With the sun finally out, it’s time to give some love to that precious patch of outdoor space in your home. Whether it’s a deck, patio, porch, or a small balcony, every bit of that real estate can be turned into an outdoor oasis that’s perfect for entertaining, leisure reading, or simply enjoying a glass of wine (or two).
If you’re looking to decorate your outdoor space, we’ve got a few tips for you—no renovation required!
1. Consider style and functionality.
When it comes to dressing up your deck, patio, porch, or balcony, it’s important to furnish your space with furniture and decor pieces that are not only pretty but can also stand up to heavy use, moisture, UV light, dust, and mold. This means choosing pieces made of durable materials like wood, tempered glass, resin, and stainless steel, as well as fabric fibers that are stain-resistant, waterproof, and washable, like polyester and acrylic.
“When decorating my outdoor space I really look for function as well as style,” explains Emily Yewchuk, artist, photographer, and mom of three. “I have three young kids who are never far from me, so having materials that hide stains or wash well is an absolute must. This goes double for the rug because you know it’s going to have popsicles dripped on it the very first day.”
2. Set the mood with an outdoor rug.
A rug is another important element in your outdoor decor. Outdoor rugs set the mood and tone of the space while protecting your furniture and your floor. When choosing a rug for your patio, deck, or porch, make sure that the material is designed for outdoor use. Indoor rugs may fade and dismantle when exposed to UV light and rain.
“A rug is a game-changer,” says stylist and mom Kass DeKoning. “It definitely completes any space! To keep the theme cohesive, we went with a neutral outdoor rug that blends with our furniture but still adds a lot of depth and texture to our sitting area.”
3. Take design cues from your surroundings.
If you’re not sure where to start with your decoration, we’ve got one simple advice: look around you. Get design inspiration from what you already have. If you’ve got lots of trees and flowering plants in the background, use those as the basis for your design theme or color scheme.
“Before decorating our space, I try to find a color scheme to base everything around,” explains Kass. “We have a dark exterior, rich wood beams, and a concrete pad. Therefore, dark and rustic is one of our primary focuses. I like to keep things fairly neutral and serene. You can always add pops of color through cushions and flowers.”
4. Maximize space for seating.
Before you buy your outdoor furniture, consider the function of the space: will it be used to host barbecue parties, small intimate gatherings, or just as a quiet space to lounge, read and relax? Once you’ve decided, pick out the appropriate furniture.
When laying out your furniture, make sure to dedicate ample space for seating. “When I design an outdoor space, I want to make sure there is a place to lounge and hang out as well as a spot for dining and enjoying the scenery,” says stylist Annie Anderson.
5. Accessorize with plants and lights.
According to Kass, when decorating your outdoor space, you can never go wrong with plants. “In an outdoor setting, less is more as far as decor, unless it’s plants and foliage, which give your space that natural essence. Plus, there is nothing more beautiful than nature,” she says.
Another thing? Lights! “I elevate my space and add a little magic by hanging string lights, lanterns, and plants,” adds Emily. “Nothing has an impact on mood quite like some pretty string lights and flowers!”
READERS: How do you decorate your patio, porch, deck, or balcony? Tell us in the comments section below!