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Patio Styling and Tips for Creating a Beautiful Outdoor Retreat

This post is sponsored by Flat Top Hills Wines, opinions are entirely my own. This post is for readers age 21 and older.

Have you ever completed a project and when it was done, wish you had done it sooner? That’s how we feel about our new gazebo/patio area! What was previously an eyesore is now some place we enjoy (check out the before!), now It feels like a little tucked away retreat!  On a warm evening, I love being able to make a few light appetizers, and enjoy a few drinks in my bare feet, and catch up with Nick.  It’s for sure one of our #FlatTopMoments!  I wanted to share a few ideas that you can also use in creating a beautiful outdoor retreat!  At the end of this post, you can visit Flat Top Hills to also enter  to win a chance for your own  patio,garden or balcony makeover in The Flat Top Hills 38° 49′ Backyard Sanctuary Sweepstakes plus other prizes!

Enjoying an outdoor gazebo with a wood platform

When I was styling our new gazebo area, one thing I wanted to really focus on was how to make it feel as relaxing as possible. I wanted an area I could pop out to to quietly read a book and enjoy some sunshine, have a casual light meal, or where we could have a drink in the evenings together for some grown up time. It’s about creating “little moments”.

#1 Choose seating based on space usage.

While I know sectionals are really popular for outdoor seating, but they aren’t always practical. While it’s great for personal day to day lounging, if it’s going to be an area for entertaining, seats need to have more flexibility. Family members might not mind sitting close to each other, other people tend to want to sit farther away from each other (which actually limits seating with  a sectional.). I find that having more flexible seating such as smaller settees and chairs add more seating options for people, and can be more easily moved around a larger patio space or into a yard.

Flexible outdoor seating with rattan seat wnd cushions

#2 Add extra comfy pillows and cushions.

Sometimes the cushions that come with a set aren’t the most comfortable. Don’t be afraid to upgrade your cushions to something a little more cushion-y, or add extra pretty pillows. You can find out more about that here.

Add cushions to seats for comfort or upgrade seating


#3 Add plants and vases

Even though you might have outdoor landscaping, adding extra greenery such as palm trees and even hanging plants add just as much to your outdoor decor to create a relaxing vibe as they do for your indoor spaces. I added Pothos which do just was well outside in the summer as inside. When winter comes, I’ll re-pot and bring them inside.

Creating outdoor moments when decorating outside like a hanging plant

Adding vases with cut branches and flowers is another way to make the outdoor space feel more indoors.

Adding plants in vases for added decor to an outdoor space

#4 Have enough small tables to place drinks and plates, and don’t worry if they aren’t fancy.

Since it’s an outdoor area, you can get creative by using outdoor materials as tables. All four of the tables in our outdoor retreat were made very inexpensively. In fact, my favorite table is two cinder blocks with a piece of remnant marble on top!  See this post for the DIY of the wood slice table.

#5 Add yummy food like a quick and easy bruschetta or other appetizers like Burrata drizzled in olive oil with salt and pepper.

Burrata and bruschetta on toasted bread


#6 Enjoy amazing drinks responsibly like Flat Top Hills 2019 Rose,2018 Sauvignon Blanc, and 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon!

Flat Top Wines and Brushcetta

If you aren’t familiar with Flat Top Hills Wine, Angelina Mondavi is a part of the fourth generation of the Mondavi family of wine makers. She is the only member to pursue winemaking and is partnering closely with head winemaker Randy Herron to create Flat Top Hills Wine. Flat Top Hills is named for the remote hills with flat summits where the Mondavi kids played and explored as children in Dunnigan Hills, which it tucked in the northwest corner of Yolo County in California. I loved learning all about the background and history behind the wine, and I really loved learning about their desire to use environmentally friendly and sustainable practices such as growing cover crops and  soil conservation with framing the land.

Flat Top Hills is a super approachable wine! The 2019 Rose is light with  strawberry flavors and pairs well with things like desserts, hors d’oeuvres, cheese and even main course dishes such as risotto.

The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc is crisp,mellow and aromatic with citrus and lemon lime flavors. It pairs well with cheese, green vegetables, salads, and dishes with tangy or spicy ingredients!

And the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon has is well-balanced with firm tannins and has flavors of cassis and cherry. It pairs well with red meats, burgers,heartier fish and chicken.

My final tip is the most important part of anything you add to your patio space…

#7 Of course, have great company.

Jennifer Rizzo Date Night under the gazebo

Creating a beautiful outdoor retreat area, and enjoying some wine and food is one of our #FlatTopMoments. We love to enjoy being outside without having to go far away and have a great place for to relax!

For a chance to create your own outdoor retreat, head to the Flat Top Hills main site, or go through the links below. If you’re interested is finding where Flat Tops Hills is sold near you, check out their wine finder here.

The Flat Top Hills 38° 49’ Backyard Sanctuary Sweepstakes will award one winner with
a makeover for a patio, garden, or balcony. Other prizes include gift cards for meal delivery, a Flat Top Hills wine glass and wine bucket set, and mini corn hole games. Deadline to enter is 5/31/2020. Enter at Facebook.com/FlatTopWines or https://bit.ly/FlatTopSanctuary

Always drink responsibly. This post is for readers 21 and older.

Use these tips to easily create a beautiful outfoor retreat and enjoy your time on your patio or deck!


  1. Love the platform patio. It’s so cozy and inviting. What a great use of an unused space. I think I would like to try the wine. Probably either the Rose or the Sauvignon Blanc. I’m not much of a red wine drinker

  2. My wife has recently gotten really interested in the idea of outdoor spaces to use at home and I want to help her start her construction project right. It really helped when you stated that seating choices based must be flexible and comfortable for all types of guests because we usually invite people ranging from our relatives to our coworkers and they all might have different preferences on how they want to relax. I’ll be sure to remember the rest of your tips when we look for any landscaping services that can help us set up an outdoor patio that my wife would love. Thank you!

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