In my summer home tour post, I promised to add some outdoor pics from around our home. Today’s post contains a before and after of our backyard patio. It is our patio in progress and, by no means, a finished product, but it is a step up from what it was last year which was all seating and no style!
We first purchased our patio set as part of an end-of-season sale nearly two years ago. As I recall, we were able to purchase the seating and table for 40% off the original price. A real deal and one that my husband was especially happy about 😉 . It is a modular patio set that allows us to arrange the seating in any way we wish. Last summer was the first in which we could actually use the set. We played around with it for a bit before coming up with the current configuration which we felt worked best with the placement of the patio umbrella (the base of which you can find next to the coffee table below), also an end-of-season sale item.
In thinking about decorating the space, I always had in mind adding some bright pops of colour. This is quite the opposite of my indoor space which tends toward neutrals with a smattering of patterns and colour through pillows and accessories. Sage greens, watery blues, and some mustard yellows are among the more prevalent hues in our home.
I was, therefore, excited at the prospect of adding brighter pops of colour in the great outdoors. One of the nice things about outdoor spaces is that you can play around with colour much more and take greater risks without committing to them for the long-term. It is, after all, a seasonal space. But more than this, the outdoors simply demand brighter and cheerier colours to match the liveliness of the green space all around – or so that’s my excuse 😉
For my patio set, I chose to use one main accent colour (bright blue) with a secondary colour that would complement the blue (in this case, a dark pink) as well as black and white to ground the entire space.
Although I plan to add a few more items as I find them – including an outdoor rug, citronella candles, maybe a lantern or two – I am very happy with the results so far. With just a few key accessories, this space now feels much more livelier and inviting.
Here is a quick side-by-side of the ‘before and after’ of our patio in progress:
I learned a lot in the process of purchasing our first good quality patio set and then starting the decorating process. If you are contemplating a refresh of your backyard patio or porch or are in the market to start from scratch, here are my 5 takeaways from this decorating project.
#1 Take advantage of end-of-season sales: I know all-too-well that this can be a challenge for the less patient among us (myself included). I am often thinking to the next season and not necessarily three seasons in advance. But it is well worth your effort. In my case, I found an excellent quality patio set and umbrella for a major discount and am extremely happy I waited to find just the right pieces.
#2 The same should apply to your accessories: Most of what you see in the ‘after’ photographs came from purchases made over the past two weeks when stores are beginning to display fall décor. The exceptions being the pillows and round tray, but these were Walmart buys – always a great deal there. There are always great deals at the end of the season and, timed right, you can get some really sweet pieces at just the right price!
#3 See ‘the forest for the trees’: Meaning, before you get too caught up in the details (accessories, etc), determine the overall colour palette first. Zero-in on two to three colours (or more, if you are looking to create an especially cheerful mix). I chose one primary colour that would be the ‘stand-out’ hue (in this case, blue), a secondary colour that would be less prevalent (pink), but still complement the primary accent colour (blue), as well as a mix of black and white to help ground the rest of the space.
#4 Colour Palette Choices: When envisioning your colour palette, come up with more than one scheme. In doing so, you will avoid disappointment if your colours don’t exactly match up with those available that season. Have you ever noticed that each year there seems to be that ‘it’ colour that pops up everywhere? It can be hit or miss for me, so I always prepare to wait another season. Or, you can simply purchase your items online – either way there will be a bit of a wait, so be patient with yourself.
#5 Colour Cohesion: Treat your outdoor space as you would your indoor space. In order to create a cohesive look, think of repeating your colours using different accessories. My primary colour – blue – appears in the pillow, the throw, and a planter, as well as the serving accessories (linens, cups, plates, serving jug). My secondary colour – pink – appears on one pillow, the serving tray, and in the pink/purple flowers. Finally, black and white accessories can be found throughout, including the pillows, serving tray, coasters, charcoal planter and throw.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to mix textures throughout. This creates added interest and visual appeal in any space. These include ‘soft’ accessories (such as pillows, throws, rugs, poufs, and foot ottomans) and ‘hard’ accessories (such as lanterns, candles, planters, and other decorative objects). And, of course, ‘living accessories’ comprised of bright, beautiful flowers and plants of all kinds and colours will only add more charm and liveliness in your outdoor space.
So, that’s it! My 5 takeaways from our patio project. I am happy with the results so far. I had a lot of fun imagining how I’d like the space to look and even more fun hunting down the items that would take up residence in our patio. I hope my patio update and the tips provide here help you in your own end-of-season decorating project.
See you at the discount bins 😉
For more decor, craft and DIY inspiration from around the web, check out these creative galleries: Turn It Up Tuesday, That DIY Party, The Wednesday Roundup, Saturday Sharefest, Share It One More Time.