Tips for decorating an outdoor patio space

It was time for my old patio furniture to go and I wasn't really sad about it. When I bought it, I hadn't really considered how we would use the space or really considered comfort. Now that I was starting with a blank slate, I put a lot more thought into my selections. I'd like to share with you a few things to consider when decorating your outdoor spaces. 

But first up, here are some before pictures:

I was staring off with a really good foundation. Back in the day, this was actually grass with a mulch bed in the corner. We found it difficult to maintain and actually pretty useless. Since the front of our house has a tiny front porch, we thought this would work much better converted into a patio. 

And here is the after! So much better! We love spending time out here now and we can actually comfortably enjoy the waterfall and pond we had installed. Our neighbors even wander over to have a chat when they see us out here lounging in the evenings. It's been great and a much better use of the space. Let's dive in to some of those tips I promised. 

Consider the sun direction

The front of our house gets all the afternoon and evening sun. In the hot and humid summers here in Kentucky, sitting out here can be brutal! To make this space pleasant, I really had to consider my shade options. Umbrellas are an obvious choice for providing shade but I really didn't feel like one would fit this aesthetic. 

Instead, I used my natural umbrellas! Before, the lilac tree had a lot of lower branches to it and was in more of a ball shape. You can see this in the "before" pictures above. I wanted to be able to place an outdoor sofa underneath this tree so I carefully trimmed the lower branches. In this spring, this is now the best-smelling spot on the farm! The blooming lilacs are just heavenly and the tree provides a wonderful amount of shade! 

Choosing the right pieces of outdoor furniture

Continuing my issue with shade on this patio, I carefully chose these outdoor egg or basket chairs since they come with their own shade! I placed them so they would face away from the setting sun, providing two more shaded spots for sitting. Since their backs face the driveway and street, they also provide a lot of privacy for the patio. 

To balance out the seating area, I added this smaller, occasional chair to the opposite side. This chair is the last one used since it is the least comfortable and if it is afternoon/evening, it tends to be in the full sun. For this reason, I didn't want to spend as much money on it as the other pieces since I knew it wouldn't be used as frequently.

There was quite a bit of room in the middle of the conversation area so I needed tables that would take up that visual space. These two, round nesting tables from World Market did the trick! I can pull them completely apart if I need to expand the area or layer them for the more intimate arrangement. I also like having the two separate surfaces for serving drinks and snacks. 

I selected a couple of small occasional tables to provide a place to perch a drink on next to the chairs. The blue table can double as an additional seat because it is actually an outdoor metal stool! 

If you need a small table just for a beverage, check out plant stands! They come in so many different styles and heights, I am sure you can find one perfect for your space. 

Add a water feature

We had already installed a fish pond with waterfall a few years ago and it makes the perfect, relaxing background noise for patio lounging. Installing something like this is a big expense so that might not be an option. Instead, you can choose a from a myriad of outdoor fountains. Their soft bubbling noises will give that same feeling without the cost and hassle. Even a basic bird bath can be a nice water addition to the space. 

Incorporate plants and other accessories

To me, rugs are just as important outdoors as they are indoors. They really "tie the space together". In this instance, I used a round rug to echo the round tables. In all honesty, it should be bigger but the larger round rugs are just way too big! I might layer another neutral jute rug under it to give it more visual weight. 

Pots filled with flowers and plants in decorative vessels add that sense of sitting in the middle of a garden. For the season, I even bring out a lot of my house plants. They love the extra sunshine and humidity. Just make sure you choose the correct plants for your patio's lighting conditions. For these potted hydrangeas, I have to make sure they stay in shaded spots, they can't handle the intense afternoon sun. 

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Tags: Crafts, Kentucky, Outdoor, Porch, Patio, Make, Outdoor Living


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