There’s nothing better than settling back on my patio on a nice evening with friends. Weather permitting, it’s my 600 square foot happy place. I’ve done all I can to make it comfortable and inviting but I can always find more inspiration. Outdoor Spaces is the topic of Things I Heart on this Labor Day, a day to kick back and enjoy what you’ve worked for all year long.
Comfortable, attractive furniture is key to making any outdoor area appealing. Even if you’re on a budget, used patio furniture can become good as new for a fraction of the cost. You can always refresh tables and chairs with spray paint, such as the Krylon Outdoor Spaces paint, to protect metal pieces and make them pretty again. Other types of spray paint work well on wood and wicker.
You can recover cushions and add colorful outdoor pillows to brighten the sitting area, even add some beanbag chairs for the kids. I stumbled on the idea for concrete slab seating (see below) by accident. We had a huge stack left over after a project and I stacked them to make space. Suddenly they took on a form and before we knew it we had seating for the patio. It’s great because it doesn’t take up a lot of space and it defines a whole new area.
Perfect ambiance for the perfect evening includes patio lighting. From globes and string lights to path lighting, keep your outdoor space lit. Consider energy-saving solar lights. There are lots of affordable ideas available, like these stainless steel solar lanterns from Target, only $19.99 for a set of five. Another idea to add ambiance is candles. Even if you fill a few mason jars with colored water, tie up with raffia and set floating candles in them, you’ll add an extra element of intimacy and set the mood.
Add some colorful, contrasting color pots. It will give your space new life and make your back yard gorgeous. Potted plants are the best for porches and patios, and are perfect for breathing new life into small, urban spaces. Any local nursery or garden center can help you get started. Feel free to personalize your pots. Spray paint is a great way to add lots of color. See my previous post on Container Gardening for ideas. Another incredibly fabulous idea (I’ve got to do this!) is a Cinderblock Succulent Garden. I stumbled on this idea through Urban Gardens’ site. It’s absolutely to die for. I borrowed their photo to show you. I hope they don’t mind but you have to check this out.
Last but not least, a fire pit is a perfect addition to autumn evening entertaining. If you don’t have space for a large fire pit, you can find smaller pieces to fit your budget or space. There are so many out there, from built-in to portable, glass, natural gas, wood burning to propane, the possibilities are endless. I have the Landmann Ball of Fire Outdoor Fireplace. I certainly recommend it. The amount of heat it puts off is fantastic. If you’re looking for a more modern alternative, check out the Urbanfire by ModFire and the Stix by EcoSmart Fire.
Setting the mood for your evening just consists of a few key things. Make the space comfortable. You want people to be able to relax and chill. Don’t forget to make it pretty. Doesn’t everybody love pretty?