“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” -Robin Williams
We couldn’t agree more. The warm weather, fresh air and long days signal a time to venture outside to the decks and patios that offer a prime opportunity for outdoor living.
And that means outdoor decorating. Much like your indoor space, function should follow form. How do you and your friends and family spend your time? Whether dining, lounging or entertaining the neighborhood’s children, there are plenty things to consider and enjoy.
As always, first step is to make sure you think practical. When picking furniture and accents that will be exposed to the elements, make sure they are durable. From Trex composite decking to Sunbrella fabrics, new technology makes it easier than ever to create a space that lasts. But it’s also expensive so make sure to care for you outdoor goodies properly – you’ll get more years out of them that way. If you go wood or metal, just remember to re-oil and protect against rust. A little effort goes a long way. You wouldn’t want your favorite chaise to only last until Labor Day, would you?
And don’t forget about nature’s own elements like stone. There’s a reason ancient civilizations used these materials and they still endure. Nothing is better than a solid stone fire pit that will provide your family with years of fun across all seasons. Yum, s’mores, hot dogs and ghost stories. I’m getting excited just thinking about the family time around the flames.
And where there’s fire there must be water. While everyone remembers running through the backyard sprinkler as a child, there are some modern, chic water elements that can help create a more grown-up space. Bird baths, fountains and deck ponds all do the trick. Deck pond? It’s easy. Find a large pot, add some water and koi, and voila. It’s an elegant and neat way to creatively bring some flow and life into your space, no matter how small it is. Warning, just remember water feature means mosquitos – so don’t forget the bug spray!
Next up, air! And my favorite outdoor accessory, the hammock. Personally, this is something I use all the time. How often do we get a chance to feel weightless? It has an instant calming effect and that’s something I treasure. There are limitless options these days – from self-standing to using those two old oak trees perfectly positioned. Find what works best for you, then grab a book and take a break.
Have a pretty established space you’re happy with? There are plenty of smaller elements that can help make your party pad complete. Outdoor lighting: These Ice Rock LED lights are a good start. Tunes: From wiring speakers to endless Bluetooth portable players. Fun and kid friendly: You can’t go wrong with a sandbox, tire swing or water table. Sporty: mini goals, horse shoes, bocce and croquet offer up something for everyone. Want to add a homey touch? What about an outdoor rug or accent pillows. Pro tip: When choosing furniture or accents the best tip is to make the outside feel like the inside. Whether your style modern or more Pottery Barn cottage, there are endless options to keep that flow going right out those French doors.
So party in back means business in the front right? Don’t forget about your entry. You can’t go wrong with unique porch lighting or an intentional front door color. Make a statement with a bold pop or keep it classic with a jet black door against a colonial brick front. And what about the flowers you might ask? Yes please. But I’m a designer so I leave that up to the landscape architects and gardeners among you.
Bottom line, create a space that brings people together. Where you can laugh and enjoy and create special spring and summer memories that will last forever.