Let’s explore several different ways to spruce up your backyard with fabulous and unique outdoor decor.
What Outdoor Decor Provides
Where we live warm summer days are sacrosanct because they only last for about twelve weeks and then it’s back to toques and down jackets. So believe me when I say we make the best of it.
Because of this outdoor spaces are incredibly important. We want to squeeze out as much of the sunshine as we can. These coveted spaces are a continuation of our homes. We want them to be like outdoor rooms. We want comfort, luxury, convenience, and we want it to be practical and long lasting. We also want our spaces to be unique and represent are personal style. The following tips for planning your outdoor decor will help you achieve this.
Top 7 Tips for Outdoor Decor
Tip 1: Take care and maintain
A great outdoor space starts with a great foundation. So make sure that you:
- Properly prepare and stain your deck if you opt to build with wood materials. We used Behr All In One Wood Cleaner and it did an amazing job.
- If your outdoor space is a patio or a stone pad keep the space clean of weeds and debris.
- Always use plant pot bases to catch any water run off when watering outdoor plants.
- Clean the deck and the furniture on a semi- regular basis. The outdoors gets dirty and nothing looks worse than worn, dingy outdoor furniture, plant pots, cooking spaces or accessories.
- Invest in good quality covers to protect your furniture, cushions, throw pillows, fabrics, and outdoor dining chairs from the elements. This won’t only ensure that they look great but will also help make them last longer.
Tip 2: Look to Nature for inspiration and outdoor decor
Use nature where you naturally find it – outdoors on your deck or patio. Outdoor decor made from nature brings a sense of calm and comfort… and a ton of compliments.
- Trees make for amazing outdoor decor. I have used them for plant pots, side tables, fire pit stools, and garden posts for vining plants.
- Turn to wood, cotton, coco plant liners, wood chips, mulch, stone, cement, granite, and other natural materials whenever you can for your outdoor decor. This will save you money while creating a calm and natural look. .
- Bring in wild life by catering to their needs. Hang bird feeders, bird baths, and bird houses to attract birds or plant flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and humming birds. Let’s just call this living outdoor decor.
Tip 3: Bring the inside…outside
- I love to bring my indoor plants outside as soon as the weather permits. They just add that extra bit of interest and sophistication that helps with creating that feeling of the outdoor space being an extension of our home. (See PRO TIP below)
- Include candle holders, plant pots, candles, throw pillows, blankets, vases, and decor accessories that you have in your home in your outdoor space. Again this helps create the feeling that your outdoor space is an extension of your indoor space.
- Lighting is just as important outdoors as it is indoors so make sure that you consider this and include it in several places around the space and where it will be most needed. This can be done through solar lights, mini fairy lights, string lights, decorative lighting, lanterns, attractive outdoor light fixtures, candles, and fire pits.
- Music sets the mood. Whether it’s an afternoon friendly visit, a family BBQ, drinks with friends in the evening, or a big bash music makes the whole experience extra special. Outdoor speakers can be found at any electronic store, box store, Amazon, or at your local Costco. I recommend Wonder Boom. It is small, portable, comes with a loop to hang it anywhere, is water resistant, and has a fantastic sound.
*PRO TIP: For indoor plants being brought outdoors: place them in a shaded area and water them well. In the fall scrape of the top layer of soil to remove any possible bug eggs or bugs and then wash the outside and the base of the pots thoroughly before bringing them back inside for the winter.
Tip 4: Cover all the comfort basic
- Take in to account your climate limitations. We live in a part of Canada where it can be crazy cold. Our summers, although really hot, are short lived. We never really have a spring and fall is pretty much a trial run for winter. So, in summer we need patio umbrellas, and shaded areas. In spring and fall we need heating lamps.
- Provide all the comforts needed when it comes to entertaining and feeding the masses. You can’t go wrong with a good quality BBQ. I also like to have a patio drink cooler cart on hand to keep the drinks cold, the ice frozen, and the guests happy and plenty of seating and table options.
Tip 5: Get plant crazy
I am a plant addict. I seriously have a problem but it’s a problem I recommend you get into too.
- First tip: Have plants because they truly make for the most spectacular outdoor decor. Hanging baskets, container herb gardens, a mojito mint container, trough planters, potted plants, plants on plant stands, and plant centerpieces all help to create interest and a beautiful space.
- When shopping for plants make sure that you are purchasing ones that suit the type of light it will receive in that area. Super petunias will preform brilliantly in full sun but in part sun or shade you will be sadly disappointed with the show. Where as, spider plants, impatiens, and begonias make for perfect shade containers.
- Buy power house plants. You want plants that last throughout the season, will need only regular watering, require little maintenance, and don’t need deadheading (or at least seldom need dead heading). Some of my favourites include: Supertunias, Superbells, Salvia, Lemon Coral Sedum, Geraniums, Cannas, Creeping Jenny, Prince Tut, Pennisetum Grasses, Begonias, and Impatiens.
*PRO TIP: DEAD HEADING – to cut off spent (dead blooms). You want plants that don’t need this done.
Tip 6: Choose the right style and a colour scheme
- Consider where your space is located. If you are downtown on a roof top go with urban chic or industrial. At a cabin nautical or farmhouse coastal are great options. In the country rustic and natural materials look like they belong.
- Pick 3 colours and 2 wood tones and stick with that. Just like in home decorating too much is too much.
- Consider going neutral with the larger items. It can be easy to get attracted to the bright coloured umbrella or sofa cushions but remember you may eventually bore of them, they will limit how you can decorate later on, and darker / brighter colours fade in the sun so they won’t look as nice for as long.
- Include colour in throw pillows, outdoor carpeting, blankets, accessories, and with plants. These are easy to change up and will cost less than replacing an entire sofa because you got tired of it’s bright red colour.
Tip 7: Use unexpected elements
- Don’t be afraid to use unexpected pieces of furniture as outdoor decor. We have an old church bench that had been cut in half and was going to be thrown away. We decided to give it some extra love by painting it a brilliant cobalt blue, protecting it with a top coat, and using it as extra seating at our outdoor dining table.
- Search for furniture and accessories in unexpected places. The big box stores have their place but conversation pieces are likely to be found else where. An example of this would be our outdoor coffee table. Hubby found it sitting outside a garbage bin beside a granite store. It was a beautiful dark brown and black granite with specks of cobalt blue in it. So, hubby brought it home and we placed it on top of our old, torn, box store purchased faux wicker coffee table frame and Voila! A gorgeous, unique and attention grabbing piece of furniture that you wouldn’t find anywhere else and cost nothing. Now, I just need to find a way to cut the edges so that they all match.
Jenny’s Finishing Thoughts on Deck Decor
Do you really need my final thoughts this time? I mean, who isn’t for awesome and comfortable outdoor settings with fabulous decor?
I hope the above tips provide a bit of inspiration. I would love to hear what you like to do when decorating your deck / outdoor spaces. Please share in the comments below where we can all learn from each other.
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