Now that the warm weather is here – we all spend more time outdoors, so why not transform your porch, deck or patio into a private outdoor room? Some simple and inexpensive changes can warm up your outdoor space without doing a major renovation.
Clear the space
Decorating an outdoor room has all the same challenges that you might encounter when working indoors. Begin by clearing the space to see its potential and try to define the area by creating a backdrop and ‘walls”.
- A backdrop might be a privacy screen made from lattice panels, old shutters, a fabric divider created from a beautiful shower curtain or tall shrubs planted to hide an unpleasant view.
- The perimeters of the space could be delineated by low walls of stone, railroad ties or a row of potted plants.
Create a focal point
Once the “room” has been defined, you should choose an area that will be the focal point. The focal point can be anything that draws you into the space. Consider how you want to use your outdoor room and that may dictate your focus.
- If cooking out and dining under the stars is your preference then the dining table and chairs should take center stage. Find colorful tableware and chair cushions that are weatherproof.
- Maybe you envision a quiet place to sit and read or sun bathe. A comfortable wicker settee, porch swing or a hammock may be the best option.
Punch up the colors
Since the outdoors is an open palate of big blue sky and nature’s greenery, punch up the area with vibrant colors and distribute them in several areas. Determine a color theme and use it throughout the space.
- Search for colorful seat cushions, pillows, and table settings.
- The use of potted plants is an easy way to add color and texture. Line up flowerpots along a ledge or stairway or grow a flowering vine on a trellis to filter the light and add privacy.
- Window boxes dress up not only the outside but provide a beautiful view from the inside.
- Paint a bench or a birdhouse in a bright hue for a playful accent.
Accessorize your space with items you have on hand that carry out an outdoor theme.
- Aged barrels, watering cans, colorful bottles, or bird nests.
- Gather a bouquet of cut flowers in an old pitcher or float a single large blossom in a clear dish.
- Showcase your seashell collection by filling a colorful bucket with sand and a pillar candle and surrounding it with shells.
Light it up!
Finally, every room needs lighting and the addition of lighting extends the use of your outdoor room and adds atmosphere.
- String small white lights around an umbrella or a porch railing.
- Hang a candelabra from a nearby tree to add sparkle and romance.
- Make hanging lanterns from canning jars filled with sand and candles and hung by wire.
- Fill a tin can with water and freeze, and then punch holes in the sides with a hammer and nails for a unique lantern to hold a candle.
- Or purchase a battery operated lantern to light up your room.
Expand your living space and take advantage of the great outdoors. You may find that you can enjoy you new found room three seasons of the year!
Pam Hartz Milller http://hartzandhomes.com