Deck Out Your Outdoor Space
Size Up Your Space
Define the Space
Where will you be hanging? Patio, porch, yard, or deck. Approach your outdoor area with the same attentiveness to detail as you would if it were a room inside. So measure the space and take note of the dimensions you'll be working with. The last you'll want is to purchase a table that has no room for the chairs to fit around.
How do you plan to make use of this space. Obvious question? Not necessarily and certainly not once you start shopping and see all of the options out there. Decide on your patio personality: Are you the entertaining types? You'll need a set that is prepared for the standing invitation that you extend to the 20 friends every weekend? Are you the casual lounging duo? The back is your escape: sunbathing, reading, relaxing with an occasional intimate dinner party. It makes a difference when you are up against a spot that accommodates two versus 25, and comfortably.
Style the Space
Don't throw your decorating sensibility out the window just because you're out back. Tangerine might be the hot summer hue but it might look terrible resting on your teak Adirondack chair. Pick your palette with the same precision as you would if you were buying your living room furniture. Don't go super mod if you generally tend to stick to the traditional. Remember the outdoors is an extension of your interior décor, with a little room for flair. So stick to the practical and have fun. We love this outdoor dining set from westelm.com, it's traditional enough to be flexible, but with a serious twist of color.
So there's no wrap around porch or expansive deck. Face it. Then focus on what will realistically work with your space. Most experts agree that the best idea is to approach this task like any good host by preparing the spot for where guests will gather and dine. So start by adding the table and chairs to the cart. Then add cushions and an umbrella to create the most comfortable and attractive look. Next step is prioritizing based on your lifestyle: Portable bar cart for the entertainer or chaise lounge for the sunbather. We're opting for a tan, check out this double chaise from potterybarn.com -- perfect for Nesties.
Lets be honest, outdoor furniture is a serious investment and, like the living room couch, is meant to stick around. Depressing? Nah, not when you can buy new accessories each season to give it a fresh new look. Fool those friends who came around last season into thinking you upgraded when, in reality, you just accessorized. Hopefully, those friends are still coming around. Lay down a new rug, toss on some punchy pillows, hang some eco-forward solar lanterns. These colorful rugs from ikea.com are a cheap (and chic) way to brighten up any space.
Surf the Web in Style
It's true, shopping online can be challenging if you like to test drive those lounges, chairs, and cushions. But there are some sites that offer high quality plus tons of options for everything outdoor. Start clicking.
Cute options, sans the kitsch
Charming selection of wicker and more.
Unique accessories with interior appeal.
Special effects in landscape design
Terrific selection of teak.
Just name the color, style, and sun exposure.
The perfect stomping ground for the deck dwellers
From modular structures to rustic accessories.
The options are available for whatever your style.
Look a little closer at some sites you may not think would have outdoor furniture, you may be surprised at what they have. We stumbled upon this cool cushy circle set at pbteen.com, who knew?
Susie Coelho co-founder Susie Coehlo Enterprises
Paul Sayer, owner and writer for outdoorlivingauthority.com