This summer, liven up your outdoor living space!
Ahh, July! The perfect time to sip on lemonade or mojitos with some close friends and enjoy the balmy evenings. If you like entertaining—be it a casual get together over the fire pit or a summer barbeque party—it’s essential to have an outdoor area that can accommodate a crowd.
When planning an outdoor space (a patio, a porch, a gazebo), I try to maintain a simple, clean look with a few interesting accent pieces. I also take the practicalities into consideration:
-Is there enough comfortable seating?
-Is there a space to serve food? Beverages?
-Is there shelter from potential rain or bugs? Shelter from the sun?
-Is the layout conducive for conversations?
After considering the practical details, I think about my accent pieces—things that will really make the outdoor space pop. Fortunately, this time of year brings summer sales! Many retail stores are pushing out their summer goods (already!) to make room for fall . With just a little bit of hunting, you can find a lot of great deals right now. Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!
Outdoor lights add ambiance to any space. These filament lights from Target give off a warm glow and have a great retro look that can help define your space.
Add some candles to really set the mood (and drive away some of the bugs!). I love the geometric look of these metal hurricane candle holders from Anthropologie. Choose from a variety of sizes to fit your space and your budget.
Tie it Together!
Bring your room together with a fun area rug. If the rest of your outdoor area is fairly tame, an area rug gives you a chance to add a burst of color or a fun pattern. I like the bold look of this navy blue rug from Wayfair. The geometric print gives you a contemporary look, without being over-the-top. This particular rug is also easy to clean and maintain–a plus for any outdoor area rug.
Are You Sitting Down?
Put your folding chairs and plastic seats away! Nothing adds sophistication to an outdoor area like a nice set of stools. Rather than selecting a typical bar-type stool, consider choosing ceramic. Ceramic stools are fun, sturdy, and lend elegance to any space. They can also double as a plant holder or side table. Right now, I’m loving these stools by Wayfair–they made be neutral in color, but they have plenty of texture! Perfect for matching any color scheme.
Toss in Some Comfort
As a final touch, add some throw pillows to your outdoor area. Pillows can give a bland room an instant pop of personality! Feel free to mix and match colors OR patterns (but not both!). For example, if you’re aiming for blue accents in your room, try out some of these pillows from Target. They are various shades of blue, but they are all reminiscent of the ocean.
Make your outdoor space bright, unique, and comfortable. Make it you!
Have other ideas for livening up your patio or porch? Let me know!
Samantha Grose, Associate AIA, Allied ASID Designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO
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Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.
Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.