The Chicago weather has been as fickle as my patio planning and flower planting. The sudden onset of 80 degree temps from 45 and then back again made the slab of concrete out back (AKA my patio) cry out for attention through the warm beams of sunlight. I was happy to start with a blank slate as it made for limitless ideas, but I also wasn’t quite sure where to begin. Having your outdoor space be as inviting as your indoor space and reflective of your personality are key, but making it happen can sometimes be overwhelming. For that…a little listology to get you started and just in time to show it off this upcoming holiday weekend!
LISTOLOGY #524: THE PARTY IS ON THE PATIO
1) Decide how you will use the space. Will it be used primarily at night or just during the day? If just during the day, you can skip on purchasing lamps. By thinking of the primary use of the space it helps to eliminate unnecessary purchases and buying things you don’t need.
2) Space plan just as if you are working on a space inside your home. Create different areas. A seating area, a bar area, grilling station, place for flowers and plants, etc. If you have a smaller space, this goes back to creating priority areas and a little creative thinking.
3) Whether a big or small space have unique way to display plants or flowers. Such as, in old wine crates, hanging shoe organizers, mounted mason jars, a drawer or cinder blocks are much more fun than ordinary planters.
4) Finding pieces can be challenging and although it’s great to shop in the off season we are all typically in a different mindset at that time. The next money saving option is utilizing your thrift shops and your current pieces. What are some existing pieces that you could possibly re-use for your outdoor space? When finding pieces while thrifting, think of how it could be transformed.
5) Buying seasonal items for your outdoor space can be like buying a new pair of shoes for the summer. Will I still like this next season? Is it worth the price? It can get expensive when not purchasing items second hand or re-purposing so when you purchase think of other places in your home it could be used.
6) Find what you love in other spaces inside your home. Its a good way to get an ideas and how to make it work outside. Whether its a color story, your favorite vignette, patterned pillows and rug, those cute DIY hanging flags or favorite art. Switch things around a bit! That small, boring dresser is perfect after a little paint and can pull double duty as a bar cart.
7) If you will be using the space at night, lighting will be a major item on your list. It doesnt just have to consist of boring lamps on a table or ordinary set of string lights. Purchase these things and put your own spin on them. Cover the lamp shade with a different color material, paint the lamp base a fun color, or trick out those string lights. Candles are definitely a fitting option for the outdoors. Using mason jars makes them unique and if you need ones with bug fighting power, you can make your own here!
8) When looking for a table and chairs, all the pieces don’t necessarily have to match. It makes for a statement piece this way. Pair metals and wood or paint a piece or two a fun color like turquoise or yellow! This gives you more options when going the second hand route, if you find a couple chairs you like in one spot and some in another. Using wood palettes are an amazing way to create a really cool, one of a kind seating area.
9) For outdoor dining and grilling there are so many cool dishes and glasses for your next outdoor bbq or party. Mix and match! Set up a beverage station for a fun way to have everything in one spot for you and easy access for guests when mixing cocktails. This also can double as a serving cart for those that are short on space. Guests can grab their food and retreat to their seats. Whether pillows on the floor, a table, swings or a hammock!
10) Remember think outside the box with what you have, it doesn’t have to be over the top. It just has to reflect you. Along with a little “re-cycling DIY re-do” mixed with some creativity, lots of friends and plenty of drinks and food…you can’t go wrong! Cheers to your great party on the perfect patio!