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See past redesigns for more advice on updating your space.
Schomer and her husband have a 24-by-15-foot oval patio. "This is an important extension of our living areas," Schomer writes via e-mail, and it "needs some fresh ideas for furniture and garden pot placement." The Schomers entertain on the patio and eat outdoors when it's warm and dry. As an elderly couple, they'd like furniture that is easy to move, easy to get out of and durable.
Classic furniture in neutral colors complements the landscape without stealing the spotlight from the garden. Select fabrics that are fade-, stain- and mildew-resistant and furniture that can withstand the elements. With a large patio, create multiple conversation areas with movable seating, so areas can be expanded when entertaining. Incorporate an existing bistro set and planters by painting them black.