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (3) (opens in new tab)

Handwoven Zandra Indoor/Outdoor Rug | $78 – $1,298 from Anthropologie (opens in new tab)
The 'Ivory' colorway of this rug is the perfect option for a neutral palette, combining white and sand tones with a tactile texture and stylish geometric design.

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How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (4)

Jonathan Faccone

Jonathan is a full-time real estate investor, designer, and developer. He is the Managing Member of Halo Homebuyers, a real estate home-buying company based in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and doing business throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. For over 11 years, Halo has been redeveloping distressed properties and beautifying neighborhoods with attention to design aesthetics and quality craftsmanship.

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3. Invest in fuss-free furniture designs

How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (5)

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

Functional outdoor furniture is a must for a patio, and its design will dramatically impact the overall look of the space.

'Invest in high-quality furniture with luxurious textures and comfortable seating,' recommends Jacky. 'Add plush cushions, throws, and pillows for comfort and style.'

(Video) How to make your outdoor patio space feel more expensive

Jonathan agrees on making the investment where you can, recommending durable, weather-resistant materials like teak, aluminum, or resin wicker. He's an advocate for elegant designs with clean lines.

Carmelo agrees with a more pared-back approach, advising to go with classic designs with fewer frills. This will help create a sophisticated look that won't date over time, he adds.

Don't forget the power of an outdoor rug – it's the perfect finishing touch to a patio space and can instantly add that luxe feel, while defining the area. 'You can either purchase a high-quality outdoor rug or create your own using stencils and outdoor paint,' suggests Jonathan.

How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (6) (opens in new tab)

Coren Indoor/Outdoor Chaise | $2,099 from Lulu & Georgia (opens in new tab)
Relax in style on this contemporary lounger, made with FSC-certified teak. It's available in two chic shades – gray and sand – and the fabric is durable and easy to clean.

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4. Add a water feature for a soothing focal point

How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (7)

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs)

Adding a water feature to your patio will instantly create a Zen-like vibe. Stick to simple designs for a luxurious feel: think sculptural water bowls, water walls, or globe-shaped designs nestled onto pebbles.

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'The benefits of outdoor water features are many,' says Loren Taylor (opens in new tab) of The Soothing Company. 'They are an art piece; make amazing background noise (especially if you are trying to block out unwanted noises from next-door neighbors or busy nearby streets); and can really be a focal point of the patio.'

Surround your water feature with greenery for an enhanced sense of nature – large patio containers of ornamental grasses or foliage plants such as Fatsia japonica work well.

5. Light up the space

How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (8)

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

'Lighting can transform the ambiance of your patio and make it feel more expensive,' says Jonathan. 'Hang a beautiful chandelier or pendant light over your dining area, install wall sconces or string lights to create a cozy atmosphere, or place lanterns on side tables to add a romantic touch.'

Strips of LED lights tucked beneath garden step risers will add an inviting glow while upping the safety after dark, while spotlights tucked amongst containers will show off plants and create interesting shadows. Recessed spotlights within pavers are another option that offers an elevated, sleek look – just ensure they're evenly spaced.

The trick is to stick to soft, warm lights and layer them up for a balanced, welcoming effect.

How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space (9) (opens in new tab)

Filomena Indoor/Outdoor Sconce | $348 from Lulu & Georgia (opens in new tab)
This wall light, made from aluminum and seeded glass, will instantly elevate a sheltered patio wall with its modern design. There are one- and two-bulb options to choose between.

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Even with the above advice put into place, it's essential to clean your patio regularly to keep it looking fresh – after all, dirt and grime aren't conducive to a high-end vibe.

And another tip? Keep any eyesores out of sight: trellises covered in fragrant climbing plants make a beautiful botanical screen that can disguise a nearby compost bin, trash can, or an ugly garden wall.


How to make a patio look expensive – 5 ways to create a luxurious outdoor living space? ›

Fresh Paint will make your Home look Expensive

Light airy neutral paint colors make a room look expensive. Choose from white, beige (yes beige is back!), cream and off-white colors. Dark brown and black are also on trend so will make your interiors look more upscale as well.

How can I make my deck look expensive? ›

If you are also looking for backyard deck ideas that merge luxury with comfort, then these expert tips are for you.
  1. 10 ways to make the deck look expensive. ...
  2. Add a unique fireplace. ...
  3. Consider furniture pieces in interesting materials. ...
  4. Bring in a rug. ...
  5. Landscape the deck with exotic plants. ...
  6. Install a hot tub.
Mar 28, 2023

What colors make a house look expensive? ›

Fresh Paint will make your Home look Expensive

Light airy neutral paint colors make a room look expensive. Choose from white, beige (yes beige is back!), cream and off-white colors. Dark brown and black are also on trend so will make your interiors look more upscale as well.

How can I maximize my outdoor living space? ›

10 Ways to Improve Your Outdoor Living Space
  1. Install Lighting. You don't have to hire an electrician to add ambient lighting to your patio. ...
  2. Create Different Living Areas. ...
  3. Fire Pit. ...
  4. Potted Plants and Herbs. ...
  5. Install a Flagstone Patio. ...
  6. Install a Fountain. ...
  7. Add Pillows and Rugs. ...
  8. Install Alternative Seating.
Jun 8, 2018

How can I make my outdoor patio more inviting? ›

Fences, garden walls, shrubbery and trees all provide privacy and help establish a serene atmosphere. Lattice, pergolas and arbors adorned with fragrant climbing vines are creative ways to help define outdoor spaces, screen views of neighboring homes and add instant character to your space.

What adds more value a deck or patio? ›

Both a deck and a patio offer an impressive resale value. However, patios are usually less expensive, and their resale value is 100%—slightly higher than a deck's 76% resale value.

Should a deck be lighter or darker? ›

Darker decks are easier to clean since they show less wear and tear than lighter-colored decks. Brown, black and gray are the best choices for easy-cleaning colors. Can you stain a deck yourself? Staining a deck is a project most DIYers can tackle.

How do I make my deck look like an oasis? ›

This can be done by planting trees or shrubs around the deck's perimeter, hanging curtains or blinds, or installing lattice panels. Adding privacy will make your deck feel like a personal oasis where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors without feeling like you're on display.

What is the most expensive material for patio? ›

Material Choices

Paving your patio will likely be your biggest landscaping expense. Concrete is typically the lowest cost option, while stone is the most expensive option.

What makes a patio look bigger? ›

Maximize patio space with your furniture layout

Use modern smaller scale furniture to make your patio appear larger. Light colors such as pale gray, white or driftwood for furniture and hard landscaping gives a more expansive feel.

What is the most popular patio styles? ›

The rectilinear patio is the most popular shape. It's often easier to create a square or rectangular patio, partly because the majority of pavers are a rectilinear design. By choosing this shape patio, you have more freedom when choosing a paver style. Rectilinear patio shapes lend a more contemporary feel.

What exterior color house sells the fastest? ›

"Generally, going with neutral colors like shades of white, beige, taupe, and grays lead to a faster sale," she shares. "Neutral colors are also more appealing to potential buyers because many want the creative freedom of a blank canvas to add their personal touches to when looking for a new place to call home.

What color combination makes you look expensive? ›

7. Color combinations of black, beige, brown, gray, white and pastel colors. We believe that the colors listed above can be the easiest way to instantly change your outfit so that it looks more expensive.

Do outdoor living spaces add value? ›

Having a well-maintained yard, an attractive exterior, and functional outdoor living spaces can all add up to a big boost in value.

How much should I spend on an outdoor living space? ›

The Cost Of An Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor living spaces cost anywhere from $35,000 to $125,000 and up. The cost mainly depends on the total square footage, overall design, structure choice, materials, upgrades, and accessibility.

What is an outdoor living space called? ›

A deck, porch, patio, 3-season room, or sunroom – all these offer outdoor living opportunities.

What can I add to outdoor space? ›

17 Outdoor Living Space Ideas to Update Your Yard, Deck, or Patio
  • 01 of 17. Create Levels. ...
  • 02 of 17. Hang Unique Lighting. ...
  • 03 of 17. Put Up a Pergola. ...
  • 04 of 17. Make the Fireplace a Focal Point. ...
  • 05 of 17. Add a Stylish Privacy Wall. ...
  • 06 of 17. Add a Fresh Twist on a Pergola. ...
  • 07 of 17. Include a Spot to Swing. ...
  • 08 of 17.
Mar 14, 2023

What makes a patio cozy? ›

Add Cozy Cushions, Throw pillows, throws, as well as an Outdoor Rug. It does take a bit of work to keep an open outdoor area clean all the time, but so worth it for outdoor relaxing and seating for a group. Cushions and pillows add that soft goods factor that you definitely want when you're outdoors relaxing.

How can I make my patio look nice on a budget? ›

Fill the spaces with a soft groundcover like moss. Create a gravel patio: Clear a patch of grass in your yard using a cultivator, then lay landscaping fabric and fill the space with gravel. This is one of the most affordable options for a patio space, especially when you need large backyard ideas on a budget.

What exterior adds the most value? ›

Steel Front Door

The front door is one of the most important elements for curb appeal and first impressions. According to the report, replacing your existing door with a steel door averages a 75 percent return on investment.

Which is more expensive a deck or concrete patio? ›

It's cheaper to build a concrete patio in terms of both the initial cost to lay a concrete patio, as well as its cost of maintenance over time. A concrete patio costs only $4 per square foot, while a deck costs roughly $6 per square foot for lower-cost pressure treated lumber.

What is the best value patio surface? ›

Gravel is the cheapest option when looking to create a patio on a budget. Otherwise, pebbles or reclaimed materials are also good options. If you're set on laying paving slabs, concrete is one of the cheapest materials, and when installed and maintained correctly, it can hold up well and last for years.

What color should my deck be if my house is gray? ›

If a home is clad in lighter gray siding, then a dark gray deck can look absolutely stunning. However, for darker gray designs, you'll want to consider a lighter deck color like tan or a lighter wood hue as it creates a truly one-of-a-kind look.

Should decking smile up or down? ›

In truth, the answer is very simple. Lay deck boards so that the best-looking face is facing up! Wood is stable when its moisture content is held above 30%(fiber saturation point). As wood dries below 30% it shrinks.

How do I turn my backyard into an oasis on a budget? ›

Here are my top 10 tips for turning any outdoor space into an oasis, no matter your square footage or budget.
  1. Set the mood with string lights. ...
  2. Make your space more private. ...
  3. Create a seating zone… ...
  4. … ...
  5. Add plants (real and fake). ...
  6. Tie the room together with an outdoor rug. ...
  7. Get a sprayer nozzle for your hose.
May 12, 2022

How do I make my backyard feel cozy? ›

In addition to areas for outdoor dining and entertaining, a place to relax is key. A hammock provides a snug spot for an afternoon nap when strung up between two trees or deck posts. A chaise longue is ideal for sunbathing or lounging with a book. Add plenty of outdoor pillows or cushions to boost comfort.

How do I make my patio look like a room? ›

  1. Put down a rug. An outdoor rug makes a patio feel like a room instantly because it creates the feeling of a floor. ...
  2. Design areas for specific functions. ...
  3. Furnish the patio as you would an indoor room. ...
  4. Create an outdoor ceiling. ...
  5. Hang art. ...
  6. Add a fire feature. ...
  7. Decorate with lighting. ...
  8. Put plants on it.
Jul 15, 2022

What is the best thing to put on a deck? ›

Use Wood Sealant

Clear wood sealants are a great way to maintain the natural beauty and wood grain while still preventing damage from rot, mold, and other weathering. Sealing is a great option for any homeowner as it is able to be done by yourself.

What do you put between a concrete patio and a house? ›

Simply put, if water can enter the gaps between your house and concrete, it can cause problems down the line. Caulking these gaps is a proactive way to prevent not only water damage and future concrete settling, but can also help keep pests to a minimum.

What colors go best with outdoor concrete patio? ›

Many homeowners tend to favor natural earth-toned color schemes for their concrete patios, such as browns, tans, and terra-cotta reds. These neutral colors blend in beautifully with most landscapes and exterior home colors.

How can I make the exterior of my house look expensive? ›

Talking about greenery, one of the most obvious and most effective ways to boost curb appeal is to add some fresh plants and flowers. To add to your home's exterior appearance, you don't have to create a whole garden – simply add some planters to accentuate and frame key visual points, like windows and entryways.

How can I make the outside of my house look more expensive? ›

11 ways to make your house look expensive from the outside
  1. Carry out a deep clean.
  2. Refresh the front door.
  3. Add ambient lighting to the entrance.
  4. Introduce more greenery.
  5. Revive tired-looking window frames.
  6. Give glass panes a makeover.
  7. Update your house sign.
  8. Tend to the lawn.
Jan 29, 2023

What exterior colors make a house look expensive? ›

What colors make a house look expensive?
  • Embrace the quiet beauty of beige.
  • Add impact with contrasting color.
  • Be inspired by nature with an earthy green.
  • Adopt a heritage yellow.
  • Go for a strong, confident red.
  • Reintroduce brown to your home.
  • FAQs.
Apr 8, 2023

Which exterior renovation adds the most value to a house? ›

The front door is one of the most important elements for curb appeal and first impressions. According to the report, replacing your existing door with a steel door averages a 75 percent return on investment.

What features make a home more expensive? ›

Age and condition. Typically, homes that are newer appraise at a higher value. The fact that critical parts of the house, like plumbing, electrical, the roof, and appliances are newer and therefore less likely to break down, can generate savings for a buyer.

What makes house looks cheap? ›

Below we share what makes a house look cheap as well as expert advice on how to avoid it.
  • Matching flatpack furniture. (Image credit: Styling Katrin Cargill / photograph jan Baldwin) ...
  • Inconsistent flooring. ...
  • Too much clutter. ...
  • Avoid overdoing chintz. ...
  • Disproperitionate furniture. ...
  • The wrong sized rug. ...
  • Unlined curtains.
Aug 11, 2022

How can I make my house feel luxurious on a budget? ›

Simple, affordable ways to make your house feel more luxurious
  1. Try a trim. ...
  2. Stick to organic materials. ...
  3. Eat at a table. ...
  4. Drink out of something beautiful. ...
  5. Give a little love to your laundry. ...
  6. Consider scents.
Nov 3, 2022

What is most cost effective for landscaping? ›

20 Cheap Landscaping Ideas
  1. Add a walkway. Nancy Buron, Pixabay. ...
  2. Save with perennials. Coreopsis / JamesDeMers / Pixabay. ...
  3. Spread some mulch. F. D. Richards, CC BY-SA 2.0. ...
  4. Plant flowers around your mailbox. Mohan Nannapaneni, Pixabay. ...
  5. Plant a tree sapling. ...
  6. Raise your garden bed. ...
  7. Repurpose items as planters. ...
  8. Landscape with lighting.
May 9, 2022

What is the least expensive landscaping material? ›

Crushed concrete, resin pieces, or river stones are all great options for the budget-conscious homeowner. River stones are one of the cheapest landscaping rocks you can buy, you can often find them for only a couple of dollars per pound.

What color makes a house look bigger outside? ›

Making the exterior of your home a light color is the best way to make your home look larger, brighter, and more inviting. Light colors such as white, ivory, pale gray, and sage green reflect higher amounts of light than dark colors, tricking the eye into perceiving the home as larger than it is.

How can I make my house look classy? ›

How to Make a Room Look More Elegant
  1. Add some lighting fixtures. Save. ...
  2. Try a dark paint color. Save. ...
  3. Don't forget to accessorize. Save. ...
  4. Add window treatments. Save. ...
  5. Decorate with plants & flowers. Save. ...
  6. Metallic finishes always looks good. Save.


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