Clarksburg resident Colleen Bennet uses her back deck for grilling and entertaining, but she wants another spot to relax and entertain on the small patio by her basement door. Bennet wants a coastal style that isn’t kitschy, along with extra seating.

Colleen Bennet’s patio. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Designer April Force Pardoe picks seating and accessories in greens, blues and whites for a nautical look, and includes a buffet for food and drinks.Pardoe, of AFP Interiors (410-782-0762,, is based in Elkridge.

The solution. (Illustration by Julius Goyanko)

Use the foundation wall as a backdrop for lanterns and art, bringing some life to an otherwise dark corner.

A light, small bistro set in green adds color and can be easily moved closer to the seating area for larger parties.

Ground the seating area with an outdoor rug. This one has a touch of nautical design with starfish.

Mix materials and finishes, such as metal, glass and stained and painted woods, to create a relaxed, collected-over-time look.


Furniture: Hampstead buffet in white ($1,099,; Aviano
24-inch round glass-top table ($300,; Baxter coffee table ($167,; Madison sofa ($1,199), Madison lounge chair ($599), both from

Accessories: Nine-foot round outdoor market umbrella in Gingko with champagne frame ($299,; Madison replacement cushions in Canopy Stripe Navy and Sand ($149-$189) and outdoor piped throw pillows in Nantucket Stripe Blue, Navy and Trellis Kiwi ($25-$45), all from; Hyannis bronze-finish lanterns ($19 for small,; copper rail fire pit ($109,; Nice indoor/outdoor canvas print by Ernesto Rodriguez ($200 for 40-by-40-inch print,


Neille Olson Mosaics Ocean Waves Collection (Frontgate/Frontgate)

Surya Rain RAI113 Indoor / Outdoor Area Rug (Hayneedle/Hayneedle)

Ocean Waves round bistro table with black finish ($849 for 30-inch table,

Surya Rain RAI113 indoor/outdoor rug in Peacock Blue ($690 for
8-by-10-foot rug,

. . . OR SAVE

Outdoor Sol 3 piece Bistro Set (Sears/Sears)

Oriental Weavers Caspian Floral Medallion Indoor Outdoor Rug (Kohl's/Kohl's)

Outdoor Sol three-piece bistro set in green ($195,

Caspian floral medallion indoor-outdoor rug in green ($500 for
8-by-11-foot rug,

See past room makeovers by local designers at

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