Outdoor Spaces | Spruce-up for Summer

Summer is just around the corner which means that summer vacation will be in full-swing in just a few short weeks.  A lot of people really look forward to this time with family.  The kids don't have hours of homework to do in the evening and the days are much more relaxed so everyone is just generally in a better mood. This usually means more BBQ's, afternoon swims, dinners on the back porch, and time outside!  So, in order to get you ready for all this outdoor living, we're talking about how to update your outdoor space in the right ways that will make it all more enjoyable for everyone!

If you don't have a pool or if you just like layers of ambient noise, try incorporating a water feature of some sort into your outdoor area.  The sound of running water is so relaxing and makes the perfect background music for an afternoon hanging out by the pool or dinner under the stars.  It's also just pretty  and will be a great decorative addition to your outdoor space.

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Make your outdoor area feel more like an indoor area by installing outdoor drapery.  The thing about outdoor drapery is that it's not really meant to create privacy or completely block the light.  It's really meant more to soften an outdoor space and make it feel more comfortable.  For this reason, outdoor drapery are usually stationary and are mounted to the side of a column or corner of a wall to soften the edge.

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Hanging some sort of market lights or cafe lights is something super inexpensive that can make a giant impact!  String lights immediately make a space feel super cozy and elevate the overall feel.  String lights can be permanently wired to a switch or even just plugged in.  They're inexpensive, easy to install, and highly impactful!

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Incorporate greenery!  An outdoor space without potted plants or hanging plants will immediately feel sterile.  If you don't have a green thumb or are concerned about care, get something hearty that requires very little attention.  This will add a homey feeling to your outdoor living space without causing you too much additional work!

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Best Use | Back Yard Space

Summer is in full-swing here in Florida which means it is HOT!  We've pretty much resigned ourselves to staying inside all. the. time.  There's no...when it's cooler in the morning or after the sun goes down...  Nope.  It's hot, no matter what time of day.  But!  There's hope!  Fall is coming and you (and we) will want to spend some time outdoors since we'll have been cooped up all summer.  So now is a good time to start looking at how your outdoor space is being used and start putting together a game plan for what changes you're going to make once it does cool down a little bit.  And if you're reading this from a state where it's not in the 90's and 100's everyday in the summer...well, we hate you.  But we also know that you may be able to use this info now!  So read on!

This first tip is such a big deal.  I am guilty of not doing this but have seen small back yards where they did incorporate this tip and it makes all the difference!  Use your side yard!  Some people think a side yard is meant for hiding all that stuff that won't fit in the garage and they're not worried about how it looks because noone ever sees it.... False!  The side yard matters too.  If you need a little extra outdoor storage, get a small shed that can contain things.  Otherwise, incorporate the landscaping into your overall design.  That might mean pavers or gravel or even a couple of chairs and a small table.  Whatever it is, figure out a way to use that space.

This second one may require a little more planning but it will definitely add interest and depth to your backyard.  Change the level of certain areas.  This could mean a small step-up or a full-on deck.  If you've got the space to have a raised deck, that's always a bonus because decks are just nice.  But even if you don't have a large yard, use a part of it as a sun spot where everything isn't sitting right in the dirt and people have an area to retreat.

Storage is obviously important in every part of the home, but getting a little of that junk out of the garage and closer to where it's used is just smart.  The convenience factor alone makes it all worth it.  So consider how you can incorporate storage in your outdoor space.  If it just means a small storage shed like we mentioned earlier, then that's great!  Or it could mean a wooden bench with a lid that lifts up...some outdoor ottomans that serve as storage or even shelving.  Use whatever works best in your space and flows with the look you've got going on!

Let's face it.  Greenery matters in a backyard.  Even if you don't have a ton of it, a little greenery can really make that space.  But maybe you don't have a lot of ground space or area for potted plants.  If that's the case, we're here to remind you about the walls!  Stone walls, fences, or even deck slats can be a perfect place for greenery to grow!  And usually the type of plants that will grow on those surfaces are easy maintenance.  Bonus!  Get some greenery in your backyard, will ya!

Finally, a clean back yard is an inviting back yard.  So many back yards are neglected because they become dumping grounds.  This is the worst use of back yard space!  Even if you rarely go outside, it's always nice to have something pretty to look at when the windows are open so don't let your back yard become trashy.

On the Cheap | Outdoor Spaces

I'm not sure about you, but we spent a lovely weekend outside!  The weather was perfect--a cool breeze with temps in the low 80s.  Warm in the sun, cool in the shade.  Doesn't get much better than that!  So it got us thinking about outdoor spaces.  Because now's the time, right?!  Before long, it'll be too hot to do much of anything outside so it's important to have your outdoor spaces ready now!  And we get it.  It's not the time for a major renovation but it may be time for a spruce-up.  So today we're going to talk about some easy ways that you can fluff up your little outdoor area for the Spring without spending a ton of money.

Maybe your outdoor area is small.  There's not a lot of floor space but you want it to have layers and a finished feel.  If this is the case, then you absolutely need to take advantage of your wall space.  So many people try to bring in lots of furniture to make a space feel finished but your eyes may be playing tricks on you and the wall space may be where you need to focus.  The nice thing about outdoor areas is you don't have to be so restricted to what you hang--potted plants are always nice but get creative too.  A wind chime or even some art made from piece of nature just leaning against the wall can be pretty as well.

Depending on where you live, there could be cars or even loud neighbors near your outdoor area.  So sitting outside in your comfy little oasis might not be as relaxing as it should be.  In this case, some white, soothing, background noise would definitely enhance your experience.  What sounds are relaxing to you?  The tinkle of a wind chime?  The sound of running water?  Little fountains are easy to find and could add a lot visually and audibly to your outdoor space.  Or maybe you just want to be surrounded by nature making it's own natural sounds.  In that case, bring in a bird bath and bird feeder and draw the wildlife to you!

We're big fans of lighting whether it's outside or inside.  If you enjoy your outdoor area at night, you'll want to incorporate some sort of additional lighting.  String lights can add a cozy glow but so can flame.  Maybe a gas lantern or even just some good ole' candles!  Or! A fire table.  This may be a little more expensive than you were thinking but a fire table is a great investment for outdoor areas.  They bring people together, add warmth and light, are visually attractive and add value to an outdoor area.  Either way, all of these layer contribute to making your outdoor area feel unique.

Finally, fluff up your outdoor furniture.  If you've got seating, bring in some new toss pillows.  Garden stools are available anywhere and come in all sorts of fun colors and shapes--a couple of these could function as a dozen different things in any outdoor space. Foot rests, side tables to hold drinks, an additional seat, a place for plant...the list goes on and on.  They're great!  Go get one.  Or maybe just bring in a couple of new colorful chairs.  Outdoor spaces can be fun and lively so don't be scared to bring in some color.

We hope we've helped.  We love a great outdoor space and don't see why everyone can't have one to enjoy.