Let us help guide you to creating amazing Outdoor Living Spaces for your friends and family this Summer!
Ready to start creating beautiful outdoor living spaces for your family? Follow our 5 step guide so you can start enjoying summers outdoors on your patio!
Do you admire your friends and family that have created gorgeous outdoor living spaces? Well read on and we will give you some simple steps to help guide you to creating living spaces on your patio that will have you wanting to hang out there all summer long!
Patio season is upon us and everyone is itching to get outdoors after a long winter indoors! It’s important you take the time to really think of your outdoor living spaces as an addition to the rest of your home! We wanted to share with you 5 tips that we use as a guideline to make the most out of our outdoor living spaces!
" I have always thought of my patio as an extension of my interior living spaces "
SHOP THE PATIO
STEP #1 – Lighting for your Outdoor Living Spaces
You will be spending both days and nights on your patio spaces, so you will want to make sure you have great lighting for these areas!
Lighting needs to be functional and practical but still give the space style! Think of how much a light fixture can change the look of an indoor room, it’s exactly the same for an outdoor patio or dining area!
A few lighting options are:
- Swaged outdoor patio lantern lights - these give a beautiful glow in the evening and add an element of charm to any of your living spaces.
- Candle lite lantern’s or battery operated candles – lanterns truly set an ambience and give you an immediate relaxed vibe!
- Centralized chandelier or fixture - this helps to complete the look of outdoor living spaces and drives the eye up giving the patio height! This is a great option when you have a covered deck or pergola!
- Twinkle lights – These little cuties aren't just good at Christmas time! The battery operated LED lights will give you a gorgeous glow at night! Perfect for sitting and having a glass of wine!
Lighting helps create gorgeous Outdoor Living Spaces!
Lighting Hack Trick – While Britt has a wired in Chandelier in her fully covered patio, which FYI the chandeliers are not outdoor rated (consult an electrician before wiring in any fixture in your outdoor spaces). However did you know Deb’s patio chandelier is “just for looks!” Deb has her string lights plugged in but the chandelier is just hanging there and the light from the string lights reflects on the chandelier and makes the chandelier appear that is functional.
STEP #2 - Greenery & Flowers
Nothing feels more like summer then fresh flowers and plants everywhere! Both of us have nailed down some of our favorite easy to grow plants for the season! Neither one of us stray too far from these because they are beautiful all summer long and usually look just as good long into the fall.
Patio flowers help create a beautiful outdoor Oasis!
Our favorites are:
- Potato Vine (Solanum jasminoides)
1. Potato Vine, also known as Solanum Jasminoides, this evergreen vine is an ornamental garden plant with white flowers or pale blue flowers that resemble jasmine. This vine is extremely fast growing and thrives in almost any condition. Britt has had success with it both in full sun and shady areas and the great thing about this vine is that you can direct it to climb and grow in any direction you choose. This vine lasts long into the fall!
2. Wave Petunia’s are an easy to grow and care for flower that make a big impact on your patio space! They can easily be started from seed and begin flowering in early summer, right through until fall. They give our living spaces a pop of color and are a favorite because they continue to grow and bloom with very little work. Simply pull off any dead blooms and this plant will thrive well into the fall. Petunias are also extremely hardy and even if neglected and unwatered these beauties will perk back up after a good watering.
3. Eucalyptus is another evergreen that is very easy to grow, the True Blue variation not only fills out and looks beautiful, it smells amazing too! This lovely greenery addition grows best in full sun and will help to attract birds to your patio. Eucalyptus is also lovely to cut and bring into the house for an indoor bouquet. And the best part is that in the fall you can cut off the stems to make potpourri or make scented satchel’s.
4. Heliotrope is a sweetly scented flower that has beautiful blooms that are a deep purple in color. They are an annual in Canada but can be tropical perennials in other parts of the world. With that said, they do not do well with the slightest amount of cold weather or frost.
5. Lavender is by far one of the most fragrant and beautiful herbs in the garden. Both English lavender and Spanish lavender are great for on the patio. The plant loves blazing hot sunny spots and dry soil. If your lavender isn’t thriving, it’s probably due to overwatering! Although please note that some variations are being created to be more hardy for Canadian climates and can handle more moisture and shade.
6. Hydrangeas are amazing and there are so many varieties. These big blooms can really add some personality to a patio space. Opposite to the lavender above, the hydrangea requires water daily and prefers morning sun as opposed to afternoon heat! If you would like to learn more about hydrangea care, you can check out our full post on it here.
We have found that keeping it simple with using these flowers produces beautiful planters all summer long and creates beautiful living spaces for your friends and family to enjoy.
PATIO DECOR FAVORITES
STEP #3 Unique Outdoor Furniture
Sometimes it’s good to step out of the traditional look and feel of the big box store furniture and the patio is just the place to do this!
We have both added pieces that could double as indoor or outdoor furniture to our living spaces on out patios! In fact Britt’s patio table was the table that was previously in her office and Deb’s new patio table was previously her dinning room table! The key is in protecting them from the weather and other elements of the outdoors. Be sure to use the right types of products to protect your furniture like outdoor paints and stains as well as outdoor polyurethanes.
Other ways to keep your furniture protected is covering your table and chairs with a painters drop cloth (the ones that have the plastic liner) when you are not using the space. Deb also had a custom piece of plexi glass cut to go on top of her pergola above her chandelier and table to prevent as much rain from getting onto the chandelier and table.
Adding unique items, like old electrical spools and farmhouse tables and antique benches make your space feel comfortable and casual. The best way to do this is to think about your favorite living spaces inside your home, what makes you love eating at your dinning room table or curling up on your couch? Now think how can I carry these elements to my outdoor living spaces?
For example our kids love to sit at a bench as opposed to dinning room chairs so we have added benches to our outdoor dinning tables so that our kids can run out to the table and sit down without struggling to pull out chairs on the bumpy patio pavers or uneven deck boards.
OUTDOOR LIVING DECOR
A key to having kids utilize the pretty spaces we create is that it has to be easy for them to use!
STEP #4 Adding Cozy Living Spaces
There is nothing better than having a spot on your patio that you can go relax after a long day of working in the yard! Imagine working all day in the hot sun and then having a cozy living area that you can go plop down on in the shade with a cool beverage!
Britt has hanging hammock chairs on her patio and they are used daily by all members of the family! Morning lattes are also so much better enjoyed from this cozy spot as well looking out over the cows grazing in the field!
Other options are couches or a traditional hammock. There are lots of tutorials for pallet couches that you can search Pinterest for. A traditional hammock on a frame can easily be moved around to find that perfect shady spot for an afternoon siesta.
No matter what your outdoor living spaces look like having a spot that calls your name to come and relax and enjoy the summer days is essential!
STEP #5 Optimizing your Living Spaces
If you have a large outdoor entertaining area, it’s a good idea to give each space a distinct purpose, similar to what you would do with your indoor spaces. A set area that is for cooking, can be paired with an outdoor dining area and a lounging area can be on its own as well.
"A great outdoor Living Space will Reflect your style as much as the rest of your home"
~ Deborah @bvintagesyle
A great place to start determining how to organize your spaces is by letting the sun be your guide. In Canada summer nights can be chilly so having more sunlight on the south and west sides may be more comfortable for staying out longer in the evening. However having a cooking area on the north side of your home like Deb's BBQ area may be more practical. And in hotter climates finding reprieve from the scorching summer days will be important for enjoying your evenings. So start by thinking about how much sun your family will want during different points of the day and how you can optimize either getting more heat or shade to make your outdoor living spaces more enjoyable!
Wonder how we edit our pretty images? You can grab our most used
Lightroom Preset for FREE!
We hope you have gotten some inspiration to start creating your own outdoor patio oasis! We would love to hear any thoughts you may have or any ideas you have done in the past to create your outdoor living spaces! And if you are looking to start a patio from scratch check out how Deb used reclaimed bricks to create her fire pit patio space!
We love to hear from you so please make sure you leave a comment below and good luck with your outdoor living spaces!
Our friends have also written some amazing posts on how they have created outdoor living spaces and we would love for you to check them out as well:
Rhonda from the Hallstrom Home - HYGGE PORCH DESIGN WITH SWING