Creating My Dream Patio

June 14, 2011

Today decor8 columnist Anna-Malin is back to visit us from Sweden sharing her recently redecorated patio. I love seeing how people treat a patio space – some fancy tables and chairs with a big umbrella, others add a water feature or fire pit and still others incorporate hammocks or even build a koi pond. It’s amazing to see the difference from patio-to-patio as you browse magazines and books for outdoor spaces, isn’t it? I think you’ll love Anna-Malin’s patio because it’s more of a second living room and lounge space for relaxing, reading and entertaining during the warmer months and can take her straight into the Autumn. I’ll let her take it from here…

Creating My Dream Patio

Hello everyone it’s Anna-Malin! For my June column I wanted to share my newly decorated outdoor patio because I am very proud of it and feel that it could be an inspiration to many of you who are unsure as to how to decorate your outdoor space. Last summer my husband and I built a wooden frame in the backyard to create a room in our garden area (below). Since we have full sun in our yard all day long we needed a place with some shade for relief! On top of the wooden frame we put branches and twigs to create a rustic, natural ceiling. On the concrete wall to soften it a bit visually, we added a shelf and some wood for vines.

Creating My Dream Patio

This year I bought new furniture — a sofa, a big round table and a chair — all in bamboo. I wanted the feeling to be calm and relaxed
so I added a lot of pillows in a mix of patterns, shapes and colors and I store them when I’m not using the patio to protect from fading and water damage since they are not waterproof. I also bring in the sheep skin when I’m not using my patio. A sheer panel (below – you can’t see it in the photo above) not only looks pretty swaying in the breeze but filters the light as well.

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

By mixing the bamboo furniture with my old white rattan armchairs and a really old bench from the flea market, I achieved the feeling that I was looking for – rustic, modern, clean and very “me”. I like to have a space that feels very personal, even outdoors. The string of lights were added to the fence to give a warm glow at night and lanterns create a romantic ethnic bohemian vibe in the evening along with some good tunes from my iPod.

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

With beautiful weather finally here, this my favorite place right now, especially in the evenings with lots of candles, a cup of tea and a good book. I hope my outdoor space inspired you – do you have a place in your backyard to create something similar? Do you already have a patio that you’ve recently redecorated? You can link it in your comment if you would like to show and tell!

I’ll be back in July with another Handmade Home story from you, until then, goodbye! Anna-Malin Lindgren.


  • Reply Will June 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Seriously this is on.the.money! So good, Anna-Malin. I love the bulb lighting chain and the graphic mix of black and white stripes. The billowing drape sets the scene beautifully, too.

  • Reply Luciane June 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    This is a truly stunning patio! It’s a place to go and just relax at the end of the day, or the middle of it, if you’re lucky! :-)

    Beautiful pictures. Love the mix of different elements.



  • Reply Agne Nananai June 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    If it was mine, I would never go out from there.Very good!

  • Reply amber kane June 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    What an amazing space, I think that I would be content to sit there all day, everyday.

  • Reply Ludmila @ creamylife June 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Oh, this is amazing! Love the clean and relaxing look of this patio!

  • Reply Pammy June 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Ohhhh my! I love this so much. We have a screen porch with some similarities to this, but i’ve been dreaming about creating a pergola made from branches for the far side of the yard. My husband would like the stronger structure of this version, and i like that it’s still rustic-looking. Love the shear curtains as well!

  • Reply Stacey @ Here's to Life June 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Gorgeous! I adore this space!

  • Reply Colleen June 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I absolutely love this. This is exactly the kind of space that I would like to have in my yard. I’m envisioning an outdoor room with mosaic pavers on the floor and a beautiful arbor with grapes growing over it. Unfortunately, I can’t show you a picture yet but you’ve definitely inspired me.

  • Reply Genelle June 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Dreamy! I love the simplicity of it. The decor turns it into a retreat! My husband and I have been planning to build a similar structure in our backyard — now I’ve got the perfect inspiration! Hope it looks as great as this one!

  • Reply Rebecca June 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Such a beautiful patio!

  • Reply Lili Emilia June 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    You have such a lovely place <3 It looks so cosy and summery. I can imagine how beautiful that place is with candels when it's getting darker. Enjoy your time there:)

  • Reply Cyndi June 14, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I love this patio space! I’m just in the process of setting up our patio for the summer and was glad to see the sheer panel since I’m considering a similar treatment. The accessories really cozy up the space – I’d love to spend a lazy afternoon out there.

  • Reply alex June 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Just lovely! Thanks so much for sharing – I’m planning a little front deck and this is great inspiration! Two years ago we converted our carport into a little lounge with comfy furniture and a fire table – it’s my favorite place to hang out but there’s no sun, so time to create a spot in the front of the house :)

  • Reply Sandra June 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Wow, I love it! I love the bamboo couch and I can imagine sitting there a warm summer night enjoying a mojito :-)

  • Reply Samantha June 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I am in love with that top photo of the patio… And i happen to have a thing for lanterns. Ah, summer!

  • Reply Robin Baron June 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I have to agree with all of the comments, this patio is beautiful! The black and white with small splashes of color looks absolutely fantastic. So serene, I would never want to leave either.

  • Reply Julie Khuu June 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Reminds me that I need to get moving on mine! Been dying to host a backyard fete outside but June Gloom’s been rearing it’s ugly head in SoCal…here’s to the promise of a better week! Gorgeous inspiration!

    Peace. Love. LOL!

  • Reply Lauren June 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm



  • Reply Michelle June 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    This is such a wonderful space!

  • Reply Kirsten June 14, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Wow it’s gorgeous! I would love to spend a long weekend sipping tea and reading a good book in a light summery breeze on that patio…

  • Reply Laura June 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Gorgeous!!! Would love to sit out here listening to music with friends! x x x x

  • Reply Tamara, Bella Boho June 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Oh Anna! You created the most perfect outdoor living space, love, love, love it!

  • Reply Karlita June 14, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    wow! I thought I was watching some magazine pictures! great photos and design! so calm and relax.. perfect!

  • Reply desiree - Vosgesparis June 14, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Love the space Anna Malin created. I think I have seen it on her blog before maybe.. or some of it ;) Love the fact we also choosed the same page in the same book to lay open for the picture … I always have my book open at that same page ;)

  • Reply MelanieO June 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Simply lovely. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Yelena June 15, 2011 at 1:39 am

    So beautiful and airy! I love it!!!


  • Reply Kathy C June 15, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Lovely, just lovely! Does your furniture stay outdoors? I would love to redo my patio but it’s huge and I have nowhere to store furniture or even coverings. Any ideas?

  • Reply Kara June 15, 2011 at 2:12 am

    totally divine!

  • Reply Jenny P June 15, 2011 at 3:44 am

    I could start the morning with a cup of coffee and sit all day until it was time for wine!

    Such a beautiful and relaxing space!

  • Reply Melissa Jaine June 15, 2011 at 4:02 am

    I have an undercover outdoor area, that I have done nothing with. Each year I tell myself that I will for summer, but it continues to very dull with nothing but an outdoor table and chairs. I use the excuse that I rent, but that is a ridiculous reason for not making a nice space – I do inside, so why not outside too? Thanks for making me think about it again. :)

  • Reply fenny setiawan June 15, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Lovely patio Anna. I feel I want to be invited by you and we can enjoy a glass of wine during twilight or just a cup of tea to enjoy a morning sun would be perfect too :).
    I wish I have privilege to have patio then absolutely I will steal your idea to decorate mine :). I wish you enjoy the good day at your patio.

  • Reply Ivy June 15, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Beautiful set up. I especially like the glass lantern, that is right up my alley. Did you find it at a flea market or was it in a shop?

  • Reply Barbara June 15, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Great spot! Looks very comfy! I wonder where I could get the strings of lights, here in the states. Lighting can really make a difference!

  • Reply Julie the Alkaline Sister June 15, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I just realized how many times I have scrolled up and down ooogling at this lovely space-at least 10! I wish I could just climb thru the computer screen right into it and chillax! I need to do some fluffing so this was ever so inspiring as I have lots of ideas flowing now, thank you for your lovely column.

  • Reply Erin June 15, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I’m bookmarking this for when I redo my patio. *sigh. Yet another instance when I wish I could copy+paste in real life.

    I especially love the balance of solids and textures of the natural wood ceiling, fence and wicker.

  • Reply dawn June 15, 2011 at 8:26 am

    what a lovely patio!

    below is a photolink to my little sliver of paradise.
    i began the project three summers ago when i bought this little house.


    (scroll below the photo for ‘before’ photos and more ‘now photos’)

    it was a brave move after a sad divorce and shoveling rock by the wheelbarrow and planting my future garden truly healed my soul. it is funny how you can’t feel how hard your heart hurts when your the rest of your body is in pain, too. :)

    superlovely patio work! i want that string of lights.

  • Reply Nic Duncan June 15, 2011 at 8:42 am

    What a gorgeous outdoor space! A great example of how to create a whole new room in the garden. I love the mix of textures used – bamboo, twigs, sheepskin, wood, the metal and glass of the lantern – they all work together so well to create a space that really connects with nature. Very inspiring!

  • Reply SOUL design June 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

    lots of inspiration…love especially the cane sofa and big lightbulb fairy lights

  • Reply Cristina June 15, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I love all! (I must remember about the nice effect of a sheer panel swaying in the breeze!)

  • Reply Lisa June 15, 2011 at 9:39 am

    The full effect of this space is exquisite. Love the black and white graphics and the creative way you softened the back wall. This is bohemian done right. What a gloriously peaceful space.

  • Reply Nat@ dear little house June 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Very luxurious and relaxing! I love the bare globes too.

  • Reply petites et grandes June 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Unfortunately, i don’t have a garden or any place to create a patio. But this one is really beautiful, seems like a dream come true.

  • Reply michelle June 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

    BEAUTIFUL! I want all of it please…so inspiring.

  • Reply Alex June 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

    This is so lovely !!! I would really like to have such a patio, too!!

  • Reply Chantal June 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    This looks just incredibly pretty. Very well done. Enjoy your cosy space!

  • Reply Nathalie June 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Wow, this is stunning! Totally inspired to create something like this in my garden :)

  • Reply classiq June 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    It looks lovely. Dreamy indeed, with a wonderful mix of different elements. :)Ada

  • Reply Linda Hunt June 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    It looks delightful. Thanks for the pictures. I am working with a client now on creating a sunroom and outside patio at the river and you have given me inspiration!

  • Reply Anastasia Marie June 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    This is totally my dream patio. It’s almost unfair. I have no backyard even to have a patio of any sort. I am dreaming…

  • Reply Signe June 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm


  • Reply Lela - Seaseight June 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Really inspired! I love it :)

  • Reply Lisa Lyons June 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I love your patio…makes me want to curl up with a great book\magazine!


  • Reply able mabel June 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I’ll come join you and enjoy your patio! :) I love to how you explained why you did what you did. It definitely gets the wheels turning over here.

  • Reply Emily June 15, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Anna –

    So lovely. I keep “pulling the plug” on my patio decoration because of RAIN. Seriously. What do you do with all of the lovely decorations when it rains? Run outside & bring them all in? What if you’re out when the downpour begins? Do you have a outside storage box?


  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente June 15, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous and so very calm & relaxed. I adore that couch and table…just perfect. Where did you get them, Anna-Malin? I also love the inspired cover over the wood frame. Perfection….

  • Reply Lori Randall June 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I love this patio! Looks very relaxing! We are wanting to spruce up ours as well.

  • Reply Daniel June 16, 2011 at 12:10 am

    What a wonderful pictures, keep up the good work!!


  • Reply ArticulateArt June 16, 2011 at 12:29 am

    The place looks really nice!!! That’s some really good taste!!!
    I wish I had a stylish place like this too.

  • Reply desiree - Vosgesparis June 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

    See you soon at the ABC in Amsterdam http://vosgesparis.blogspot.com/2011/06/selby-at-my-place.html

  • Reply Nancy M June 16, 2011 at 4:24 am

    your outdoor space reminds me of my own. Like Anna, I spent as much time i can outside ( Canada has a long winter like Sweden) I would like to show you pictures of my own backyard. Have a great summer.


  • Reply Zsa Zsa June 16, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Anna’s patio is truly a dream!! It’s one of the best I’ve seen and I just love, love those black and white pillows and the wicker furniture. :)

  • Reply Cinz June 16, 2011 at 7:07 am

    What a lovely patio – it looks soooo chillaxing:) Great job to Anna Malin!

    On another note, i just wanted to say you got a great blog Holly, i just found you yesterday and kept going way way back to your old entries,hehe. I find your blog very inspiring and with great photos, totally makes my day all bright and shiny! I’m glad i found you, will defo come back for more:)


  • Reply sarathira June 16, 2011 at 7:09 am

    oh dear lord this is heaven! I am sort of falling in love more and more as I scroll down the pictures. I love all the little details that you’ve incorporated! At some angle it looks english, at some point it looks bohemian, and at some point it looks moroccan! I love that!! I hope you dont mind me sharing your patio on my blog, because it is just so amazing and i am so going to throw parties with this patio as my inspiration :)

  • Reply Chloe June 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Wow, this is gorgeous. It looks like a little slice of garden heaven! My outside space is all wooden decking so I can absolutely use this as inspiration to transform it for the summer!

    Thanks for sharing,

    Chloe xx

  • Reply Kim Johnson June 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Yes Please! I want a relaxing patio like that so I can sit back and do absolutly nothing! :)

  • Reply nap atelier June 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Love it!! Looks like a perfect place to relax.
    Have a lovely day!

  • Reply erin June 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    This is so so lovely. It looks like a great place to hang out! Thank you for sharing, I’ll definitely be coming back for inspiration.

    We want to do something similar, but my struggle is that we have a very large yard and I feel like there is no anchor point. I don’t want it to just look like a box in the middle of my yard, especially because the view from the back deck overlooks the entire yard rather than being level with it. I just think it might look funny, although I’m hoping to resolve this issue after planting some ornamental trees. :)

  • Reply cynthia June 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Beautiful! I love the fabric blowing in the wind!

  • Reply Emily June 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I love all the fabulous spaces everyone has! I just finished re-doing our front porch and I am so excited with how it turned out


    Now I just need to get to the back yard. Definitely drawing some inspiration from here!

  • Reply Laura June 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    We are wanting to redo our patio, so I am taking in everything from this post. Looks so relaxing…this is great inspiration!

  • Reply Star Hughes June 16, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Gorgeous patio! I love your choice in pillows. And those wicker chairs too! That’s my favorite look for an outdoor space.

  • Reply Cinz June 17, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Hi there Holly,

    i left u a msg earlier but not sure if it got thru. Anyhow, i just wanted to say you got a great blog going on here!!! It’s very inspiring and it brings a smile to my face. You got me looking into design related stuff again and that is just what i need right now in my life, something that triggers my passion or road to self discovery:) I just kept flicking thru your past posts yday,lol!!! Great photos and a lot of great finds of other creative arty people:) I’ll be back for sure!


  • Reply Jenny Daniels June 17, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Very cool patio! Makes me want to redo my tiny balcony! :)

  • Reply meagan June 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Oh Ann-Malin what a gorgeous job you did on your patio! It is stunning and totally brag worthy. I would be inviting guests over non-stop if I had that patio. Love it.
    Row House Nest

  • Reply Asiye June 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    fabulous space!

  • Reply Decor Girl June 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Such a delightful space! Easy and relaxing makes for the best patio/outdoor room.

  • Reply CharlyCha June 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    It’s really wonderful, a very little paradise, i have with your blog a lot of ideas to my home, thanks you very much and sorry for my bad english, french people aren’t the best english speakers :-)

  • Reply Domestic Lioness June 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    This is divine! Aren’t the outdoors just your favorite room in the house?

  • Reply Design Candy June 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Beautifully put together! I adore my little deck, but it is nothing compared to yours! Although, I too have a big Morrocan-style lantern for those cozy evenings :)

  • Reply SisterBatik June 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    This is simply stylish and I want to sit right there with the summer breeze and enjoy the outdoor air – I love it.

    I only have a small balcony and share a communal garden and this is what it looks like : )


  • Reply Paula Jo @ Outdoor Garden Decor June 18, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Stunning! I would spend all of my time out there. Nothing would get done in the house or away from home.

  • Reply Niki Fulton June 18, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Lovely photos and a wonderful space. Not much chance of using our patio this summer as we are still struggling to get over 14 degrees (with rain). Hopefully we will get an Indian summer and I shall turn my mind to creating a fun space too.

  • Reply Tima June 18, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Love the patio! You have definitely inspired me, thank you!

  • Reply Amy June 19, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Just lovely! I’d love to sit out there with my latest read and relax!

  • Reply Yanet of 3 Sun Kissed Boys June 19, 2011 at 5:44 am

    What a great space! I love using curtains in outdoor spaces. It’s just lovely!

  • Reply Linda June 19, 2011 at 8:25 am

    she is such an amazing, tallented, stylish woman.
    everthing she does she does to perfection.

  • Reply Janneke June 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    wauw, what a fantastic space!! The atmosphere is really cosy and relaxed. I like the bamboo furniture. Looks like what I had when I lived in Cameroon. Instead there I had it in the house, which I really liked.

  • Reply Rocio Rincon June 20, 2011 at 4:32 am

    What a gorgeous patio! I love it!!!

  • Reply Desha June 20, 2011 at 4:43 am

    How beautiful! I love how modern and clean it is. Although my style is different, I Love this! You inspired me to take some pics of my favorite spot- my front porch.

    thanks for sharing!

  • Reply sabby June 20, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Wow, a simply beautiful outdoor space.

  • Reply Jasmine Orchard June 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I love this combination, it achieves the rustic style with soft romantic, great indoor/ outdoor feel and what great cushions!
    I have been looking for some of these lloyd loom style chairs myself, for a bed and breakfast room I am styling- they look great with big comfy cushions on.

  • Reply FIDM Fashion Club June 20, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I do love how clean your style is for your patio. I think a patio should be relaxing and a special place for you to get away from the world and I think you created the perfect oasis of style :)

  • Reply hena tayeb June 21, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Oh I love it.. so relaxing..

  • Reply Allison June 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I am in LOVE with your frame and branches! Is it possible to get a tutorial on how you pulled it all off?

  • Reply Rose June 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Just looking at these whimsical images of a fabulous summer day makes me wonder where our gorgeous, often too hot weather disappeared to – we here in the southern hemisphere are in the thick of a wet and cold winter. Enjoy your summer weather and wonderful patios.

  • Reply Kate June 24, 2011 at 3:57 am

    It looks so cozy! I want to copy everything and plunk it in my own back yard.

  • Reply jules @ The Diversion Project June 26, 2011 at 5:18 am

    this certainly has inspired me – i’ve just boght a sprawling 60’s pad, and man did they love their patios back then. lots of great ideas here, thanks!

  • Reply Raynee August 20, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Love this! This is a patio I would enjoy coming home to.
    I love comfy outdoor spaces.

  • Reply Robin Horton January 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    This might now be one of my dream patios! I love how she created an outdoor room that appears as comfortable as one might be indoors. Beautiful use of fabrics and accessories. A wonderful place to linger for sure.

  • Reply franky May 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    this is such a beautiful little patio! perfect fit for summer time…cozy, light and bright. Beautiful work! where did you purchase the bamboo couch, i want to find something similar in Toronto, canada.

  • Reply Vera November 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    That’s just perfect.

  • Reply Denver Patios April 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Bamboo patio furniture are proven to be one of the best to relax with, nice choice, it is really a nice idea to make them a part of your dream patio.

  • Reply Ivy August 20, 2015 at 1:59 am

    Love the bamboo sofa, do you mind sharing where did you purchase it?

  • Reply Dana June 29, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Where did you get that bamboo sofa? Lovely.

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