Warm days are right around the corner and I could not be more excited about it! If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know we take patio time very seriously around here. Melissa shared what they learned from their very own backyard patio project in this 2019 post and shared four "Get the Look"s back in 2020. (Seriously, where has the time gone?) Since then outdoor spaces have become increasingly valuable, so we’re back today to share a few additional tips to make sure you’re making the most of your little outdoor corner of the world.
Design for you, not IG. The ‘Form Follows Function’ rule applies to outdoor spaces just as much as it does to interiors. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when designing your outdoor space:
What level of plant-maintenance fits my lifestyle? Do you like to garden and look forward to making a routine of watering and caring for your plants? Awesome! Do you want to plant something once and be done with it? Also awesome! For you low-maintenance gardeners, consider going green with all palms and grasses, as this beautiful Brooklyn, NYC balcony did.
In case you need to hear it, there’s no shame in that outsourcing game! Will paying a landscaper mean I'll use and enjoy my outdoor space more? If yes, consider doing a one-time service to get you started with low-maintenance plants that you can then take care of moving forward. The investment upfront will be paid out through enjoyable days throughout spring, summer, and fall. District Landscapes offers a Spring Clean Up service that is all about weed prevention, as well as other, more robust landscaping services. For those of you in Capitol Hill, Ginko Gardens and Surroundings offer gardening services, as well!
Do I plan on working outside? If yes, make sure you get an ergonomically-friendly chair and table. Balancing a laptop on your legs for more than 20 minutes is no bueno! This means sticking to cafe and dining-size tables.
Where will the sun be? Consider how much direct sunlight your space gets during the time you plan on being outside the most. If you’ll be outside during direct sunlight hours, don’t forget an umbrella! West Elm has several U.S.-made, UV-resistant umbrellas, as well as fun, geometric privacy shades.
All you need are three. All you need are three planters to take your space from ‘Barren Balcony’ to ‘Zen Moment’. When shopping for planters, scale is key. If you have a large patio, consider having a minimum of one extra large planter (>22” diameter), but if you’re designing for a much smaller space, like a balcony, start with a medium planter (9”-15”) before scaling down. Below are a few planters we love that can be mixed and matched. We tend to gravitate towards natural materials and colors for planters, letting the plants and flowers take center stage.
Don’t forget the lighting! I’m pretty sure every blog under the sun has stated this next opinion, but we believe it so whole-heartedly that we think it bears repeating: say ‘Yes!’ to cafe lights! These lights come in 25-feet strings, perfect for a smaller space, or 50-feet strings, to allow for added light coverage for a larger patio or backyard.
When in doubt, just add pillows. One way to take any space up a notch (inside or out) is by adding pillows. Even if you just have one chair out on your balcony, add a pillow to make it a comfy spot to read, take calls, or enjoy your morning coffee. Restoration Hardware takes the guesswork out of pillow combinations with their mix-and-match outdoor pillow collections. Thanks, RH!
That’s all we have this month! We hope you get to spend many days and evenings outside enjoying warmer weather. We will leave you with three Get The Looks below to get you inspired to spruce up your own space. Some of the items are available at The Shop; those items' hyperlinks will prompt you to email us for more information. As always, reach out with questions or share your favorite easy steps below!
Get The Look: Backyard Patio
1 Textured Cylinder Ceramic Pot | 2 FSC® Teak Adirondack Chair | 3 Frosted Globe Cafe Lights | 4 Samson Oak Indoor/Outdoor Rug | 5 Set of 2 Terracotta-Colored Outdoor Pillows | 6 60" Tilly Outdoor Sofa | 7 Fire Table | 8 Set of 2 Side Tables
Get The Look: Balcony
Get The Look: Row Home Front Porch