Design in advance: Once you hit the nursery to select your plant materials, try to create the look you hope to achieve BEFORE you purchase them. Group the plants together on the pavement or get a cart. Combine colors, styles, and sizes to create a beautiful and cohesive look. Make the arrangement in small groups and then set them aside and move on to the next pots arrangement. Don't get overwhelmed or try to do the whole yard or patio in one trip. You can always go back for more plants.
More is better: Don't just put one plant in your patio planters. A single plant looks sparse and lonely. You have a choice of planting several different types of flowers or even multiple quantities of one type but a single plant is not very attractive. We personally like the look of multiple types, heights, colors etc. It just gives the container more character.
Group containers: Try placing multiple containers together in groups or even at different heights. Elevating pots with pot stands really changes up the look. Use racks, hanging pots, lots of colors and different types of planters. Terracotta, glazed, colored, shiny, matte and lightweight or concrete.
Pot Placement: Make sure you don't place the pottery where people will trip over them. They should be secured if placed on a ledge where they could be pushed off and get damaged or hurt someone. Always try to go to the edge of patios, safely away from doorways and sidewalks. Line the planters up against a wall or fence where they won't be in the way.
Finally, when heading to the local nursery take your time, plan in advance and go for colors & varieties. That way you will create successful potted planters that you can be proud of all season long.