Doesn’t it always seem like by the time you want something, it’s out of season for retailers? Like the swimsuit you need for vacation in February. Or the outdoor furniture and decor you want in July and August. It was in the stores back in April, wayyy before you even could enjoy the outdoors.
There is a narrow window of opportunity to update your outdoor living space each year, made narrower by stores that only carry outdoor products for a few short months. But it’s all changing.
I’ve got three quick and easy ways to update your outdoor living space anytime of year. Just because the outdoor furniture season is over at your favorite local retailers, doesn’t mean you can’t give your outdoors a little makeover.
I just finished up a gorgeous outdoor living space for one of my clients, including a deck, patio, and firepit area. My client recently had all the hardscaping done and had chosen the Pottery Barn furniture, but she needed all the elements to bring the space to life. She wanted her outdoor living spaces livable.
With a few of my favorite online sources, we were able to pull these spaces together very late in the “season” for outdoor living.
It doesn’t take much to make an outdoor space feel like an extension of your indoor living.
1. Keep It Cool Under Foot
On Tara’s deck, I grounded the large sectional with an indoor/outdoor rug. Normally we think of rugs as adding warmth under foot, but for the outdoors they actually help keep it cool under foot. Many deck surfaces, especially no-maintenance surfaces, can absorb heat. A rug helps keep it comfortable to walk on.
Aesthetically, a rug helps define a seating area. Since everything else was neutral, I chose a rug with pattern and color to add some life to Tara’s deck. Without walls to hang art on, it’s even more important to introduce color and pattern in other ways in an outdoor space. Rugs are probably the simplest way and have the biggest impact.
Another important addition is shade. A large umbrella swoops over this seating area to keep the harsh sun at bay. Tara’s still waiting on a few outdoor pillows she ordered for the sectional. But aren’t the poufs she found fun?
2. Cater to Everyone’s Needs
Down on the patio, Tara needed space for adult dining and entertaining, as well as a spot for the kids.
When I saw the plans for the deck and patio, I instantly knew the perfect spot for the kids table. Kids love to feel special and entertain on their own without all the adults around. So we tucked the kids table under the deck overhang behind the deck post (see it there in the bottom left corner). Their own little dining space!
Consider your layout carefully, both to maximize functionality and create an enchanting environment. Here it made sense for the adult table and bar area to be close to each other on the large patio. But the kids table could be separated creating an enchanting space just for them. In the corner of the patio opposite the kids table is a deck storage box, which can hold the kids toys.
3. Add Double-Duty Decor
My favorite update of all was around the fire pit. I didn’t want the area to just end up being a bunch of chairs or benches. I recommended two key pieces to make the space more functional and beautiful–garden stools and outdoor pillows.
The bronze garden stools provide a place to set drinks or food, and can also be used as extra seats. Best of all their metallic finish reflects the dancing flames adding to the ambience around the fire.
The outdoor pillows bring some softness and comfort to the seating area. The neutral tones don’t detract from the focus on the fire.
3 Indoor/Outdoor Products You Can Source Online Year-Round
None of these updates required shopping in season. The online selection is getting better and better for indoor/outdoor products. Now they are available year-round online. Many of my favorite sources only have indoor/outdoor products in store a few months a year, but most carry a selection online year-round.
These three items are readily available online and the selection continues to grow:
1. Indoor/outdoor rug
2. Indoor/outdoor pillows
3. Garden stools
A well-dressed outdoor living space can make your entire home feel bigger. The trick is to make the transition from indoor to outdoor seamlessly. You do that by bringing in the comforts of home–color, pattern, and softness–in the form of rugs, pillows, and fun accents, like garden stools.
The only things the space is missing are friends and adult beverages!
That such a great idea to have a separate table for the kids. My son would love that! I wish I had an outdoor space to decorate. My mom lives in So. Oregon where it’s warm. She’s been doing what you recommended with using indoor/outdoor rugs, pillows, etc. In the winter she just puts everything away or uses it in her breakfast nook.