Lots of people ask, “How do I decorate my deck, patio, porch or yard?” The answer is easy…Just like you would inside your home. Same rules apply. Here are a few to get you started.
#1 The first step
The first step to creating outdoor living spaces is to create a space, not by where it is, but by how you’re going to use it. For example: Is it going to be used as a living room for sitting, entertaining, or listening to music?
Or, a dining room or kitchen for eating, drinking, and barbecuing?
Maybe you want a space like a bedroom for lounging or taking naps, or all of the above? Once you decide how it will be used then you will create separate zones for each area.
For each space, or zone, you will treat it like a separate room in your home. Divide the outdoor area into smaller areas by using things like area rugs, fences, room dividers, plants, furniture, etc.
Think of the space like a great room that’s open to a kitchen. You would treat this room inside by coordinating fabrics and colors, but you would define the different spaces with your furniture arrangement and area rugs.
#3 The living room
For a living room area you would use your chairs, sofa, or swing to define the space for entertaining. Set up your outdoor furniture just like a living room keeping your conversation areas in mind. By this I mean you’ll want to keep a furniture grouping close together so if you where having a conversation with your guests you wouldn’t have to yell across the room, or the yard.
You will also want to keep accessiblity in mind and have an appropriate amount of tables for say, setting down your drink or to place a lamp. Figure out just how you want to use the space and make sure you have everything you need to create it.
#4 The dining area
A dining area can be made with your patio set, picnic table or other dining table. Use an area rug to define the space making sure it’s large enough to hold the table and the chairs while pushed out.
You could also add a peice of furniture to use as a buffet for serving all that yummy food coming off the grille. And of course you’ll want a spot for the grille that is handy to the space, but not too close that it’s heat and smoke will bother guests.
Now you’ll need to accessorize. Start with some new fabrics (try Joanne Fabrics, or hobby Lobby). There are many colors and patterns available for many different tastes. Use them to recover cushions, to make window treatments, tablecloths or throw pillows.
Next add an outdoor area rug to help define an area. Try Home Depot or Lowes for some inexpensive options.
Now think about how your using the space and add items needed to make this space work. For instance, add candles or lights for using the space after dark. Add a storage peice to hold items for serving up a bbq. Or how about a nice comfy throw for that afternoon nap. You decide what your going to use the space for and supply everthing you’ll need to make it comfortable to use.
Plants and flowers will make your space welcoming and alive. Place them next to furniture, in corners, on tables, or use tall trees to separate one space from another. Make sure you spread them out over the entire area and not just in one spot to add splashes of color and texture around the whole area. This is expecially important if your outdoor living space is on a deck or a patio without gardens.
#6 Finishing touches
The final step to creating an outdoor living space is to add a pitcher of iced tea and your closest friends. You’ll have your very own personalized outdoor oasis.