As the weather starts to warm up, the sun is out a little longer, and bright blue skies become the norm, I like to turn my focus on outdoor living. We love spending time with family and friends relaxing and eating al fresco.
Taking advantage of your outdoor space can add hundreds of square footage to your living space. But it doesn't have to cost you an arm and leg to create a space you love.
Having a hard time deciding? Here are my tips on how I make sure to create a comfortable and inviting space.
Start with Outdoor Rugs
I like to start decorating my outdoor spaces the same way that I start a room inside my home. Rugs allow you to create different living areas and help ground the space. I have two area rugs on our lanai to help designate the living area and the dining area. Since most of the furniture pieces that we already own are mostly wood tones and beige, the rug is my opportunity to bring in some color and style to the space.
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Bring in Furniture Pieces
After the rugs are laid out and the spaces clearly defined, I like to bring in the large furniture pieces. This allows me to move them around with ease helping me to chose the best layout for the space. When we first moved in, we decided to use my husband's old dining set and console. They're a beautiful wood and metal mix that I love and since we didn't have any room for them inside, we decided to use them outside. Our lanai area has a roof overhead so I wasn't too concerned about the elements ruining the furniture. Over in the living space, we bought an affordable outdoor sectional from Amazon. It's a 4 pieces set that allowed us to move the pieces in several different ways so that we could customize the fit to our specific space.
This is where we are ready to have fun! As I mentioned before, most of our big furniture pieces are pretty neutral in color. So I like to bring in all my color through the accessories. In order to make the space feel it's an extension of my home, I keep the decor pretty much the same as inside. I started by adding some outdoor curtains to not only help with blocking the suns rays at certain times throughout the day but also help bring in some much-needed color and style.
Throw pillows are another way to help bring in color to your decor when your furniture is mostly neutral. I got mine several years ago at At Home with a hint of green to carry the green from the rug.
A budget-friendly way to accessorize your space is with plants. Most of the plants in this space are faux from the Dollar Tree because as much as I try, I do not have a green thumb. I simply buy terracotta pottery and spray paint it the color of my choice, add real dirt, and faux plants and you've got some pretty low maintenance greenery!
Layer in Lighting
To make the space feel more cozy and allow you to use it at anytime throughout the day, layer in lighting with ceiling fixtures, lamps, and candles. We added two outdoor fans with a light kit (a fan is a must in Florida!) I then layered in a table lamp over by the TV area to create more ambient lighting when the sun goes down. Over by the buffet area I layered in some candles for even more mood lighting.
And there you have it! An outdoor space that's an extension of your indoor living space ready for you to relax, entertain, and spend some good old quality time with your family and friends!