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The sun is shining and the flowers are beginning to bloom! The season for Al Fresco dining, sipping sweet tea on your rocker, making mud pies and enjoying the whispering rustle of the leaves is upon us! Is your outdoor living area dusted off (hello layer of pollen!) and ready to enjoy? If not, below you’ll find some of my favorite ideas for freshening up and decorating your outdoor living area!
Decorating isn’t just for indoor spaces! Allow your outdoor living area to be an extension of your seasonal living and decor! Here are some of my favorite ideas for decorating your outdoor living area to get you inspired!
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What is it about string lights that turns an ordinary evening into a magical event?! Perhaps it’s the feeling of sharing a romantic dinner under the stars, or perhaps it reminds us of a quaint café nestled upon the cobblestone streets of Paris? Whatever the reason, I know that I’m OBSESSED these twinkly lights! The moment you zig-zag a row of string lights atop your outdoor living area, you’ve added instant charm and ambience! These cuties are a no brainer and absolute favorite of my mine in any outdoor living area!
Not sure how to hang String Lights?
Check out this video from Better Homes & Gardens and you’ll be hanging café string lights in your own outdoor living area like a pro in no time!
Ok, I get it… you’re outside anyway, but adding a POTTED plant to your side table or outdoor dining table makes everyone happy! Seriously! Have you ever disliked a cute little fern resting next to your morning cup of coffee as the first rays of sun peak thru? You can never have too many plants! I’m pretty sure it’s been proven time and time again (somewhere) 🙂 Plants = Happiness!
A good Chaise lounge is crucial (in my opinion) for an outdoor living area. Now you might find this a bit funny for me to say, being that I myself do not have a chaise lounge on either of our back or front porches. However, the point is that you need a great place to relax and lounge, and these chaise lounges certainly fit the bill!
Now, if you’re like me and don’t have a deep enough area to comfortably fit an outdoor lounger or two, then this swinging porch bed is a wonderful substitution! AND, I just discovered this Sunday Porch Swing Tray Table for holding a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres! Ummmm, yes please! I know what’s on my birthday list this year!!
We own this Sunday Porch Swing at our home in Denver and it is one of our absolute FAVORITES any time of the day! From sun up to sun down, you can find at least one of us upon it – sipping coffee in the morning sunshine, reading a book, taking an afternoon or sharing a bourbon with my husband after the kids have gone to bed.
Other Favorite Outdoor Living Area Furniture Options:
I love a classic teak side table for placing your drink, a potted plant or a good book / magazine upon. The Teak is not only durable, but timeless and classic! A win / win in my book!
Outdoor throw pillows are an excellent way to add seasonal charm and color to your outdoor living area! I love using pretty shades and colors that complement the natural surroundings blooming right outside my door! Pretty pinks and pale yellows complement the tulips in early spring … pops of red tie in seamlessly with the knock out roses coming to life come mid-Summer… you get the idea! Using colors that occur naturally in your outdoor surroundings will seamlessly tie in your outdoor living area to everything around it with very little thought or effort.
Other Favorite Outdoor Living Area Pillow Options:
Adding a durable outdoor area rug will ground and define your space! I like to look for a rug that is neutral or one that uses a soft and subtle color palette. You want your rug to hold up well to the outdoor traffic, however you don’t want it to distract from the natural beauty of the outdoors.
Alternatively, perhaps you have a small outdoor living area and very little nature to expand beyond your entertaining perimeters? Well, in this case, feel free to go bold! An outdoor rug can also be an excellent opportunity to infuse personality into your space!
Other Favorite Outdoor Living Area Rug Options:
Charming glassware for serving lemonade, sweet tea or an evening adult bourbon slushy simply tastes better when served in an adorable cup, don’t ya think! I love these classic bee cups… they don’t get more perfect than this for your outdoor living area!
Dressing up a table needn’t be fussy, especially when it comes to Al Fresco, summer dining! I love these charming scalloped woven placemats for just that reason! The sweet shape and classic spring/summer color is pretty enough to stand on its own, all the while adding the perfect amount of pretty to any dining table! Plus, an added bonus is that you can transition these cuties all the way into Fall, holding onto the last few days of Summer dining… and that is a BIG win in my book! 😉
For me, napkins fall into the same category as throw pillows. Adding a beautiful or playful napkin infuses color into your outdoor dining / living area and is such a simple way to change things up with each season or holiday (4th of July napkins anyone?)! I love the classic Spring feel of these Navy Blue gingham napkins! They are a quintessential part of outdoor dining, whether eaten picnic style or served table side with wine, you can’t go wrong!
10. Outdoor Curtains
Outdoor curtains like these are the icing on the cake! If an outdoor space is defined by a pergola or porch overhang, these pretty sheer panels will give that added touch of elegance (and privacy!). Your outdoor living area should feel like an extension of your home, so why not dress it up like one!? Plus, who doesn’t love a sheer curtain panel ever so slightly blowing in the wind?? All that’s missing is the beach cabana! 😉
What says Spring / Summer more than Al Fresco dining?! Unless you are spreading out on the lawn, picnic style, in which case you’ll probably want to pick up this adorable picnic basket with wine caddy and this adorable striped picnic blanket, then you will definitely want to invest in a beautiful and timeless outdoor dining set!
I like to look for one that blends seamlessly with your interior style; You’ll want to choose a set that not only stand the test of time, but one that will withstand the harsh elements of the outdoors as well! Teak dining sets are a great option that checks both of these boxes! I love the above dining set for it’s classic turned legs and gorgeous wood tones; Plus, this table offers plenty of space for gathering friends and family over hamburgers, hotdogs and a slice of juicy watermelon!
12. Cafe Flatware
If you plan on entertaining friends and family over the summer, you will definitely want to consider picking up a spare set of flatware or two. Too many times, I’ve ended up at our kitchen sink, frantically washing forks and spoons (when I should have been relaxing), because I’d run out of clean flatware come dessert (ugh!). If you are picking up an extra set anyway, you might as well make them fun! I adore this set of Cafe Flatware from Ballard Designs. The colorful handle in classic blue can be used all year round, and paired with the a classic gingham napkin, it simply screams outdoor summer dining!
Hopefully this has jump started your creative juices and inspired you to get outside and create an outdoor living area that you not only love, but use as often as your indoor space! Happy decorating!
Looking for other posts on decorating for the seasons? Try these posts:
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