As the summer months unfold, warm weather creates a unique chance to expand our living space to include the outdoors.
Regardless of the size of your home, a thoughtfully decorated outdoor space, porch, deck or patio can extend your living space.
Here are some ideas to enhance your outdoor abode.
Play with a full deck
If you have the space in your backyard, consider adding a deck with multiple levels to create separate areas to entertain, dine and relax. If you already have a deck, consider adding another level or two.
One key to a successful outdoor space is privacy. One way to achieve this is to build a wood fence to provide a buffer for a driveway or close neighbor, or use a trellis or screen of latticework. Open latticework also allows air to circulate. To add a decorative touch, plant climbing vines or roses to provide texture and color.
The outdoor home
When decorating an outdoor living space, be inspired by the things you love about your indoor spaces and apply the same concepts.
Comfortable outdoor seating is one of the most important features to include in your backyard decorating plan. Large colorful outdoor pillows, benches and rocking chairs are great choices to create a cozy space for you and your guests to relax.
An easy way to add pattern and color to an outdoor room is with indoor/outdoor area rugs. Inexpensive and available in a multitude of designs, a patterned area rug is a quick and easy way to give an outdoor space an updated look with big impact and low maintenance.
When it comes to simple backyard decorating on a budget, you can never go wrong with flowers. Plants and flowers are ideal for adding a natural spot of color to your deck, porch or patio. Go to your local plant nursery and buy window boxes and flowerpots to fill with your favorite blossoms.
If you plan to use large decorative planters, set them on a base or platform fitted with casters—or you can purchase planters with wheels for easy mobility. Fit wooden window boxes or planters with waterproof liners to protect the wood from moisture. Make sure there are drainage holes.
The sound of water
Besides colorful furnishings and flowers, an appealing outdoor space incorporates all the senses, including sound. And what is more relaxing than moving water?
Adding an outdoor fountain to your living space can create an inexpensive water feature without taking up lots of room. Place the fountain in a small garden nearby or on an end table on the deck or patio.
Consider adding a roof element to your outdoor living space to protect residents and visitors from rain and to provide shade. This can consist of a roof, an awning, a shaded pergola or an oversize umbrella.
Alight at night
Create a beautiful look by investing in outdoor lighting. Drape string lights across your porch or deck railing or across your outdoor living room to give it a starry-night feel. Add outside wall sconces and overhead pendants—or, for an elegant touch, hang a chandelier.
Access to an electrical outlet isn’t a necessity, either: place solar-powered lanterns on side tables and decorative solar-powered pathway lights to outline patios and walkways.
An outdoor kitchen is a great way to prepare summer meals or entertain guests. There are several ways to include an outdoor kitchen in your backyard, ranging from a simple charcoal grill and table on a patio to a kitchen kit that includes an island, grill, storage and refrigerator. Check with your local home-and-garden store for information on installing a kitchen that is right for you.
Another great and inexpensive backyard addition is a fire pit. You can build it yourself out of wall stones (check the internet for instructions), or purchase a metal one that’s also budget-friendly. Include ample comfortable seating around your fire pit to accommodate friends and family who are sure to come by to roast marshmallows.
No matter how you choose to decorate your outdoor living areas, make sure to add your personal touch—whether it’s a favorite color scheme, furniture style or sentimental accessory or two. Then sit back, relax and enjoy the summer!
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