If you feel like you have all the right furniture but your patio still lacks life, you may be missing some simple but essential outdoor elements. The best outdoor spaces incorporate all of the cozy, inviting touches of indoor spaces, but it’s important to choose lighting, accessories and art that can stand up to the elements. Here are five must-have accents to liven up your patio for spring.
White-on-white is a big trend for 2016, and if you love the calming effect of neutral spaces, don’t despair. Add visual interest to neutral patio decor with texture. Jute, sisal and grass rugs add movement underfoot while accessories such as rough-hewn wood or resin wicker add depth. Clear or pale sea glass or Mercury glass accessories and foxed mirrors are a wonderful way to add shine without worrying about metal that will tarnish or rust. Look for indoor-outdoor fabrics with texture to add depth to furniture or throw pillows. Chunky weave throws are the final touch for outdoor living, even on chilly evenings.
Hang art outdoors? Of course! The trick is to choose art that is weatherproof. Art made from reclaimed wood, metal, glass or resin can withstand heat and cold. If fine art is more your style, consider custom gallery-wrapped photo prints on canvas, just be sure to hang them away from rain zones. Encaustic art, or art made from pigmented beeswax, is another excellent choice. Beeswax is waterproof and stable to 200 degrees, and colors won’t fade in the sun.
Lamps made especially for outdoor spaces instantly make patios feel like outdoor living rooms. Place a floor lamp near a comfy chair or a reading lamp on an end table for task lighting, and then layer flickering, battery-powered LED candles or citronella candles in hurricane lanterns for ambiance.
Sound is an often-overlooked décor element that can completely change the way a space feels. If you have an outdoor outlet, a small splash fountain creates a calming backdrop. Outdoor speakers are another way to incorporate sound. Choose natural bird sounds or crickets for a constant dose of nature. No outlet? No problem. Hang wind chimes in a low register where they can catch the breeze.
Color is an easy way to add life to your patio, but it’s important to determine how you want your space to feel before choosing hues. To add energy, pick two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, such as purple and yellow or blue and orange. For a more calming effect, use tones of the same color such as turquoise and indigo. Warm colors like rose and orange heat up chilly patios while cool blues and purples are refreshing in hot climates.
If your patio is underwhelming, you may not need to start all over to create an inviting, relaxing outdoor oasis. Start with the seating basics then layer in color, texture, sound, light and art, just as you would in your living room. Just a few weatherproof accessories are all it takes to add spark and sparkle to outdoor living.