As we start to head into summer, what better time to give your outdoor space a revamp than now? Regardless of whether you’re working with acres of rolling lawns, a tiny balcony, or a moderate patio, there’s no end of ways to bring things bang up to date. If you’re in need of some inspiration, check out these top ten tips to refresh your outdoor space.
1. Have Fun With Color
Winter may be all about warm yellows, burnished golds, and soothing browns, but summer demands a livelier color scheme. Introduce a little sunshine into your outdoor area by introducing a full rainbow of dazzling brights and cheerful pastels. And don’t think you need to keep the colors to the flowers: a candy-striped parasol, some cheerful planters, and some bold sling chairs will liven things up no end.
2. Rethink The Space
We might all dream of acres and acres of landscaped grounds, but for most of us, the reality is a little bit more modest. Work with the space you have, not the one you’d like: if your patio isn’t big enough to be a playground, an outside dining area, a garden, and a volleyball court all at the same time, prioritize. What function is it best equipped to serve? Do as MSN recommends and think about what outdoor activities are most important to you and then build around them.
3. Let There Be Light
The moon might be nice an’ all, but sometimes, you might want to give it a little helping hand with some outdoor lights. String lights, hanging lanterns, spotlights, floodlights… the range of options is big enough to give you plenty of choice in finding the most suitable option for your particular space. As Roof and Floor recommends, use the lights to draw attention to any little architectural detail or feature of interest – although a few scattered alongside any paths probably won’t go amiss either!
4. Create A Hideaway
A sense of open space can be invigorating, but sometimes, less is more. If you love spending lazy afternoons tucked up with a book, a cozy little nook or two should suit you down to the ground. Create some privacy with some strategically placed low fencing, trailing plants and climbers, before making it comfortable with a low slung chair and small table.
5. Throw Some Shade
If you’re lucky enough to live in a part of the world that’s blessed with year-round sunshine, you’ll know the importance of introducing plenty of shade into the garden. For the rest of us, the long hot days of summer never fail to take us by surprise. Make 2020 the year you don’t spend all summer hot, cross, and bothered by investing in some new shades for your outdoor living space. Outdoor canopies, awnings or pergolas all work a treat, and needn’t blow a hole in the budget either.
6. Decide On Your Style
Just like too many cooks spoil the broth, too many styles can ruin your outdoor space. If you’ve got a huge amount of space to play with, having different sections of the space dedicated to different styles can work. If space is limited, too many competing styles can create an odd, disjointed look that’s anything but pleasing. Think about whether you prefer a more traditional, formal style or are happier with a casual vibe… and then consider how that will actually work in practice. A formal garden might suit a single person or a couple, but if you’ve got kids, it might be a no-go. It’s also worth considering how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in the long term: a casual, natural look may require more upfront planning to stop it looking too wild, but the formal alternative is going to need almost constant upkeep to look its best.
7. Add Some Rugs
The old divide between the outside and the inside is history. 2020 is all about creating a blended living space – and that means moving the things you’d normally find indoors outdoors. Take rugs as a case in point. As noted by the LA Times, rugs can make a big impact outdoors, and really showcase a patio’s function as an “outdoor living room”. Keep things bang on trend by opting for rugs made from sustainable materials like recycled plastic – which, as an added plus, is both pet friendly and weatherproof.
8. Make Space For Dining
What could be a better way of spending your summer evenings relaxing over dinner and drinks in the garden? Alfresco dining isn’t about formality, so forget any illusions of grandeur and stick to simple, compact bistro tables and chairs that can be set up in a jiffy and collapsed just as quick. Most options come in a variety of colors and styles – although be sure to choose one that isn’t going to rust or rot at the first sign of rain.
9. Add A Fire Pit
A fire pit creates a stunning focal point in any outdoor space, and makes a lovely, warming feature for friends and family to gather around on chiller evenings. If you’ve got cash to splash, you’ll find plenty of pimped-up pits on the market, most of which either come with their own gas supply or need to be hooked up to a mains supply. If you’d prefer to keep things a little more budget-friendly, a simple fire bowl can be had for peanuts. Just remember to check any regulations governing the use of pits in your area – most communities require them to be at least 10 feet away from buildings, but other regulations may also apply.
10. Add Some Seating
If you want to create the kind of outdoor seating space people feel relaxed in, adding plenty of comfortable seating options is a must. Don’t feel limited to a few folding picnic chairs, either: hammocks, sling chairs, loungers, and swings all work, and are available in enough styles and colors to suit any taste and space.