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5 tips from Interior designer Kelly Reynolds creates the perfect patio

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Nancy Anderson, Shopper News
Published 7:00 a.m. ET March 20, 2019

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Karns resident and interior designer Kelly Reynolds shares how to turn a ho-hum patio into something special in just a few easy steps.

“Don’t ignore your patio, it can be an extension of your house and a great place to entertain friends. You don’t have to spent a lot of money. You’ll be amazed at how clever you can be bringing the space together.”

Start by painting the room a natural color. Reynolds chose to paint her patio white to allow for variation in color with her accents as the seasons change.

After painting, focus on furniture   

Next on the list is good furniture in neutral tones.

“Spend the money to invest in quality furniture. You don’t want to have to replace it year after year. If you’re working on a strict budget, try to buy during the off-season, or find things at estate sales.”

Look in your storage areas for interesting accent pieces you can repurpose.

“I had a coffee table from the 1970s, so I painted it a deep rich teal and put a cushion on top in a neutral color to make a seating bench.”

Next, add an area rug to anchor the space.

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“A rug really warms up the space; we chose one with a bold pattern in neutral colors.”

Add bright accents like pillows    

Once the room is painted and furnished, make it pop with brightly colored accents such as pillows and blankets.

“It’s easy to turn your patio into something special if you have patience. Don’t expect to find everything in one shopping trip. You’ll find things that match, but it will look like you bought everything in one bag. It will add depth to your room if you keep your eye out for interesting things to add to the room as time goes by. Things don’t have to match; mix up colors and patterns. Bold colors against a neutral background create a dramatic effect without being over the top.

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“Don’t be afraid to mix patterns that are of different scales.”

Change patio with the seasons    

Transition the room from spring to summer to fall to winter by changing up the accents.

“For spring and summer, I use a lot of teal and coral, but for fall and winter I change the pillows out for things in a darker shade like charcoal and black. East Tennessee has the occasional warm winter day, and it’s nice to grab a little outside time sitting on your nicely decorated patio. It will bring you a sense of calm and happiness to spend time in a pretty area. We’re lucky to have sunshiny days, even in cold weather.”

Add a touch of nature

The last thing is to add natural elements like plants or a water fountain.

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“It’s a little early in the season to plant things, but I brought in azaleas and ferns from Kirby’s Nursery on Oak Ridge Highway. They have a great selection of plants, colorful planters, and a knowledgeable staff who can help you select the right plants for your space.

“I use quality artificial flowers and plants, too. There’s nothing wrong with mixing the two. A plant adds a certain warmth and natural quality to a room like nothing else can.

Be confident

“The number one thing to remember is to be confident in your design choices. If you like it, use it. Don’t second -guess yourself.”

Reynolds is a registered interior designer, having gotten her degree from East Tennessee State University. She has 20 years’ experience and works for Johnson Architecture, where she is the lead interior designer for Clayton Homes headquarters and lodge, J.C. Holdway Restaurant in downtown Knoxville, and Cornerstone of Recovery.

She lives in Karns with her husband, Bill, daughter Emily, and son Colten.

 

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