Spring and summer are the prime time for outdoor living, at least here in NC. But wherever you happen to be, we’re hoping the weather is turning nice in your neck of the woods as well. Family time, relaxing time, or (these days) even an alternative WFH spot- there is so much wonderful-ness about having an outdoor space to call your own, and we’ve got some tips to make it an even more enjoyable (and usable!) addition to your home.
Sit down, Gather ’round
Whether you’ve got a small space or a lot of area to work with, part of making the outdoor space usable is seating. You don’t need a full furniture set out there by any means- even just two simple (but comfortable) chairs will do. Orient them within glass-clinking distance of each other so you can enjoy an outdoor cocktail hour with a friend or significant other. Add a small table for convenience as a landing spot for your book, coffee cup, or laptop.
Rollin’ in the Green
A plant can add a ton of life to the space and are a great bang for your buck. Placing it as an accent in the corner or near the seating area creates an eye-pleasing transition between the inside and the outside spaces. No need to get out your gardening gloves or maneuver a spade if you don’t want to- there are plenty of wonderful low-maintenance options. If you’re new to plants, try the easy-to-please zz plant. They’re available anywhere, come in varying sizes, and are basically indestructible. Pick a pot with some color or texture that pulls from your house accent color.
Sun is wonderful, but sometimes squinting and/or scorching is just not the relaxing outside time you’re craving. Creating a way to provide shade is one big way to increase the mileage you can get from your outdoor space- it can add an element of flexibility that turns it into a pleasant spot all day long. We love a giant umbrella that you can move, tilt, and otherwise easily adjust to provide shade to every corner. If you have a screened-in area, consider adding some indoor/outdoor curtains to the inside to provide both privacy and sun-relief, anytime you need it.
That Little Something Extra
Comfort is key when it comes to the usability of the outdoor area. Got a great porch but a big problem with bugs? Consider turning it to a screened-in area- relatively low time and cost commitment, but a total gamechanger for usability in the summer. During those especially humid summer days, a ceiling fan is another simple addition that can make a world of difference. Whether it’s stringing up a small hammock so you can laze away with a good read, hanging some glowy lights for wine night, or even bringing out a TV for Sunday football- find that one specific feature that will make it a place you actually want to use.
Form and Function
Using the outdoor area to its fullest has maybe taken on a new level of priority in these days of being home more. And, sometimes a simple change of scenery goes a long way. Creating small areas within the space for conversation, entertainment, and rest can take it from that-place-you-forget-exists to an extension of your home and the perfect place to spend time. Map out different zones for different activities and you will be well on your way to creating both a beautiful and functional outdoor oasis!
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