The official arrival of spring starts the countdown to outdoor entertaining season. Even if you’re in a part of the country that still feels a bit like winter, getting a head start on planning your patio or garden décor will at least get you in a more springtime frame of mind. Read on for our tips for getting your outdoor space ready for a season of al fresco parties — or even just a quiet morning spent enjoying the sun.
Start By Clearing The Deck
Or patio, or terrace, or backyard. If you were lucky to miss out on snow and chilly temps, this task is easy. If you’ve left out any outdoor furniture through the winter (and these pieces are now a little worse for the wear), take note and prepare to donate the items. (Of course, if the pieces are in great shape and were a designer purchase or even a vintage design, consider the option of consigning them with Viyet.) Then, clear out any pots, storage items, and plants that didn’t survive the season. Once the space is clutter-free, take measurements of any and all areas in which you’d like to add new outdoor furniture.
If you’re still dealing with snow, ice, and frost warnings — and your pieces were stowed away for the winter — you can make the condition assessments from your storage space. Once the weather reaches a more seasonable temp, it’ll be time to clear away any winter supplies, and possibly branches and old leaves. (Right now, consider places to stow supplies and find out how to dispose of branches and leaves in your city.) If you can, take measurements of your patio and other outdoor spaces.
Regardless of climate, you’re ready to design your outdoor space. Designer tip: Think of the outdoor space the same way you do as an interior space, and decorate in “layers”.
The Base “Layer”: An Outdoor Rug
An outdoor rug is a simple way to introduce color and pattern to your outdoor space. Though you can always buy this piece last, purchasing an outdoor rug first can help you decide on a color scheme for other pieces. In the above outdoor space (part of an “outdoor nap zone” at the Miami Beach apartment of designer Robert Passel, as featured in House Beautiful), a classic navy striped rug picks up the color of the sofa.
Decide On Lighting
One to try: Waterworks Mounted Pendant
Adding lanterns and sconces depends on the design of your space, the amount of light the area gets, and how often you plan to be out there during evening hours. While a trendy, dramatic design will turn heads, a mounted pendant in a classic style will take you through many more seasons.
Plan Your Seating Arrangement
One to try: Janus Et Cie Arbor Janus Fiber Love Seat
If you’re envisioning a place just for you to relax and unwind, a chaise and side table might be all you need. To keep your options open, however, configure your seating area similarly to your living room, with an outdoor sofa, outdoor chair, ottoman, and a coffee table in a weatherproof material.
Entertain Often? Create An Outdoor Dining Room
If you live for al fresco dinner parties, a large outdoor dining table and chair set might be the best use for your outdoor space. However, a smaller set gives you the option to host smaller parties, dinner for two, or just to enjoy a little extra room for your morning coffee or evening cocktail. For rectangular patios, you can divide the space into a “dining” area and a “seating” area, similar to how you’d divide an open floor plan.
Add In A Fire Feature
One to try: Eco Smart Bioethanol Designer Fire Tower
There’s nothing quite like fire towers, fire pits, and fire tables for adding an element of drama to the outdoors. They also help warm the immediate area at a moment’s notice, an especially welcome feature for those in climates that have chilly evenings.
Opt For Accessories
One to try: Stanley Furniture Juniper Dell Accent Mirror
This might be the most fun part of the planning process — choosing the outdoor pillows, planters, lanterns, garden stools, sculptures, and other flourishes that add personality to your space. One element that you might have overlooked? A mirror. Adding a mirror to a porch, patio, loggia, or any other area with at least one wall helps reflect your gorgeous surroundings. Just be careful to note placement: It’s not exactly ideal to place a mirror in the path of the sun!