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4 ways to turn your patio into the outdoor oasis you deserve

While furnishing a new home, one area that is often overlooked is the outdoor patio. Spend some time on Pinterest, though, and you'll see that this area is actually full of potential.

»RELATED: HGTV designers, stagers offer ideas for condo balconies, patios

From outdoor rugs to hanging lights, there are all sorts of ways you can turn your patio into a true extension of your home. While a full outdoor makeover might sound overwhelming, each of these steps can be tackled one at a time.

Keep in mind that your own personal style should be your guide. Focus on what makes you feel relaxed and use those things to develop your theme. The rest will happen naturally.

An ice bucket sits in the middle of the Oakland Living cast aluminum dining set. Contributed by Wayfair

Upgrade your furniture

The best way to start to make your patio more comfortable is by sprucing up the furniture. Peruse the selections at Wayfair or Bed, Bath & Beyond to get a feel for the different options that are out there.

While wicker is very popular, wood and metal are common choices as well. Cushioned seats and armrests will help you reach maximum relaxation. For bonus points, splurge on a side table or foot rests.

Add an outdoor rug and pillows

Once you've picked out a furniture set, you might want to find a coordinating rug. Retailers like Home DepotTarget and Lowe's have extensive collections of outdoor carpets to choose from. These rugs can handle all types of weather and are easy to maintain by occasionally sweeping or vacuuming.

Once you find the rug of your dreams, you should think about adding some outdoor pillows from a store like Pier 1 to tie it all together.

Choose your décor

Now that you've got the big things done, the next step is to add your own personal flair. Are you into outdoor paintings? Find one and throw it on the wall (if you live in an apartment, you may want to make sure it's okay first). Do you love birds? Hanging a bird feeder will bring them to your sanctuary. 

Another idea you can try out is hanging lights. Products like the Brightech Ambience Pro can provide a nice, romantic glow at night. If you'd rather not use electricity, there are plenty of great solar-powered choices.

Herbaceous plants aren’t so vulnerable to crown rot but other problems apply. (Maureen Gilmer/TNS) (Tribune News Service)

Don't forget plants

It might seem obvious, but a plant or two (or a dozen!) will bring new life to your patio. A trip to Pike Nurseries will set you up with everything you need. Patio space might be limited, but there are still tons of plants to choose from. In fact, HGTV created a list of plants that are perfect for patios.

For those who have zero confidence in their ability to maintain a real plant, there are still options: HomeGoods usually has a wide variety of artificial outdoor plants that require no maintenance, but will still give you the final touches you need for the perfect patio.

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