We’re halfway through a very hot summer, which means the days are long and the evenings are lovely. When the kids go to bed and the air cools off a little, there’s nothing better than sitting outside with friends, family, loved ones, or even by yourself enjoying the quiet end-of-the-day moments. Fall is also approaching quickly – and if you’re anything like us, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time enjoying the colder days outside with a cozy blanket and a fire to keep warm.
Being outside can be fun, but it’s hard to enjoy it to its full potential when you don’t love your outdoor living space. Whether you have a patio that needs to be updated or you’re starting from scratch, here are some foolproof tips that will help you fall in love with your outdoor living area.
1. Get comfortable furniture
No one enjoys hanging out on uncomfortable furniture, so your outdoor furniture shouldn’t be any different. You could have the most stunning patio in the entire neighborhood, but it won’t get used unless the furniture is enjoyable to sit on.
When you’re shopping for patio furniture, you’ll first want to consider what type of style you’re going for. Once you decide on a style and the pieces you’ll need, you can start testing the furniture to make sure it’s comfortable and durable.
2. Make it cozy
When designing your outdoor living space, you’ll want to make sure it feels cozy and cohesive. There are a few simple ways you can do this. First, make sure you have a focal point to configure the furniture around. Whether it’s an outdoor TV, fireplace, or coffee table, having a focal point will tie the space together and give it a cozy feel.
Next, make sure the furniture coordinates. You don’t necessarily have to buy a matching set, but make sure the colors, textures, and sizes all work well together. This will give your space a cohesive look and feel so you can enjoy using it.
3. Add some cute throw pillows and blankets
Once you find the perfect, comfortable, cohesive furniture pieces, you can add some fun accessories to tie it all together. One way to do this is by adding throw pillows to your outdoor sofa, bench, sectional, or chairs. Throw pillows look great on almost any piece of furniture, and they add just enough texture and softness to bring the space together.
Throw blankets are also a great way to add life to the space. Adding a throw blanket or two will give the space a cozy, lived-in feel, and it’ll be perfect for chilly evenings.
4. Set up an outdoor dining area
Having a space where you can eat outside is a fun way to bring your loved ones together. You can use it to mix up your normal dinner routine, have a quiet outdoor breakfast, play games with the family, or host a lunch with your friends. Outdoor dining areas are great because they’re so versatile.
If you already have an outdoor living space, you can set up an outdoor dining table with chairs nearby to help it flow together. And to help it feel more home-like, you can use flowers, succulents, or other small plants as decor.
5. Add a few plants
Speaking of planters – adding greenery to your outdoor living space is a great way to bring it to life. You could add a potted tree next to the couch, succulents and flowers on the coffee table, or hanging planters if you have a covering above the space. The options are endless – and even though it’s a simple addition, it can totally transform your space.
When you’re deciding which plants to get, just make sure to consider the climate, sun exposure, and maintenance needed. If you do, your plants will thrive and the space will stay looking nice and fresh.
6. Get a new rug
If there’s one thing you should know about design, it’s that you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a new rug. There are so many beautiful outdoor rug choices out there, so once you pick your favorite, you’ll fall in love with your outdoor space all over again.
Here’s a design tip: choose the rug first. If you’re doing a complete overhaul of your outdoor living space and starting from scratch, the first thing you’ll want to do is choose a rug. After that, you’ll be able to pick beautiful furniture and decor to go with it, but it will act as the ribbon that ties the entire design together perfectly. When the rug is an afterthought, it can potentially impact the space in a negative way.
7. If you have room, install lighting
Most people utilize their outdoor space the most at night, so lighting is one of the most important parts of your design. If your outdoor living space is covered, you might consider installing a chandelier, can lights, or an outdoor lamp. If it’s uncovered, try putting up bistro lights for a fun ambiance.
Lighting (or lack of lighting) can make or break a space, so make sure you take it into consideration when planning your design.
8. Add an outdoor kitchen
If you have the time, have the budget, and love to grill in the summer, an outdoor kitchen could be exactly what you need to improve your outdoor living space. The scale can vary from a countertop and a grill to a fully functional kitchen, so you can do what feels right for your family.
\When you’re hosting an outdoor party with your loved ones, the only downside is how much time you spend in the kitchen away from your family and friends. Having that outdoor kitchen allows you to be with everyone while you prepare the food – it’s the best of both worlds. Here’s one example of an outdoor kitchen in one of our custom homes.
These simple changes can make a huge difference in your outdoor living space. Before you know it, you’ll want to spend all your time out on your patio reading books, chatting with friends and family, eating meals, or enjoying the outdoors!
If you use any of these tips, share a picture on Instagram and tag us @splitrockcustomhomes – we’d love to see what you create.