Adding or decorating an appealing backyard or patio is a fantastic way to extend your living space. Whether your goal is to increase your home’s value, entertain friends, or simply enjoy a bit of fresh air, here are some helpful ways to truly optimize your outdoor area.
Don’t forget about lighting. Light can make or break an area, and the right lighting can create impressive and welcoming moods for your home. If space and resources allow, you might want to consider hiring an electrician to add outdoor electrical outlets (perfect for when you want to bring a laptop outside) and/or permanent light fixtures.
Not quite ready to make that investment? There are some great solar light options on the market – from hanging lanterns to string lights, harness the power of the sun to light up the night. And don’t forget about candles; certain varieties like citronella repel bugs while large pillar candles provide a warm glow to a dinner table.
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Choose furniture wisely. When deciding on your outdoor seating options, look for modular patio sofas, side tables, and benches that can be configured in a number of ways. From celebratory gatherings to cozy coffee hours, flexible furniture will pay dividends. Consider adding outdoor rugs and ottomans for great texture, style, and even extra seating in a pinch.
Plan for all-season comfort. If you plan on using your outdoor space in all types of weather, it’s a good idea to include a heat source for chilly days. Options include fire pits (just add s’mores!), portable propane heaters, or simply a basket of cozy blankets. If you’re looking for relief from the heat, porch or deck ceiling fans can provide a welcome breeze. And if you’d like to enjoy the outdoors even if it’s raining, consider a covered porch or retractable awning.
Include shade options. Depending on the temperature, the sun could range from welcome company or a one-way ticket to discomfort. When designing your outdoor space, think of ways to protect it from the sun. Patio umbrellas are a popular and affordable option.
If you’re looking for something more permanent, pergolas are a great way to provide a bit of shade (and privacy) without obstructing the breeze. And if you have a large open space, a pergola is a great way to provide some vertical visual interest. Bonus: the post and beams can be used in a variety of ways from climbing plants to installing string lights.
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Add potted plants and landscaping. Outdoor greenery can be purely decorative, but it also has a number of practical uses. If mosquitos are an issue, consider plants that act as natural insect repellents. Some proven favorites include: marigolds, lavender, bee balm, citronella grass, catnip, basil, or rosemary. Love to cook? Fill planters and pots with tomatoes, salad greens, or a variety of fresh herbs.
We’ve all been spending more time at home, so it makes sense to utilize every square foot. Whether your ideal is a quiet hammock for leisure reading or a large table for outdoor dinner parties, a little bit of planning can help you make the most of your space.