With summer pushing its way in, you might be longing for lemonade on the patio and dessert by moonlight. Goodness knows Edmond residents love their backyard retreats. Whether you imagine a trendy city rooftop, decked out patio or simple front porch hideaway, here are some tips to help your vision come to life. With a little planning and forethought, you can maximize not only this sunny season but many more to come.
Add a Pop of Color
Since you mostly frequent outdoor spaces in warm weather, why not elevate the atmosphere with colors that mimic vivid floral environments? If you have a monochromatic house, consider placing aqua or lime green chairs on the front porch. If bright hues make you nervous, you can experiment first with colorful throw pillows on neutral furniture. Like indoors, playing with color is all about accent pieces, so get creative with whimsical outdoor rugs, side tables, or plant containers.
Light it Up
When enjoying the nighttime hours, a romantic or conversational atmosphere requires mood lighting. Whether you prefer soft candle light or string lights illuminating the landscape, there’s no shortage of design inspiration on websites like Pinterest and HGTV. In fact, Country Living devotes an entire piece to the myriad ways you can emblazon your summer evenings with unique light features. From mason jars in trees to freestanding string lights, make sure your outdoor arena stays well lit.
Don’t Forget Fire
To complete an outdoor kitchen or sitting area, nothing sets the mood quite like fire. You can invest in a stone or brick fireplace or put a fire pit front and center. Either way, warmth is best appreciated in its natural state. Plus, this option gives you the most bang for your buck, since you can use it year ‘round. When including fire in your outdoor plans, remember to follow safety precautions and local regulations. Nothing ruins a fun evening like singed flip-flops or authorities knocking on your front door.
Keep it Green
Whether you rest your feet on the front porch, back patio or city rooftop, remember to accessorize with as many plants as you can keep alive. You can fill oversized pots with bright blooms, strategically arrange climbers, or ward of flies and mosquitos with nature’s bounty(lavender smells sweeter than bug spray). But remember to do your research—Oklahoma summers can get scorching and some plants can’t take the heat. More importantly, some varieties thrive in containers while others need more room to spread out. For best results, choose elephant ears, impatiens, geraniums, Hosta, or small flowering trees like hibiscus.
If you want to create an ideal environment for conversation, keep the space inviting and comfortable. This can mean arranging tables and chairs as you would in a family room—an arch-like setup that encourages interaction—or having cozy cushions and blankets available for relaxing. Whatever casual contentment means to you, design an outdoor domain that reflects the sentiment. In this same vein, if your house faces east or west, you may want curtains or a similar privacy element that allows you to keep direct sunlight out of faces.
Follow Classic Design Rules
Advice doesn’t have to differ between indoor and outdoor spaces. In fact, much of the recommendations prescribed by this Forbes article encourage carryover. For example, the same amenities that complement your dining or living space—lamps, vases, side tables, coasters—can be translated to a patio. Also, to avoid a matchy-matchy look that feels canned or cheesy, mix up textiles and materials. A metal table can complement wood chairs, and glass or wicker accessories make a space more interesting. But whatever you land on, have fun with it and incorporate your style preferences and personality into every piece. When you feel most at home, your guests will, too.