Ways to make your outdoor space work for you no matter the size

Transforming your outdoor area can make it more inviting. We asked designers, gardeners, and decorators for their tips on how to style an outdoor area. It doesn’t cost much to declutter and maximize your patio.

Angi’s top deck and porch builders can help you improve the value of your home by renovating or building your outdoor space.

Explore Your OptionsChoose a theme.

Your outdoor space should reflect your style. Choose a theme to limit your design choices. For example, you might be inspired by a Japanese Garden. A Bamboo fence will surround the area, and you can use a soothing palette of evergreens, mosses, and stone to complete the look.

If you want to evoke summers in the English countryside with a cottage garden, choose a garden filled with wildflowers and a fire pit made of cobblestones. You can also add aged wood benches. You can use the same themes in a small balcony by adapting the furniture and greenery to fit the scale of the space. Making sense of the space is key. “You want to be transported into the garden when you are outside.”

Divide your outdoor space into sections.

Do not think of your outdoor area as a single unit, regardless of how large or small it is. Divide the space into sections to make it more useful and functional. Think about carving separate dining and seating areas. Benches are my favorite piece of outdoor furniture to create this look. You can use them as seating, accent tables, or ottomans. “They are also great for displaying planters and candles,” says Annemarie Schmid, an event planner.

Greenery is a great way to add a touch of nature to your home

A touch of greenery, along with weather-resistant materials, fabrics, and furniture that will last, can transform any outdoor space, no matter how big or small. “Incorporate greenery. To add a natural touch, we love banana leaf trees and orchids. “High-design planters are a great way to express one’s personality,” says Lance Thomas of Thomas Guy Interiors.

Accessorize with Accessories to Add More Colors

You can still achieve the same effect even if you don’t own many walls. Add colored accents to your home. Use patterned pillows to enhance an outdoor area. They can match the color scheme of your home. Use the same throw pillows and blankets you use inside and outside! This will make your space look larger and more cohesive. Brittany Farinas, from House of One, says that the second thing to do is incorporate a water feature.

The Seasons are Inspiration

Add pops of color to the outdoor furniture, floral arrangements, and outdoor decor. Mary Patton, from Mary Patton Design, recommends using bright colors to create a space that is inspired by nature. You can do this in small or large outdoor spaces to add interest.

Connect your outdoor space with your indoors

Allow your outdoor space to be an extension of the indoor space. By incorporating colors and textures into your outdoor furniture and keeping the space between indoors and outdoors open, you can make your indoor and outdoor areas feel bigger.

Sarah Barnard, from Sarah Barnard Design, recommends that “offering an indoor/outdoor connectivity is especially beneficial for smaller spaces. It keeps conveniences from the inside close by when a snack or drink is needed. And it brings in natural light and allows you to enjoy nature while indoors.”

Use the same care with your outdoor lighting.

Mitchell Elworthy of The Lighting Outlet says that outdoor illumination is just as important as indoor illumination if you wish to continue enjoying your space after the sun has set.

You want a warm, cozy glow. Your neighbors won’t complain. Replace ugly light fixtures with pendants, string globes, or hanging lanterns that came with your home. Instead of laying out your outdoor flooring according to the usual pattern, Robert Johnson, founder of Sawinery, suggests a more interesting installation.

Plan Your Outdoors Like You Would Indoors

Plan your outdoor space just as you would plan the inside. Think about how you will use the space and what style you are going for. Draw a scaled-down plan of your outdoor area and divide it up into different regions according to its practicality,” says Andrew Porwol, Garden Centre Shopping.

If you have a patio or balcony that is small, use plants and furniture as dividers to separate different areas for dining, cooking, or relaxing. String lights and patio umbrellas can be used to create extra shade. If you have a large yard, try creating zones for different types of activities. You can create a seating area in the garden to relax while keeping kids entertained. Add features such as a firepit or pergola in your yard to make it more inviting, says Christina Mobley of Restyle Homes.

Unused Spaces can be Activated.

Many of us have side yards, patios, or even whole backyards that are unused and have taken on their own life. They can be neglected or become catchall areas. With a little imagination, a small space can be used to its full potential.

Get Rid of All Clutter

When I start a new garden design project, I tell my clients to remove everything unnecessary. This means that I will remove anything in the garden that is not needed to maximize space. Can you, for example, remove the large shed at the end of your yard and dispose of the items stored there? You can do a lot more with the space you gain by removing a shed, says Zara, an Interior Design Consultant for Land of Rugs.

Take a Look at Your Interior Views

Don’t forget to focus on the inside when you are focusing on outdoor spaces. While outdoor spaces are designed to maximize their use, the impact on interior design can extend the benefits. While spending time outside, staggered plants with different textures can add visual interest while providing privacy and a calm view of nature. Seasonal plantings create an ever-changing, dynamic view. Pollinator-friendly plant varieties are perfect for bird-watching from your couch.

Include different seating areas.

“I always recommend having some seating area. It doesn’t matter if you have a small table and two chairs; having a place to relax outside is the best way to use an outdoor space. Susan Taylor, from Davis Taylor Design, says that it creates an area where you can entertain guests for drinks or meals or a place to read, journal, or relax in your own company.

Include lighting if possible. You can either string lights above the area or place outdoor LED lanterns. It’s a great idea to create a welcoming outdoor space that you and your guests will enjoy well into the night. “I always recommend adding greenery. Succulents are my favorite because they require so little maintenance. Susan adds that they look great as a centerpiece for any outdoor table.

Add a Rug. The Area

Add a rug to make the area more cozy and limit it. If you have multiple outdoor living spaces, this will help to distinguish them. You’ll also enjoy having something soft under your feet. It adds to that cozy feeling you’ve come to expect in your home,” says Robin Antill at Leisure Buildings.

Decorate your walls

The walls of your outdoor area can be used to add intrigue and interest by adding interesting elements. To make your fence look more interesting, give it a new coat of paint, stain it, or add wall hangings. Corie Humble is the Creative Director of Circle & Line. She says that modern, nuanced hangings can add dimension and interest to a fence.

Combine different elements

Use the elements as a way to add interest. A fire pit, for example, is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Outdoor fountains can add curb appeal to any outdoor space and make it more attractive. The Soothing Company’s Sarah says that outdoor fountains come in a variety of sizes.

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