For many homeowners, the porch, patio or backyard is the place where all the action happens in the warm-weather months. It’s where we enjoy bonfires, family dinners and quality time with kids and pets. But, for the simple fact that it’s seasonal, our exterior living spaces don’t get nearly as much love as our indoor ones do. A couple of small, affordable updates can help us get the most out of our outdoor spaces, transforming utilitarian patios into exceptional alfresco oases. Here are some fun, simple ways you can update your patio or porch this season!
1. Freshen Up with Fabrics
One of the simplest ways to revamp any room is to refresh furniture with new cushions and pillows. Ditching your dingy old patio pillows for some that are bright, fresh and in-tune with your design is an amazingly simple and relatively affordable way to refresh fast. Make sure to choose options with all-weather fabric and take all pillows and cushions indoors when they’re not in use to ensure that they stay in great shape for many summer seasons.
2. Make it Breezy
If you’re working with a covered patio or porch, consider installing an outdoor ceiling fan to create a nice, gentle breeze. A ceiling fan can double as an accoutrement to make things more comfortable and also to bring a bit of design flair to your space. Remember to always look for outdoor-rated ceiling fans, even if you intend to install them in a covered area. These days, outdoor fans come in as many options as indoor ones, but we’re huge fans of palm leaf fans for tropical, earthy and decadent exteriors.
3. Treat it Like the Indoors
Think about the finishing touches that make your interior welcoming and cozy. To bring the indoors out, start with an outdoor area rug and then decorate with upholstered patio furniture, a coffee table, and a few side tables. If you want to take it up a few notches, consider adding some framed photos and artwork.
4. Light the Way
Like ceiling fans, outdoor light fixtures serve the purpose of both function and style. They can be used to highlight architectural features, garden nooks, benches and other items of visual interest, and to add safety to pathways. With lighting, it’s the details that matter—outdoor step lights, spot lights and uplights draw attention to your landscape’s best features. An outdoor chandelier or pendant light are also excellent ways to add style and dimension to an area.
5. Make it Better with Plants
Sure, bringing indoor touches to your outdoor space is a great way to cozy things up, but don’t forget that you’re outside! If you’re not much of a green thumb, stick to potted plants—an herb garden is never a bad idea for first-time growers—and easy, low-maintenance plants like ferns and palms. Surround your seating area with big, potted plants to create a natural partition. Don’t forget to get creative with your pots and planters—again, it’s the details that count!
6. Zen Out with Tranquil Touches
Whether your goal for your exterior space is to create something worthy of parties and gatherings or to carve out a calming nook to help you zone out after a hard week of work, you can’t go wrong when you take the tranquil approach outdoors. Bamboo, earth tones, and soft lighting will help ensure that your space puts you in a relaxed state of mind. If you’re going big, consider installing a water feature or creating a manmade waterfall. The tranquil sounds of trickling water are guaranteed to put you in a state of relaxation!
7. Create Cozy Nooks
One of our favorite trends in patio and landscape design is the separation of space. In interior spaces, it’s all about creating the illusion of openness—and we certainly love that in big backyards, too—but outdoors, sometimes it’s nice to do the opposite. Using low fencing, furniture or potted plants, consider partitioning off spaces so that you have designated areas for cooking, relaxing, enjoying conversation, and dining. This is another way to add an indoorsy feel to your exterior living space.
8. Make Your Seating Fun
Regular old patio and porch furniture just won’t do! Install a porch swing or a hammock for some extra fun and excitement. These days, porch swings and hammocks come in tons of different designs, or you can even make your own for a much lower investment. Don’t forget to add your fair share of patio pillows and an outdoor throw or two to cozy things up.
9. Add a Little Glow
Even when the sun has gone down completely, you probably won’t find yourself needing bright lighting. With the exception of the outdoor kitchen—which could certainly be brought to life with some high-lumen outdoor recessed lights or island lights—keep your patio lighting on the softer end. You can achieve this through string lights and plenty of candles, as well as with outdoor lamps and post lights. Steer clear of anything but LEDs and consider a color temperature of about 2,700 Kelvins for a warm, soft glow.
10. Make Some Shade
Last but not least, if your outdoor living space is entirely uncovered, there’s no better way to revamp than to add some shade with an outdoor canopy, awning, or pergola. If you’re on a budget, consider going the route of the simple sun canopy with a wood structure and a fabric awning. This will help you get even more use out of your outdoor space, even when the sun is blazing and the temps are pushing triple digits.
With over 28 years in the ceiling fan, lighting, and fireplace business, Greg possesses a unique blend of hands-on experience, product knowledge, and creativity. Greg is driven by a desire to continue “being the first to do it,” which is why his website has so many unique features you will not find anywhere else. Greg is also a musician who taught himself to play the piano. You can find out more about Greg at HansenWholesale.com, or on Hansen Wholesale’s Facebook page.