With summer temperatures on the way, many of us are beginning to think about how we can create a welcoming space to gather with friends & family and really create an integral extension of our homes! If your current space needs some sprucing up or you’re just starting to make plans to create an outdoor space you’ll love, you’re in the right place. We’re going to share some ideas and must-haves to create the perfect outdoor oasis!
Decide what purpose you want the space to serve
Before you start purchasing items to furnish your space, you’ll really want to figure out how you intend to use it and what kind of outdoor lifestyle you envision. Do you like to host and have parties? Do you have kids and need to create a hybrid space that is fun for them and relaxing for you? Do you want dining space, chat-style seating, a fire-pit, bbq setup, space for laying out food & drink for parties? Maybe you need a combination of several of the above.
It is easy to get inspired by all the Pinterest-worthy spaces out there on the web, but remember you’ll need to be realistic about the space you have available and then prioritize how you can make that space work for your needs.
Make a Plan
Whether you want your place to be the go-to for neighborhood BBQs, family picnics, or a respite from everyday responsibilities, making your backyard a hub for relaxing, entertaining, or simply soaking in the warm weather is easily achievable! All you need to do to start is make a plan!
We’d highly recommend measuring and even sketching out a plan on paper. It will only make purchasing furniture or other functional items that much easier. You can even revisit our previous blog post, “How to Create a Mood Board” to help you design the look and feel of your outdoor space.
Make the Space Cozy & Inviting
It doesn’t take much to make your space cozy & inviting. Roll out a nice outdoor area rug, provide some comfortable seating, perhaps some accent pillows, and lanterns or candles and you’re already well on your way.
Remember, not all items for your outdoor space need to be purchased new. Look through some of your existing decor like baskets, lanterns, serving trays, candles, etc that can be used in a new way and incorporated into your outdoor space. Also, if you are starting your space from scratch and have several big items to buy consider buying some of the bigger items towards the end of the season when things are discounted.
When you’re decorating don’t forget to add some plants! Plants are one of the most affordable ways to create a welcoming feel, so grab some cute pottery or decorative baskets and fill them with some fresh greenery or flowers. You might even be able to bring some of your indoor plants outside in the summer months. Just be sure to check on the care requirements to make sure they can handle the lighting in the area you intend to put them.
Create Ambiance with Lighting
Whatever you do, don’t forget about the lighting. You may think that lighting is the last thing you need to think about, but let me tell you, it can make such a HUGE difference! There are so many fun options to choose from! You can add some cafe string lights, some lanterns, candles, tiki torches, a fire table, a fire pit (the smokeless solo stove has been all the rage), or they even make umbrellas that have built-in lighting, as well.
Gather Outdoor Essentials
We think there are some basic essentials you’ll want to have to really make your outdoor space an extension of your home. The first thing to consider would be a good quality grill.
One of the best things about summer is the smell of food cooking on the grill! Since food & drink bring people together, a grill will likely be a necessity. Whatever your preference gas, charcoal, smoker, etc investing in a good grill will be money well spent!
Another outdoor essential to snatch up is a utensil caddy. Having a clean, organized place for utensils is a good idea and is easy to grab and carry when preparing to dine outdoors.
Lastly, a nice thing to have is a beverage cooler. Having some refreshing, cold drinks to beat the summer heat without having to run in and out of the house will be super handy. Also, if you have guests they can help themselves so you can relax and enjoy your guests without worrying about running around to grab drinks.
There you have it! Hopefully, this post has inspired you to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and warm summer nights with your friends and family. If you have any outdoor living must-haves you cannot live without, please comment and share them here!