I am always amazed at how the weather can go from spring to summer in a snap. We had our first hot day here in Southern California this week and went from 70*F days to having a 100*F day! I was instantly in the summer frame of mind. It was crazy, I went from laser focus on the kitchen updates to suddenly HAVING to redo the patio. Weather obviously has a big effect on me because my focus changed as quickly as the temperature! When we bought our home last year one of my first projects in June 2014 was to decorate the patio.
I went to World Market and bought this set, the throw pillows, and the outdoor mat. But after a year, it was looking a little sad. Especially since the dogs killed my outdoor mat.
You might be thinking, “That’s not terrible.” But let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Yuck. Now I know that you are supposed to move your chair pads and pillows inside and cover your patio furniture when not in use… but obviously that didn’t always happen for me. Since we are in California we have routinely amazing weather and so our patio is used year round. To that normal wear and tear is added two dogs and a 5 year old… RIP white patio cushions, you didn’t stand a chance at my house. The wood patio set still has a lot of life left in it, but the soft furnishings needed an update, so here’s the new patio:
Here are my tips for easy patio updates:
1. Start with a good furniture set.
Your furniture is like the skeleton of your patio decor. Be it a lounge set or an outdoor dining set, invest in something that coordinates and will last. I got this set on a huge sale at World Market last year and have not regretted that decision. Decide how you will use the space – is it next to your bar-b-que? Then a table and chairs would work well for you. Do you like to have cocktails and appetizers? Then a lounge set will be your bestie.
2. Choose a color scheme.
Pick 2-3 colors that you love and have all your soft furnishing stay in that color range. I personally love teal and lime (I have even had two lime sofas over the last 10 years.) So choose colors you love and then don’t let yourself go crazy. Outdoor pillows come in a rainbow of color, so decide BEFORE you go to the store what you like and then live in tht color range.
3. Get an outdoor rug.
I love World Market’s Outdoor Mats, for $20-$40 you get a great outdoor mat that will anchor your space and help to define your new outdoor “room.”
Decorating a space is the same as putting together an outfit. You start with your basics, blouse and trousers, and then accessorize to give personality. A blouse and trousers are the equivalent of seating and a table. Necklace and earrings? In a room we call those rugs and pillows. It is the same concept. Your accessories are what set your room apart. i.e. Don’t be basic. Lively up that space with accessories.
Yay! It’s amazing what new soft furnishings can do for a space. Here are the accessories I chose:
The new cushions were a must. Those old white ones were wrecked. So I decided to go with a dark grey in order to hide dirt and stains. I love that World Market has a standard size for their furniture so that I don’t have to guess “What size bench do I have again? Will this new cushion fit?” I could just grab what I needed and feel confident. I based my other color choices off that and my existing lime green lumbar pillow from last year. That pillow and one of the teal pillows were still perfect and since I love those colors (hello, bedroom wall color) it felt natural to continue in that color way as opposed to going a totally new direction. Though I did consider this coral indoor/outdoor rug for a minute. But I know me, I wouldn’t be happy with anything except water hues. So the teal/lime/charcoal stripped pillows and the teal and lime mosaic pillows were the perfect compliment to this color scheme.
I love that I didn’t have to buy all new everything in order to make a big impact, but really, a few cushions and pillows can change my space from year to year. Good furniture will last, and the accessories can change. Just like with good fashion. Hopefully I can make these charcoal cushions last more than a year this time though. But sometimes I wish I could just hire out, or go on a reality show and have a team of experts transform my space for me. Have you ever felt the same?