Photo: Apartment Therapy
Looking to spruce up your outdoor living space for the coming months of warm weather? Not sure where to start and feeling overwhelmed when you walk into or scroll through any store? I get it, designing a whole space sounds impossible and something only the pros on HGTV can do, but what if you just broke down your space into manageable ideas and then made decisions according to how you wanted your space to work and feel.
The first question you might ask yourself about any space is what are you using it for? Will you be relaxing, entertaining, or working there; or any combination of these? Today we are looking at your outdoor living space, a place in your home where you can relax in private as well as entertain company. This means you will want your patio or porch to work for both.
The next question you should ask yourself would be, what are the basic needs of someone in the space? Would they like to sit down and stay a while? Offering a beverage or something to eat is pretty common. If they are to be there a while giving them ample means of escaping the direct sun would be best, no one wants a sunburn. And a bit of light may be necessary for when the sun finally does set.
photo: Apartment Therapy
You may be saying to yourself, but all of these needs can easily be met by my basic white plastic patio set (umbrella included) and the patio light… but come on now, where the style and comfort in that? So strap on your critical thinking cap, because it’s time to think about what it is that makes you happy, is it a bright splash of color? Is it a few mellow tunes floating in the background of a conversation? Are you energized when you are surrounded by thriving plant life? All of these can be helpful when choosing the additional elements you include in your comfy little outdoor retreat.
The following is a bit of a shopping list (or a thrifting list is you are into chasing down a great deal). By filling in the black spaces of your outdoor space with a few of these items or something similar you are sure to have the perfect patio this summer!
You’ve gotta have a place to seat people no matter the size of your space. From your micro apartment porch to a sprawling backyard, seating is crucial. But what kind? It needs to be able to stand up to the natural elements but also be comfortable and easy to store in the offseason.
A. Red Metal Chairs - (2) $299.99 | B. Navy Outdoor Chairs - (2) $259.98 | C. Teak & All-Weather Wicker Chair - (2) $999.99 | D. Hammock - $79.99 | E. Bold Black & White All-Weather Wicker Chair - (2) $399.98 | F. Modern Rocking Chair - $161.49
You're a good host and so you offer your guests a drink or a bite to eat when they stop by to see your sweet pad. But what are you or your guests suppose to eat off of or set a glass down on? Make sure your patio makes it easy to hang out and talk without having to awkwardly hold a slowly melting paper plate in your lap for the duration of the evening. I love a good side table and durable acrylic dinnerware that won’t shatter when I inevitably dump them on the ground. Here are my patio picks.
A. Acrylic Tumblers - (2) $5.98 | B. Faux Cement Topped Side Tables - $79.99-$129.99 | C. Geometric Drink Dispenser - $34.99 | D. Leaf Print Plates - (4) $19.96-$23.96
The wonderful world of umbrellas is opening up to you and your patio party goals. There are a million different styles and patterns you can choose from and they all fit on just about every umbrella frame out there. (always measure just to be safe though) You can get several covers and swap them out whatever your mood might be. This fringed boho umbrella from Cost Plus World Market is my 2018 summer pick but don’t let me dictate your patio look, get out there and find that perfect print.
Another option for those looking for a bit more permanence would be sun sails. These rectangular and triangular sections of canvas can be positions over extra sunny sections of your patio with the added bonus of a bit more shade than an umbrella plus a rad tent-like effect they provide.
Once the sun sets on those long summer nights you’ll want a bit of light to see by, but patio lighting is also just a magical atmosphere that just makes the whole space feel extra special. Bistro lights are a great option and Cost Plus even has solar powered strings of them, No need to keep them near an outlet. But lanterns and candles also add a unique and exciting vibe to your space. Here are my very favorites.
A. Fire Pit - $299.99 | B. Moroccan Styled Lanterns - $9.99-$19.99 | C. Multicolor Hurrican Candle Holders - $17.99 | D. Multicolor Solar Power String Lights - $29.99
Now that you have the essentials covered time zhoosh it up a bit. - Happy Little Details
I am very into color and my home is covered top to bottom, inside and out with unique color. So when decorating my patio space color is a huge part of what I want to incorporate. This can be done with colorful and bold patterned cushions, outdoor rugs even the seating and side tables you choose.
A. Be Happy Floral Pillow Cover - $1.59 | B. Black & Tan Chevron Outdoor Rug - $149.99 | C. Teal Diamond Patterned Outdoor Rug - $149.99 | D. Black & White Outdoor Pouf - $89.99
The outdoors has all kinds of sounds some great some not so great. If you are loving all the sounds you have naturally in your space there is no need to bring anything extra to it. I, however, have a loud neighbor and a bit of traffic noise I am trying to drown out. This is when having a portable Bluetooth speaker comes in handy. Not only does it dampen the extra noise it gives my patio a comfortable base of background sound for when I have people over.
A. Wooden Accented Speaker - $49.90 | B. Rose Gold Speaker - $34.91
Last but certainly not least, I love plants. I may not be the best at keeping them alive but they are a relaxing element that softens the patio space in a wonderful way. My best tips for plants on your patio, find something that thrives in the environment. If you have a sun-soaked space find something that just can’t get enough of that. Find a watering schedule that you can keep and try and look into what they might attract. It’s best to keep anything that attracts bee’s away from spaces where people are hanging out.
A. Cement Terrarium - $15.99-$23.99 | B. Assorted Potted Succulents - $22.99-$44.99 | C. Modern Wooden Planter - $149.99 | D. Ceramic Outdoor Planters - $59.99-$99.99