When summer hits, access to outdoor space is everything. The game changer—your patio, porch, deck or yard actually serves as an extension of your living space. Now instead of sitting at the table or island with your morning coffee, you recline on the patio. Friends come over for stoop hangs, backyard barbecues, and drinks on the porch. With all that extra relaxation room (doesn’t matter if you’re in a three-bedroom house or studio apartment, outdoor living does everyone some good) your world opens up.
Maximizing—in square footage and comfortability—your outdoor space can mean the difference between soaking up the summer months and wasting the warm weather chasing greener pastures (i.e. only going to friends’ houses or hanging in the park every weekend). So whether you’re rich in outdoor areas or enjoy a modest but magical balcony, there are several key steps you can take to refresh your little slice of paradise.
Invite in the greenery.
Perhaps the trees along your building’s sidewalk provide a lush backdrop for your shared patio, but that’s not enough. Adding plants to your outdoor area is more than simply decorative—it’s about creating a living, changing, growing environment. Each time you step into the space there’s an opportunity to be greeted by new life. Plus, having plants to take care of will hopefully encourage other general care activities like sweeping, cleaning up after meals and gatherings, and getting rid of trash. A tidy space is a loved, lived-in space.
Make a plan for the best plant fit for your outdoor space, whether that’s a simple trellis for climbing tomatoes, several potted house plants or a full-on vertical garden. Consider how much sun your space gets throughout the day then pick your array of plants and their placement accordingly.
Make it cozy.
Naturally, you want to embellish your outdoor area so it’s more than a patch of green and concrete. Find a seating combination that fills up the space without overcrowding it. If your space is very limited, opt for stackable seating that doubles as side tables (try stools or benches). Set the tone with a comfy, woven rug that’s easy to clean. Add throw pillows, woven blankets, and string lights for maximum cozy. Now you can enjoy drinks and dessert outside, and when evenings get chilly, you’ll be wrapped up, basking in the glow of your magical outdoor space.
Add your personality.
Extending your style to your outdoor space will greatly—and positively—impact the overall vibe. If your space is covered, hang tapestries or art prints to infuse the area with warmth. Switch them out based on the season and grab some summer-inspired designs. Consider other ways to add art to the space with pottery, statues, stones or candles.
Transforming your outdoor space into a well loved part of your home ups your summer game. Keep it going all year round by switching out the summery designs for seasonal options (just remember to bring the plants inside). Now that you’ve cleaned up that porch, patio, deck or yard with a few thoughtful decor elements, call up your friends for a summer soiree.