Repeat after me: it is most DEFINITELY 5 o’clock somewhere.
Nothing screams summer quite like the oversized swan floaties, Jimmy Buffett playing on repeat, and one too many margs. For those of you who have outdoor living space, summer is probably the time of year that you use it the most. It’s time to spread the good vibes and live in the moment with family and friends. We’ve put together some design ideas to help you create that Pinterest-worthy retreat to enjoy all summer long.
1. Determine The Aesthetic
First of all, you have got to ask yourself: what design style do I align with? Establishing the right vibe is essential when creating your perfect outdoor retreat. Think of your ideal “happy place” and focus on incorporating elements and decor that evoke that same feeling.
Make sure that your decor theme is consistent throughout so that it looks like a cohesive, inviting area. Don’t be afraid to branch out from your interior style and give your exterior a different feel. Also, embrace the idea of eclectic pieces, especially if you’re more of a budget conscious decorator. You can find some pretty amazing things at a garage sale or thrift shop.
2. Layer Rugs and Tapestries
Depending on your taste, you can layer rugs so many different ways. Incorporating rugs can help you bring some texture and personality into your retreat. The key to layering is to make sure you aren’t overwhelming your space with a bunch of patterns, textures or colors.
Change of scene, what if you’re trying to channel your inner Joanna Gaines? Layer a few faux hides with solid white and neutral rugs to really achieve that southern-comfort style.
3. (DIY) TeePee
Come on now, everyone knows the kiddos live for summer break. No school (who needs to know what 2 + 2 equals, anyway?), no responsibilities, and most importantly, plenty of play time.
An easy way to get your kiddo off the couch this summer is by creating an exciting experience for them. Bring their attention off the iPad and back to the outdoors by buying a TeePee or making one yourself.
Bonus perk: they have a new fort to catch Pokemon in all day long.
4. Outdoor Bar Cart
For the entertainers ballin’ on a budget, the outdoor bar cart is the move. We’re all familiar with traditional outdoor kitchens but when was the last time you saw one that really caught your eye? (Hint: probably on HGTV, but it had a $30k price tag). Well, now’s your chance to give new life to the traditional outdoor kitchen.
Wanna know another perk of an outdoor bar cart? There’s less space for you to store stuff, making it so much more affordable for you to entertain guests by reminding them that they have 3 drink choices (i.e. the beer in the ice bucket and the two liquor bottles on the cart). For trendy and inexpensive decor to style your cart, check out your local Homegoods or Target.
Fun fact #2 about your bar cart: it’s 1/8 of the size of an outdoor kitchen. Bar carts come in a bunch of different sizes so you can find one to fit into any area.
5. Paint Some Flower Pots
For a whopping $10 and five minutes spent at Walmart, you can recreate these fun planters to give an organic and handmade feel to your retreat. All you need is a flower pot, paint brush, white paint and a flower.
For a brighter look, paint the pots different colors to tie in the accent colors used throughout your backyard. You can paint any design you want (scallop, stripes, chevron) and this can also be a fun DIY project to do with the kids.
6. Add Lights
Whether you’re going for a garden party vibe, a romantic date night in, or a rustic dinner with the family, you can easily spruce up your space by adding lighting. Your light decor is one of the key players in creating that Pinterest worthy backyard. With a little twine, some jars and tea candles, you can easily make some DIY candle jars.
Not into the whole jar-inspired look? Two great alternatives are globe lights and twinkle lights. Twinkle lights can easily be wrapped around things that you want to bring attention to, such as a trellis or tree or a doorway. If you’ve got trees in your backyard, you can also hang them from tree to tree and create more of a “under the stars” atmosphere.
Bonus Tip: City Dweller Edition
All of these ideas sound great for people with a decent amount of outdoor space, but what about those in the city who only have balconies or minimal real estate? Don’t worry, we’ve thought about you, too. Gardening without a garden is for sure the way to go if you want to add ambiance to your home.
For those of you who prefer the rustic or romantic look, recycle some old wine boxes or wooden crates to use as the planter box for your mini garden. Make sure to drill holes in the bottom of the planter so that the water can drain properly.
If actual plants are too much of a commitment for you, air plants are all the rage right now. You can find these plants at any Home Depot, Walmart and even Target. Get a terrarium, add some rope and hang them from your balcony with some twinkle lights for a more cozy, romantic vibe.
Whether you’re planning the huge family reunion of the century or having a few friends over for cocktails, take the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy your outdoor retreat.