Street of Dreams-inspired patio ideas: ‘Even a small space can be a luxurious extension of your home’

If you want to enhance your patio entertaining, the 2021 NW Natural Street of Dreams luxury home tour in Happy Valley through Aug. 22 has al fresco spaces, big and small, designed for dining and get-togethers.

With a ticket ($20), Street of Dreams tour goers will see ideas by the area’s top builders, interior designers and landscape architects at two Happy Valley developments: Heritage Crest, a gated community of custom houses, at 12500 S.E. Mount Scott Blvd., and Pleasant Valley Villages, a master-planned community with new production homes by Holt Homes at 11878 S.E. Bridal Veil Falls Place.

Outdoor furnishings can be as handsome and high-end as in your living room, from lighting to rugs. Or a backyard retreat can be simply a swivel lounge chair.

Designers select durable materials that should last for decades and a timeless style that won’t look dated over time. Often, they match the architecture and era of the house to the expanded living area outdoors.

Due to higher demand, more interior building materials are being made to meet standards for outdoor use. Covered patios are outfitted with metal chandeliers and pendant lights, Caesarstone’s Solaris exterior counters and other luxuries that were once reserved for inside the home.

Homes on display during the NW Natural Street of Dreams show

A rectangular dining set and a grill are in the backyard of the Columbia Comfort model home at The Pacific Peak in Pleasant Valley Villages.

Interior designer Whitney Hicks was Holt Homes’ project manager for the three model houses on the Street of Dreams tours at Pleasant Valley Villages. She and her team selected finishes and furnishings and she worked closely with staging and surface design partners to present distinctive looks.

The three different model homes on the tour have a smaller footprint than the luxury houses, but offer similar open floor plans and glass doors to outdoor living areas.

Here are Hicks’ tips to creating an inviting outdoor living space:

Design for year-round comfort. Carefully chose the patio site to have the best views and protection from wind, rain, sun and snow. “When selecting furniture, it’s important to think of the function of the space, not just how you want to use it but how it will truly be used most,” she says, asking, “will it be used more for lounging than dinner parties?”

Invest in good furniture: If you’re buying at a shop where patio chairs are on display, sit in the chairs long enough to make sure they’re comfortable. “Not all outdoor furniture is created equal,” says Hicks.

Customize a set: Swap out two side chairs for a bench on one side of a dining table. For a lounge-like area, replace an included side table with a colorful one, and add in some large floor pillows.

Change looks over the seasons: With neutral-colored furniture, add décor in colors and patterns that coordinate with the interior of your home. But remember to shop for outdoor rated pieces; this isn’t a climate-controlled living room. Have fun with an outdoor rug during the summer. “The beauty of outdoor living is that it can evolve,” says Hicks.

Any spot can be an outdoor retreat. “Even a small outdoor space can be a luxurious extension of your home,” says Hicks.

In the backyard of the Columbia Comfort model home, she and her team added a rectangular dining set, four wicker-like armchairs and a Blaze grill from Standard TV & Appliances. The front porch of another model home has a pair of classic white Adirondack chairs.

Weatherproof drapes and curtains add privacy, and quality lighting delivers mood-setting illumination after sunset to a patio or terrace, front porch or pergola.

Make the backyard relaxing with a swaying hammock and pretty planted pots, or invite people over to eat at the outdoor dining table or enjoy the fire pit.

Contemporary outdoor dining tables: Carlisle eight-seater outdoor acacia wooden dining table with a rectangular, A-frame metal base by Christopher Knight Home is on sale at $307.59 (was $358.49, save $76.90).

Bernhardt Wailea swivel chair with a powder coated, aluminum frame wrapped in polypropylene sock weave and with Sunbrella cushions is 55{397f7d3bf28e79e4b04697a61c19976344b6039fc71c31bcb0404a4bd2f8b6ab} off ($2,483.10 with the code HOME, was $5,539 with 12-month financing and free delivery).

Design Within Reach’s outdoor category includes furniture, lighting and accessories. See the new Eos round pedestal table ($1,595) made of rust-resistant, powder-coated aluminum and with an umbrella hole.

The beauty of the iconic Eames molded plastic shell side chair (or something like it) is it can weather the outdoor climate.

Wayfair has outdoor bar tables as well as movable bar carts up to 70{397f7d3bf28e79e4b04697a61c19976344b6039fc71c31bcb0404a4bd2f8b6ab} off. The two-tiered, portable Lena bar serving cart with a curved frame of weather-resistant solid acacia wood is half price ($116, was $219.99).

Apt2B modern furniture has 17{397f7d3bf28e79e4b04697a61c19976344b6039fc71c31bcb0404a4bd2f8b6ab} off the entire store. See the patio-perfect, marble finish, glazed Reis ceramic stool ($180.94, 17{397f7d3bf28e79e4b04697a61c19976344b6039fc71c31bcb0404a4bd2f8b6ab} off).

Solid Fire Ring, a 38-inch steel insert that keeps a ground fire pit from caving in, is 26{397f7d3bf28e79e4b04697a61c19976344b6039fc71c31bcb0404a4bd2f8b6ab} off at Houzz ($126, was $163). Find more fire pits on sale at Frontgate, Walmart and Wayfair.

Lighting: Covered patios can be outfitted with weatherproof chandeliers and metal pendant lights.

Home Depot has outdoor lighting for sale and hundreds of different water fountains.

Find outdoor ceiling fans at Home Depot. The Celene ceiling fan with eight blades, a LED light and remote control with color changing technology is $234.

Decorative planters come in a variety of materials, sizes and styles. Start small: Get a set of mini ceramic pots with drainage for succulents and other plants ($13.99 for six pot that are around 2.5 inch wide).

Planters can be less urn shaped and more linear. The Home Depot has modern plant containers in ceramic, clay, metal, resin and wood.

Tie the look together with a modern outdoor rug. AllModern offers durable, attractive rugs made of polypropylene, polyester and recycled plastic.

Wayfair has rugs on sale. The Arieyanna geometric indoor-outdoor area rug is made of stain-resistant, light brown polypropylene ($45.99 for 3.3 feet by 5 feet, a 53{397f7d3bf28e79e4b04697a61c19976344b6039fc71c31bcb0404a4bd2f8b6ab} savings. Larger sizes are on sale up to $178.99).

Umbrellas deliver shade and a pop of color. Find the umbrella size that fits with this Home Depot chart.

Yellowleaf Hammocks lets you design your own hammock ($299) to show your team spirit, be gifted as a birthday surprise, match seasonal outdoor decor or simply create the hammock of your dreams.

Dick’s Sporting Goods’ sales include a shade-providing, pop-up Quest 12-foot-square canopy in red, navy or gray ($109.99). Check out coolers by Yeti and Igloo.

Backcountry has 30{397f7d3bf28e79e4b04697a61c19976344b6039fc71c31bcb0404a4bd2f8b6ab} off slumbering hammocks. The Klymit Traverse double hammock is on sale at 30{397f7d3bf28e79e4b04697a61c19976344b6039fc71c31bcb0404a4bd2f8b6ab} off at $62.96 (original price was $89.95).

And don’t forget to kick back with a porch swing, which is also fun on a patio or in a garden area. Houzz has a slat-back Maine porch swing on sale for $201, was $345.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman