Many urban residents have limited outdoor space and are often faced with a concrete patio or yard. Unappealing and cold, these spaces need some attention and effort in order to transform them into a calming retreat. By breaking the area into outdoor living spaces and layering in plants and decorative items, you can create a backyard you'll love.
Soften the look of the hard concrete by placing potted plants around the perimeter. Choose a variety of tall leafy, and shorter flowering plants and create layered groupings in corners and against walls. Intersperse pots along the edges of the patio between seating and tables as well. Use warm colored pots such as terra cotta or green ceramic containers to further warm the space.
Provide some shade. Concrete yards tend to look harsh and overly bright as the sun bounces off the concrete. Provide some shade by attaching awnings to the house, or using a table with an umbrella in the center to provide cover.
Add floor covering. Outdoor rugs help to soften the concrete yard and define areas for relaxation, making the area feel more like a living space. Select a grass weave rug in natural colors to cover a large area of your concrete yard.
Create a seating area. Use your rug area as the border for your seating space and place a few comfortable outdoor chairs and a chaise lounge to create a conversation area. A few small tables will complete the space and provide a spot to place drinks and snacks.
Add a water element. A water element such as a fountain or birdbath adds a cooling aspect to a concrete space. Nearly anything can be made into a fountain, and small fish can also be added for more interest.
Set the table. Use a light white table covering to cover your outdoor table and use "picnic clips" to hold the table cloth in place during wind. Set the table with colorful dishes and floral arrangements to make the space more inviting for a barbeque or friendly gathering.