Many people choose to stay at home this summer. Summer is the perfect time to spend it in our backyard. The season of grilling, fireflies, casual cocktails among friends, pool parties, and patriotic celebrations is something you do not want to miss out on. Thankfully, readying the patio, deck, or balcony for relaxing times is easier than you might imagine. A little elbow grease, planning, and incorporation of the comforts of home are all you need to make your outdoor space the place to be in your neighborhood.
Secrets for the Perfect Outdoor Space
Clean and Update
Give your outdoor furniture a good cleaning, and maybe even new paint color. Don’t worry if your deck or patio is dingy or if your concrete slab is cracked or discolored. You can easily rent a power washer and blast away the grime. Tack down loose deck planks and smooth splinters with a sander and apply a deck sealer for added protection through the summer. Fill patio cracks and update the surface with specialized concrete stain. You can even give new life to an old grill with a coat of heat-resistant spray enamel.
Identify Your Preferences
The next step is to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your outdoor space. A small balcony may only have room for a bistro set for two. If this is the case, you can increase the functionality by adding a small electric grill to create an intimate outdoor cooking and dining area. If you have a larger outdoor space, you can delineate the space the same way as you would inside your home. Create a seating arrangement, grilling space, and dining area. If you want a quiet place for yoga or even a small garden bed, you can make some space for this too. Carve out these specific areas before planning the placement of your social zones so you will know what space you have for other areas.
Make Your Own View
Not every yard has a pool or an ocean view like hotels, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice view. Invent a view of your own by creating a focal point with attractive plantings or well-placed accessories or plants. Conceal an imposing block wall by installing a trellis and covering it in fragrant trailing and colorful vines or plants. Adding a bubbling water feature surrounded by river rock to create a Zen-like calm. Or, pick a small corner of the yard to design as the center of attention by including a sculpture or classic wall fountain.
Go Under Cover
Having a covering over your outdoor space is always important. It gives protection from the elements. It may be summer but this doesn’t mean it won’t get cool or wet in the evenings. You only need to have some sections undercover, specifically seating areas. If you don’t have a patio cover, consider purchasing a large umbrella for much-needed shade during the day. You can also install a versatile retractable awning or a stationary canvas sail so you can entertain guests no matter what the weather.
Bring Out Your Indoors
Furnishing your outdoor living area can be a challenge. If you get stumped simply apply the same design sense you would follow when decorating indoors. Create small groupings by pulling furniture away from the perimeter to invite social interaction. Place a sectional or two sofas directly across from each other to form a comfortable and intimate seating area. Use side tables and a coffee table in the same way as you would in your living room. Everyone needs a place for a drink, book, or small plate of snacks. Colorful throw pillows give outdoor furniture a luxurious feel. You can enhance nighttime entertaining with a stylish damp-rated pendant paired with a table or floor lamps. Use candles instead of electricity for the evening’s festivities and use textural outdoor area rugs in colors that complement the pillows or furniture.
Dine al Fresco
There is no need to heat up the kitchen on already hot days. You can cook and dine in comfort outside. Select a table and comfy seating that accommodates all of your guests. Place the barbeque grill nearby and locate the dining table adjacent to your kitchen entry. This gives you easy access to indoor prep and cleanup.
Make a Statement with Plants
Add decorative plants to give the perfect drought-tolerant landscaping or lush tropical setting. Plantlife of any type will soften hard edges and create a soothing backdrop for your furnishings. You can get back to nature by using a variety of potted plants if you have limited spacing such as a patio. Select vegetation of different heights and choose planters that reflect the aesthetics of your decor. Additional tips to consider for your outdoor living space include:
- String lighting
- A bar
- Soft seating
- A fire pit or fireplace
- A hammock
These tips will make sure you get the perfect comfortable outdoor space for the summer and every other season. Take these ingredients, throw in your own style and favorite looks, and you have the recipe for the greatest outdoor space on the block.