Ask Away Blog: Improving and Styling Your Outdoor Living Area

Improving and Styling Your Outdoor Living Area

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

How To Style Your Outdoor Living Space


I'm sure by now you've seen plenty of photos of my screened in porch because not only am I obsessed with it but I personally think I did a great job styling it. So people always ask "how can I style my space as cute as yours?". Well, it's not all that hard so I figured I'd do a blog post on the basics of how to style your space whether it's a patio or a porch like mine.



Know Your Climate
I know we're all obsessed with some of the decorative accents we see on Instagram when bloggers show off their patio. The decorations are SO pretty but you have to remember - you may live in a totally different part of the country than they do. While the outdoor rug on the patio is super cute and the faux flowers in a vase on the side table are gorgeous - that may not be possible where you live. For me, in Pennsylvania with the wind and the rain, it's not worth the risk to me to put breakable decor on tabletops and because of the rain I'd rather not put an outdoor rug down because it'll just be sopping wet on a weekly basis. There will be some things you can do and some you can't. So when you are making plans for your space and making your shopping list, ask yourself if everything will work for Spring, Summer, AND Fall. With the rain, wind, heat, etc.

What's the Purpose
Are you going to have guests over in your porch or on your patio? Are you going to just design a small quiet place for yourself to read and sip wine? Your purpose will determine your budget. Obviously purchasing seating for multiple people is more pricey than buying a simple hammock for yourself. 

Seating is Priority
So if you have an outdoor space the main thing you and your guests will want to do is sit. Lounging around is always fun. So you want to make sure you have 2 things - ample seating and comfortable seating. Lawn chairs aren't comfortable for several hours so you will likely need to invest in some decent patio/porch furniture. If your space is outdoors and exposed to all elements than you need to make sure you get weather resistant materials in your cushions and the frames of your seating. Also, the type of seating will vary. For me, in my porch I put the couches with cushions because I know they are safe under the cover of the screened in porch. But for outside I had to get those white patio set chairs and a table because it's more weather resistant. I also got some outdoor recliner sun chairs because they can easily be hosed off or cleaned after a nasty storm. Also, they won't really fade in the direct sun since they aren't colorful like my indoor furniture.

Choose a Color Theme
So when you pick out certain end tables, cushions, pillows, rugs, and other decorative accents, you'll probably have a big choice in color options. The good news is that bright fun colors can definitely be mixed. So when I say a color theme I basically mean - do you want it toned down with neutrals or do you want bright and fun colors and patterns? Whatever you commit to is what you should focus on in the future. When you hunt for additions to your furniture set up, remember what color theme you have.

Space for Drinks
That's right - if you have space for 16 people to sit but nowhere for them to set their drink, you're gonna have a problem sooner or later. Not only do I highly suggest a coffee table, especially if you have a sectional, but for regular chair seating, make sure to stagger some little end tables every 2 seats or so.
 
Make Improvements
When you are improving and styling an outdoor living space, it is always a good idea to make note of anything that needs improvements for the long run.  You should check your deck in case you need to replace the lumber in certain areas.  This is also a good idea when it comes to safety because the last thing you need is a guest getting injured when you're hosting them all because you didn't bother to make improvements to the outside of your home. You should also consider doing some purging and decluttering of your outdoor spaces and your indoor spaces while you're at it. This will allow you to find more space so that you have a beautiful open area when entertaining others.  Check the exterior of your home for anything that's broken (like a spout or gutter) or anything that's deteriorating and may need replaced.


Lighting
YOU NEED LIGHTING! So if you have a space where you can hang lights - consider strings of outdoor light bulbs that you can drape across your area and easily secure in place. If you want solar light strands, make sure you're not in too shady of a spot. I also love walkway lighting. You can place it at the edge of your patio and also throughout the patio in potted plants. There are also battery powered decorative lanterns that make a GREAT accent to ANY outdoor space. While spotlights are nice, they can attract A LOT of bugs, so keep that in mind. Speaking of bugs, citronella torches are a great idea for a patio. Just place them around the border to give you light AND deter bugs!

Floral Accents and Wall Hangings
To finish off your decor, real flowers, herbs, and other plants are a great touch. The good news is that since they'll be outside they'll be easier to water and get sunlight. Choose the right ones for your space and put them under tables, on top of tables, and in the corners where there's blank space. If you have a sun room, hanging planters are a great idea.  You can even switch your decor out seasonally for different holidays!

How are you going to decorate and set up YOUR outdoor space?


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How To Style Your Outdoor Living Space



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