5 Quick & Easy Ideas to Perk Up Your Patio

2014-05-18 18.54.47Suddenly, the weather has turned nice, spring…and Memorial Day weekend…is finally here.

How did that happen?!

Maybe you’re hosting a graduation party this weekend, planning a barbecue, or simply just spending some time at home. Or maybe your space is small, or your deck needs staining, or a host of other little projects need completion and you’re thinking that there’s no point in ‘prettying it up’ until you get those things done.

Whatever the reason, this post is for you.

If you’re planning to entertain, you’ll love these quick ideas for brightening up your space. Lightning fast and easy to do, they’ll spruce it up and give you a lift.

And if you’re thinking simply there’s no point in doing it because [insert reason here], I disagree.

YOU are reason enough to brighten up your deck or patio and make it look nice. Think how much pleasure it will bring you to simply look outside and see a nice space! It makes whatever you’re doing outside more enjoyable. You may find you’re using your outside space even more!

1. If you have an umbrella, open it! 

Every weekend there’s nice weather and we’re going to be home, one of the first things I do on Friday night or Saturday morning is open my umbrellas. Even if we aren’t going to be outside. Your space looks nicer, and they add a little pop of color.

Look at the difference between the picture above. Such a little thing changes the whole look. (Obviously, if a storm’s coming, you’ll want to lower your it…but otherwise, leave it open in it’s full glory!)

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2. Pick up a new mat for your front door.

2014-05-18 18.59.32A new mat works wonders. I can’t tell you how many times I walked through the front door yesterday and smiled inside when I looked at this mat.

This mat was on the higher end price wise, but I still only spent $20.

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Hmmm, apparently I had supervision.

That’s her “If I really look sad, maybe you’ll let me out so I can be with you” look. Of course, it also means “when you aren’t looking I’m going to take off searching for Mr. Groundhog and deer poop to eat” so I didn’t fall for it.

3. Add some plants.

There are several options for adding plants. Color is always nice; you can add some pre-made color bowls or hanging pots.

I picked up a couple yesterday, because I am lazy. 😉

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But it’s not hard to add some plants to a pot you already have. Be creative if you need a pot, and look in your garage. What could you turn into a planter? I have an old ice cream maker bucket that is someday going to be a pot.

2014-05-18 19.00.58If you don’t have the time or your budget is limited, move your houseplants outside. As I mentioned around this time last year, it’s a great way to spruce up an outside space. (Just be careful they don’t get beat with too much sun.) Up against the house is usually a good spot because the sun isn’t so harsh there.

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One of my plants and a color bowl are coexisting peacefully outside my back door.

Or, plant some vegetables. This is my little ‘container garden.’

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We have too many deer around to have a serious garden, so this year I decided to do it a little differently.

We have herbs, lettuce, onions…

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and tomatoes.

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And they are all on our back deck where we can enjoy them every day.

4. Add some lighting.

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These are lanterns I bought several years ago. This year, I moved them outside from my bedroom because I was tired of them there. But if you don’t have lanterns, get creative.

String some lights around your deck, or weave them in  your plants.

No outside receptacles? Place candles in Mason jars. (Please be sure to blow them out before you go to bed!) I’m a half-wit and I know this, so my outdoor candles are flameless.

Or use some small galvanized buckets or clay flower pots to add a soft glow. Bet creative!

5. Contain your crap.

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This my current favorite container. It’s simply a galvanized bucket with a lid. I picked this up for $18 at Tractor Supply. It holds a 30-pound bag of dog food, so I always know how much I have. It’s mouse-proof and rain-proof.

We bought a new barbecue grill yesterday, and if you grill much, you know that grills always require accessories. Jimmy also has a smoker, so we invariably have little bags of wood chips laying around.

I’m going to get another one of these to put all the grill stuff in to keep it dry and easily accessible. If galvanized isn’t your style, be creative. What could you repurpose to hold all your outdoor gear in? A fishing tackle box perhaps? Just containing the clutter will go a long way in making your space look neat and tidy.



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Some of you may notice that my front deck has more muted colors this year.

There’s a reason for that.

We are going to attempt to install a stone flower bed this weekend directly in front of the deck. (This has the added bonus of preventing groundhogs, skunks and other such animals from getting under that deck.)

I plan to fill it with a riot of colorful petunias, which is why I went with more muted colors on the deck.

Speaking of decks…

Don’t let the fact that your decks (or patio) may need staining or repair keep you from beautifying your space. Assuming the deck is safe for you to use, dressing it up a little bit accentuates the positive and makes the negatives less noticeable.

Yes, I am a professional stager. But I’m married to a contractor who has no desire to work at home. And while we may also be partners in a building construction business, my own projects have to wait until there’s time available.

My decks need stained.

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All of them. You can see this one is partially done.

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Home projects, like everything else, are a process.

We are really enjoying our outdoor spaces right now, and eventually we’ll get them stained. Then, we’ll enjoy them a little more. 🙂

Don’t put off living until you get everything done. Life is in the details!

“Enjoy the little things for someday you will realize they were the BIG things.”  (I have no idea who said this, but it’s on a sign in my office at home.)

Have a wonderful summer enjoying YOUR outdoor spaces! 🙂

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