This post was published in May 2016 and updated April 2021.
You’ve got all the makings of a great outdoor space for entertaining, but it’s feeling a little lackluster after the long winter. Sound familiar? Giving your space a quick, budget-friendly pick-me-up is as easy as adding a few decorative elements — and you’ll be ready for deck and patio party season in no time. Check out a few of our favorite ideas below.
1. Hang string lights
There’s no quicker fix to adding a little ambiance than hanging string lights. They give a festive glow and up the charm factor, no matter how simple the decor or small your space. You can hang string lights across a patio, over a gazebo or pergola or even on a balcony.
2. Pile on the throw pillows
The first thing interior designer Suzanne Kasler does at the start of spring is replace her outdoor pillows: “It’s the easiest way to update my existing outdoor furniture.” This year, change up the colors and mix in plenty of patterns for lots of visual interest.
3. Swap out your cushions
Most outdoor furniture comes with neutral cushions, so maybe it’s about time to re-imagine and refresh your outdoor decor with splashy new cushion covers. Our Canopy Stripe Sunbrella® Cushion in Navy/Sand brings a timeless preppy, nautical flair to this patio.
4. Paint your porch or toss down a new rug
Color instantly lifts any space. Swipe a fresh coat of paint on your porch. Or, cover an unsightly concrete or tile patio with a colorful outdoor-friendly rug. It also defines a seating or dining area, creating the feel of an outdoor room. Here, we used our Suzanne Kasler Fleur Indoor/Outdoor Rug — we love the way the sofa and chair echos the pattern underfoot.
5. Plant a container garden
While landscaping your entire back yard may not be in the budget, you can easily plant a fun, fast container garden for luscious texture and color in your seating area. And it doesn’t take much of a green thumb to do it. Just remember the three types of plants you need to make your container garden really shine: thriller, spiller, filler.
6. Add a Living Arrangement
Take Mother Nature’s lead and bring interest to an outdoor tabletop with a living arrangement. Guest stylist, Eddie Ross, shows us how to create a beautiful centerpiece that will last through fall.
6. Hang some wall décor
If you thought about treating your outdoor spaces like your indoor rooms, you’d pay more attention to your walls. Add interest to a blank space of exterior wall with a mirror, a candle sconce or other wall decor.
7. Place a cabana poolside
When you can’t go to Palm Beach, bring Palm Beach to you. Our Towel Cabana lends a cool resort feel in classic black-and-white stripes and is the perfect porch or poolside companion for serving drinks or storing towels.
For more outdoor inspiration, read these helpful posts below:
- 12 Ways to Make a Big Outdoor Statement
- How to Up Your Outdoor Decorating Game
- 5 Outdoor Decorating Rules to Live By
- 9 Ways to Add Extra Seating to Your Outdoor Space
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