Dream patio: Hire a decorator to put the finishing touches on your outdoor room

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After your patio has been meticulously designed by the landscape architect and carefully installed by the contractor, the last step before you can enjoy the space is to choose the outdoor furniture and decor. Your patio project has been an important and valuable – not to mention expensive! – investment in your home, and you’ve hired the best to complete it. Why not ask for help with this one last step? Of course, on your own you can handle a simple setup of a few chairs, a table and umbrella or a fire pit. The brand new paver patio, kitchen or pool deck will still be awe-inspiring absent of any furniture or decor. Asking for a professional’s help in this last stage ensures all your efforts so far are enhanced and that you’re using the space to its maximum potential. You didn’t come all this way to sit on folding chairs and set down drinks on stow-away tables.

When we think about room decor experts, we think of interior designers - professionals trained in the application of good design principles. Interior designers study the use of spaces. Interior decorators, on the other hand, work with you to choose colors, fabrics, accessories, artwork, and furniture placement of a room. Depending on the size and structure of your patio, you may be able to work with either an interior designer or an interior decorator. After you’ve gotten a list of referrals from your friends and family, do some more homework. Check with your state on licensing differences between the two professionals, but in general an interior decorator is someone with good taste and experience staging spaces. An interior designer should hold a degree in the study of interior use and aesthetics. When you contact either professional be clear you are looking for help on your outdoor space. Ask if they have experience with your patio’s features (e.g., kitchen, fireplace, pergola, etc.). 

A good interior expert works with you to understand your tastes and synthesizes them with how you plan to use the space. What an interior professional can do inside, they can do outside. Exterior space with furniture, fabrics, decor and lighting are just like indoor rooms when it comes to design decisions. An interior decorator would be happy to help you beautify and arrange your outdoor room. 

Each designer has their own way of working, but in general you can expect any professional will ask for a budget range and a tour of your home. This will help the designer establish your taste and will give them some ideas on the daily use of your rooms. A good designer will help you bring out the best of you and your sensibilities, usually more so than you could have managed yourself. Going this one extra mile for your outdoor room may result in the patio of your dreams.