In Southern California, we are no strangers to outdoor living spaces. In fact, we demand them.
If you’re trying to create or spruce up your outdoor living space before summer ends, here are a few characteristics you should think about. Once you’re finished with your backyard makeover, you’ll have the perfect patio where you can relax, entertain, or enjoy Sunday brunch with family and friends.
Incorporate bright colors
Show off your personality. You can have more fun in your outdoor space by adding bold colors or fun patterns. Try to incorporate colors that are already found in your yard or home, and add bright colors to them.
You can also get creative around holidays, adding red, white, and blue paper lanterns for the Fourth of July, or green table settings for St. Patrick’s Day.
Use indoor features outdoors
The goal of your outdoor living space is to make yourself as comfortable as you would be inside. Here are a few things to consider adding to your patio.
- Comfortable seating: Aim for a couch and a couple of armchairs, or enough so that at least everyone in the household will have a cushioned seat.
- Weather-proofed furniture and cushions will last longer, but you might want to find a place to store cushions or buy a tarp to cover your furniture to prevent fading and deterioration.
- Coffee table and side tables: You don’t have to stick to having a wooden picnic table in your yard. If you already have one, though, try painting it a bright color that matches your decor.
- Side tables are a great place for your guests to place their drinks, for potted plants, and for your speakers.
- Outdoor rug: If you’re not sold on painting your coffee or picnic table a bright color, spice things up with a fun, weather-proof rug.
- Try a funky pattern or a solid color that matches another piece of your decor.
- Or, if you have concrete or wood flooring, you can paint the ground a neutral or bright color. You can always paint over it again if you ever want to mix things up.
- Curtains: Yes, you can even put curtains outside. If your outdoor space allows it, hang curtains that can open or close. Not only will they look lovely, but they also are a great way to keep the sun out on a bright day.
- Make sure you don’t go too overboard with your curtains. Try a mild pattern or solid colors, making sure there is at least one neutral color.
- Extra seating: You will want to have extra seats for guests when you entertain. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on this, though. You can spray paint your old chairs or even find cheap mismatched ones at thrift stores. If they are all painted a fun color that matches your color scheme, they’ll fit right in!
Lighting is essential for any Southern California backyard, but how do you decide among lanterns, twinkle lights, and candles?
- A smaller, more intimate setting is perfect for lanterns and/or candles. Place them on coffee tables, side tables or hang them from a pergola or surrounding trees.
- If your yard is larger and you want to light up the entire space, try stringing twinkle lights across the yard or stringing them around the outer edges of your yard. You can incorporate them into your plants and pergola as well.
- Solar-powered lanterns are also an inexpensive and efficient way to light up pathways or line your patio.
Plants should, of course, be a part of your outdoor living space. When deciding which plants to include, think of what benefits certain plants can give you.
- Lemongrass is a great way to repel mosquitoes, as does lavender, which also repels gnats.
- Drought-resistant plants such as succulents can add color and beauty without the hassle of requiring too much care. Plus, it will make your yard more drought-friendly.
- If you use herbs like mint, basil, cilantro, or parsley often, your outdoor space would be a great way to keep them. When you’re enjoying dinner outside with guests, they’ll know exactly where the fresh basil in their pasta came from.
- Try incorporating a hanging planter that acts as a barrier or wall decoration, and a great space-saving way to grow your kitchen herbs.
From games to a fully stocked bar, your outdoor space should be a fun escape.
- Your bar can be as inexpensive or as fancy as you’d like. It won’t really matter to your guests, as long as it’s fully stocked.
- Add in a bar with stools so that guests can chat and enjoy appetizers while you work your magic on the grill.
- Try adding plants or collectibles, like magnets or various hot sauces, to your bar.
- A chalkboard behind the bar featuring the “drink of the day” is always a fun idea.
- Add a dart board or design a personalized corn hole game.
- No budget for a full bar? Try making or buying your own bar cart that you can use both indoors and outdoors.
Whatever you decide to do with your outdoor living space, make sure it reflects your personality. You should be proud to welcome guests or spend a lazy afternoon in the comfort of (the outside of) your home.
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