Summer is coming! If you’re like me, you may be wanting to spend a lot more time outside this year. What better way to crawl out of your comfort zone inside than by soaking up the warm weather on your patio? Though outdoor spaces can be intimidating to decorate, the best patios have little to do with size, a pool or their exquisite views. And if you’re working with a smaller space, it can be difficult to visualize a convivial and cozy setup — especially when you’re staring at a blank patch of grass or an uninspiring corner of your yard or balcony. As a result, you’re probably stuck on how to spruce up your patio in time for summer.
However, with some imagination (and the help of adorable furniture pieces) you can make your patio the hottest hangout around. The goal is to make it feel like a resort that you never intend to check out of, plus one that doesn’t cause embarrassment when entertaining. Follow these tips to get you in the spirit and bring a bit of summer charm to your backyard.
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1. Update your cushions
The easiest way to keep it fresh in your outdoor space is to switch up the cushions on your furniture. This gives you an opportunity to add pops of exciting colors and prints of any kind. Rattan furniture provides a beautiful natural element to your patio and is a slate to dress up with your favorite cushions.
Don’t have furniture? Re-purpose some old wooden pallets into a bench! This cost-effective craft will add a comfortable and rustic vibe to any outdoor setting. You could even re-cover old patio cushions if you want to be super thrifty.
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2. Dedicate a place to gather
What kind of activities do you like to do most with your friends? Sit around the fireplace, have a fancy dinner, maybe play some games? Make one, or all, of these activities available on your patio so your friends know where to flock to. The perfect host knows how to keep people together and engaged all party long.
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3. Add string lights
Lighting your space is a breeze when you have a set of string lights. You can have fun and get really creative, as they come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, styles. Plus, they are generally inexpensive! It’s no wonder that they’re a go-to for everyone from college kids to seasoned interior designers.
Hang string lights against a fence or wall, or even on an awning to effectively light your space. It depends on how large your patio is and on your style preference, but I promise that they’ll be the perfect addition. I am personally a huge fan of globe string lights.
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4. Invite over the birds (and bees)
Enrich your space with potted plants or a garden if you have the room. Plants will add gorgeous color and botanical scents to your space, and give you a reason to go outside routinely and care for them. These planters designed to hang on railings are ideal for anyone with a small, urban patio.
Add some decorative bird feeders throughout that invite little winged friends into your hangout. You’ll know you have the perfect patio when all the wildlife wants to be there, too!
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5. Give a little shade
A little shade never hurt anybody! *RuPaul cackles in the distance*
Consider building a canopy over your patio if you have the time and space. If not, the right patio umbrella will work just as fine. You’ll want to provide some relief from those radiant days where the sun is shining a little too bright. An awning or umbrella will also help to complete your outdoor space and make it feel more like a room with a roof.