4 Ideas for Designing a Truly Dreamy Outdoor Space

outdoor space

Summer makes us want to be outside, plain and simple. Any afternoon you can sneak outside to catch some rays and enjoy the smell of fresh-cut grass on the breeze is a good one in our book. And don’t forget those pleasantly crisp nights that just beg you to circle up around the fire pit with your closest friends.

But to make this all happen, you need an outdoor space that’s worthy of entertaining guests, not to mention serving as your own personal paradise. If you’re still working with a stock patio set—complete with sun-bleached cushions and chairs that make you fidget just to find a somewhat comfortable spot—then you’re not doing your patio, porch, yard or deck justice.

Here are four ideas for designing a dreamy (and practical) outdoor space for this summer!

Seating for Day and Night

You want to give your outdoor furniture as much thought and care as your indoor scheme. Instead of the classic rigid wrought-iron chairs peppering pool sides all over the country, why not opt for something a little more comfortable and luxurious?

Day beds, palette banquettes and chaise lounges with durable fabrics are all great options for an intimate, refined outdoor space you’ll never want to leave. Just remember to put on sunscreen before you take an accidental mid-day snooze!

Instant Nature, Just Add Plants

You might think you’re set on greenery if you can see the neighbor’s yard in the distance. But you can never get too up-close-and-personal with beautiful natural textures, colors and shapes. Plus, no fabric or wall treatment could ever replicate the beauty of a real plant.

This summer, try growing a few potted plants or trees just steps from your backdoor. Just make sure you pick plants that can tolerate the heat! Yucca, agave and banana plants are all great ideas to start. With a little research ahead of time, you’ll learn the soil, water and light requirements for each type of plant. From there, you can pick an appropriate (and dazzling) pot with ample drainage and display your proud new botanical addition for all the world to see.

Lighting for Mood (and Safety)

You can only enjoy what you can see. Just like your interior, your exterior needs a healthy mix of outdoor lighting to cast a cozy glow over the whole affair. And, you know, to help people see what they’re doing and where they’re going. A mix of general lighting to illuminate the space, plus task lighting near tables, chairs and walkways will help you make the most of your summer spot. From there, you can sprinkle in accessory lights for visual interest.

Luckily you have options that go far beyond your standard yard spotlights and tiki torches. From wall-mounted fixtures to outdoor chandeliers, string lights and table lamps, modern lighting has it all in the way of form and function. The key to turning your yard into a midsummer’s night dream is to layer your lighting and make sure there’s plenty of ambiance to go around.

Can’t Go Wrong with Color

Let’s face it: a lot of deck, patio and yard furniture comes in neutral tones. The first time you spill ice cream on your plain beige seat cushions, you’ll realize how drab they really are. You have a limitless outdoor space to work with; go bold or go home should be your working motto.

For example, consider an eye-catching Mediterranean theme. As HGTV writes, “Mediterranean colors echo those of the sea and sky, and, depending on the region, can also include warm terra cotta, lavender and yellow.” Incorporate the vibrant colors of nature and you’ll feel like you’re opening your back door into a secret garden every time you emerge from your home.

The clock is ticking until summer starts, so what are you waiting for? Start sprucing up your outdoor space now so you can transform it into a wonderland by the next warm spell.

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