8 Secrets For Creating an Inviting Outdoor Space
NOW THAT THE WARM WEATHER IS ARRIVING, IT’S TIME FOR THE ANNUAL SPRUCE-UP OF MY OUTDOOR SPACE. I USED THESE CLEVER IDEAS TO MAKE THOSE AREAS FEEL LIKE AN INVITING PLACE TO SPEND TIME IN INSTEAD OF JUST A PLACE FOR PUTTING POTTED PLANTS.
THE FIRST STEP IS TO CLEAN – HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
I know, I hear you. This isn’t a fun step, but it’s a necessary one! All of my outdoor spaces are filthy after a fall and winter of dropping leaves and don’t even get me started talking about the yellow pollen we have to deal with around here in early spring.
Even though cleaning isn’t my favorite thing to do, here are three ways that I make it as painless as possible:
-.My favorite newly discovered product for easily cleaning dirt, dust, green algae, mold and mildew from siding and woodwork is Mold Armor E-Z House Wash. Guys, this product is nothing short of amazing! I literally attached it to my hose, sprayed my woodwork and waited a few minutes before hosing it off. No scrubbing!
After using this product, the white railing on my porch looks like it was just painted. Be sure to read all of the directions before use to see what you need to do to protect plants and exactly how to use the product.
-.I only use outdoor rugs and outdoor pillows and cushions in outdoor spaces, even if the area they’re in is covered and protected. The best thing about using products that are made for the outdoors, is that all you usually need to clean them with is a garden hose.
I whack the pillows and cushions together to remove as much of the dust as I can, then give the pillows, cushions and rugs a good hosing down. In the event that there are any mildew spots on the pillows or cushions there are several methods for removing those. Simply Google, “how to remove mildew from outdoor cushions” and choose the method that works the best for you.
-.No special products are needed to clean the furniture and accessories. I simply use damp paper towels to wipe it all down.
OUTDOOR LIVING IDEAS AND FURNITURE ARRANGEMENT
Determine how you want your space to function. That will dictate why type of furniture you’ll need. Do you need room for lots of seating? A place for a dining table and chairs? Does the arrangement take advantage of the views?
SPEAKING OF FURNITURE
If your goal is to spend time enjoying your outdoor space, make sure your furniture is comfortable. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been stuck with hard seats or rocking chairs that sit too straight. I’ve learned the hard way that purchasing outdoor furniture online (and not being able to try it out first), isn’t necessarily the way to go.
ACCOMMODATE DINING IN YOUR OUTDOOR ROOM
Even if it’s just a small table with a couple of chairs tucked into a corner, adding a spot for outdoor dining is a perfect way to create an instant invitation to enjoy an outdoor space. Having a spot for dining is like an unspoken invitation to stay a while.
ADD POTTED PLANTS
Plants add life to any space! Think about placing them along the perimeter of the area to help define the outdoor room feel.
No worries if you don’t want to have to remember to water! Using faux plants to add life works just as well.
LAYERING IS IMPORTANT IN AN OUTDOOR SPACE
That’s right – layering your decor is just as crucial to creating an inviting outdoor space as it to creating an inviting indoor space. So, layer those doormats, layer that wall decor and layer those pillows!
CREATE SPECIAL “MOMENTS”
Use accessories to create moments in your outdoor area. They add interest, texture and act as the jewelry to the room you’re creating. Just make sure that whatever you use is outdoor friendly.
DEFINE THE SPACE AND CREATE A FEELING OF PRIVACY
If you have a wide open area, such as a patio, consider adding a low wall to create a sense of being in a room.
Outdoor spaces are naturally wide open, but try to think of ways you can create privacy without blocking the view. I painted an inexpensive garden trellis and hung in from one of the openings on my screen porch to help give a confined feeling to the area.
You can also use outdoor planters to create the illusion of a wall. If diy projects aren’t your thing, these self-watering outdoor planters are awesome! They’re on wheels (which you can lock in place), so they can easily be moved around.
These are available in three colors – white, charcoal and green and can be ordered HERE.
Or, you can always choose to build a wall where nothing currently exists. The addition of the trellis behind these seats helps to “enclose” an otherwise very open patio. You don’t have to have a roof and the design is limited only by your creativity.
The addition of drapery panels is another great way to define your room and create intimacy. No need to spend a lot of money on outdoor fabric either. Use canvas painter’s drop clothes for no-sew curtains (the edges are already hemmed!) along with galvanized plumbing parts (pipe lengths and fittings) for a very affordable option. All of the supplies can be found at your local big box home improvement store.