(The Washington Post)

Beverly Tomb loves the 16-by-16-foot deck and adjacent patio outside her Falls Church, Va., home. She enjoys retreating there in the evenings with a glass of wine to look at the wooded surroundings, and she loves the glass and wood balustrades around the perimeter. Tomb wants to create a more comfortable, functional space for relaxing and entertaining.

(Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Designer Kenneth Byrd uses multiple conversational groupings on the deck and patio and adds a dining area to create a space that works for entertaining guests. He suggests a serene color palette with soft yellows and blues to highlight — but not distract from — the natural surroundings.

(Interior rendering by Richman Studio/For The Washington Post)

Choose a neutral color for larger pieces, such as the sectional, love seat and chairs. They are an investment and need to remain relevant as long as possible, and neutrals will better weather changes in design trends. Bring in color, pattern and texture with accent pillows, area rugs and other accessories that can easily be switched out. It’s a cost-effective way to update your space. Prioritize durability when selecting outdoor furniture. Strong materials, such as teak and wrought iron, will wear better than aluminum and less-dense woods. Items meant for covered patios can’t be saturated in rain and sun all the time, so place furniture carefully. Covering or storing cushions when not in use will increase their life span. Plants enhance any space. They help soften a design and clean the air, and they bring life and color to your space, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. A sailcloth shade over the seating and dining area is an interesting visual element and provides a respite from the sun. The material will hold up much better than a standard umbrella. String a few strands of cafe lights and use lanterns with candles to create a nice ambiance. Fire pits and flame heaters add visual interest and warmth.

(Courtesy of Kenneth Byrd Design)

Byrd, with Kenneth Byrd Design (804-244-9904, kennethbyrddesign.com), is based in Richmond.


(Restoration Hardware; Birch Lane)

SPLURGE: Provence luxe right-arm L-sectional in terra with dove Perennials Performance textured linen weave ($5,610, restorationhardware.com), left. SAVE: Coast six-piece rattan sectional seating group with cushions ($883.00, birchlane.com).

(Article; Hayneedle)

SPLURGE: Tavola table in vintage brown ($1,799, article.com), left. SAVE: Carlisle wood patio dining table ($300.04, hayneedle.com).


Furniture: Cureton outdoor patio chairs with cushions ($425.99 for two) and outdoor deep two-piece seating group with cushions ($379.99), both from wayfair.com; 49-inch Willow rectangle propane fire pit ($652.99) and Raeburn rope and wood patio dining chairs ($150.00 each), both from hayneedle.com; Portola three-piece rattan conversation set with cushions ($424.99, birchlane.com).

Accessories: 6-by-9-foot outdoor patio rugs in blue ($111 each, esalerugs.com); Shade sail 16-by-16-foot triangle in sea blue heavyweight fabric ($69.99, shelterlogic.com); 20-inch resin planters in spa blue and navy blue ($26.48 each) and two-piece 16-by-16-inch toss pillow set in yellow ($24.99), all from lowes.com; Sunbrella fretwork 18-inch square pillows in mist ($36.95 each, pillowsandpillows.com); Bali navy rectangular throw pillows ($67 each, macys.com); 24-socket 48-foot incandescent string light set ($44.97, homedepot.com).

See past room makeovers at washingtonpost.com/housecalls. Tell us about your design challenge. Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com.

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A piano goes out and a bar cart comes in to make a light, bright entertaining space