If what you see when you look at your front porch or backyard patio makes you realize it is time to bring this boring area to an awesome oasis, trust us when we say that these tips will help you accomplish just that.
Take Stock of What You Need
Review the items already on your porch. Hopefully, there are several pieces like a table and chairs that you can re-purpose. Decide what you want to use in your refreshed space and if it needs to be sanded, stained, or painted. Then–this is important–throw away anything that has ended up on your porch because there was no other place to put it. Torn up toys, last year’s pool floats, and old tools… we’re looking at you.
Add Some Shade
Those deep summer days are sweltering and even dusk can be above 80 degrees here in the South. There are several ways to add shade to an outdoor area. Think about an umbrella over your table, or a sail tied from your roof to your porch railing. Both of these solutions will give you some relief from the hot summer sun.
Create Places to Sit
A patio or porch won’t be at all inviting without places to kick back and relax. If you don’t already, invest in seating for your space. If you’re on a budget, you should be able to find some great deals at yard sales or through online selling sites. Even if you need to re-cover or replace the cushions, buying secondhand will save you money. Don’t be concerned with matching every chair exactly, as complementary but mismatched items add dimension and personality to the space.
Embrace Your Whimsical Side
Keep your outdoor mood light by adding fun elements to the space. A sun-shaped pillow, a flower-painted planter, a funny sign on the wall, and an animal-shaped lantern are all creative and interesting additions to your space.
Use Flowers and Plants
Nothing fills an area with beauty and interest like live plants. Use them abundantly on tables and hang them from hooks on the side of the house or from your porch railings. Mix it up with blooms in brightly colored pots in the corners to flowing vines or ferns in baskets. You can also maximize your vertical space with a DIY plant ladder.
Hanging out on your patio or deck into the night can be nice and relaxing. But you can’t do it in the dark, and you definitely don’t want to deal with bright, cold porch lights. There are several ways to light your space and enhance your backyard space’s atmosphere at the same time. Purchase some tin lanterns and either hang them or set them on tables. Or buy string lights and drape them around your railings.
Address the Critters
One of the least fun but most important actions you need to take to turn your patio or porch into an oasis is controlling the bugs. Otherwise, you and your family will spend your time swatting the pesky beasts. Buy citronella candles or torches and set them around the porch. Also consider planting a few of the many plants that deter bugs either in pots on your patio or close by.
Sneak In Storage
Make plans to store the items you don’t always use and put away your summer décor during the off-season. Benches and ottomans with storage underneath are good choices, as are tables with hidden drawers at the bottom. Think about adding some small shelving to store your serving trays, sunscreen, and other items you use often. Baskets are also smart storage places for warm throws to toss over you during chilly evenings.
Top It Off with Finishing Touches
Everything up to this point is helping your space come together, but you need to finish it properly for it to be a true oasis. Add an outdoor patterned rug to bring everything together, along with some colorful throw pillows. Lay seat cushions on hard chairs, add a small water feature on one of the tables, and consider hanging some sheer curtains for a bit more privacy. If you’re porch has a ceiling, install a fan to circulate the air to keep you cool.
Turning your patio or porch from bland to fantastic doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. Use what you have and make some strategic purchases to increase the style and functionality, and you’ll get many hours of enjoyment out of your outdoor space.