Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start enjoying some outdoor living! Once the weather warms up, there’s nothing finer than a Sunday brunch on the patio. Or maybe you’re more of the evening beers and grilled pizza variety. No matter what you preferences, it’s time to shake off winter’s chill and get some fresh air! But first things first, whether you’ve got a small balcony, a compact patio, or an expansive deck or yard, a little prep work is in order before you can start using it.
- Clean up and evaluate
Break out the brooms and get the space cleaned up. That may be as simple as sweeping up the corners, or it could mean a weekend gardening project. Give everything a good cleaning, and take some time to evaluate what needs repainting, repairing, or replacing while you’re at it.
- Define and furnish the space
Decide how you’d like to use the space, then define it. Plan to eat meals there? You’ll want a table and chairs. Is your space mostly for relaxing with an adult beverage while chatting with friends? Comfy chairs and ottomans are more your style. Consider investing in all-weather Polywood outdoor furniture for a look that will weather all the seasons.
- Create a “room”
Treat your outdoor spaces the same way you do a room in your home. Define their boundaries, and decorate them in your style. If you’ve got a covered area like a porch or screen room, consider using a natural-fiber area rug to create a sense of true luxury and comfort.
- Pest control
Bugs aren’t a major problem when it’s cooler, but once it starts warming up, you’ll want to keep the pests at bay. Skip the hazardous chemicals (they’re not only bad for you, but also for the hummingbirds and beneficial bugs you want around). Instead try handblown glass wasp traps to wrangle flying pests in style.
Don’t overlook lighting. If you plan to stay out after dark, you’ll want to light things up a bit. Solar lanterns make it easy, and cord free! They look good day or night and require minimal effort on your part. Try grouping them in trees, along the eaves, or as a table centerpiece.
Even truly tiny balcony spaces can benefit from some living greenery. A small potted herb garden is the perfect solution to compact spaces—they’re pretty and practical. If you’ve got more space and filtered light, consider a glass terrarium. Pretty greenery doesn’t have to all be in the ground or in big planters to be effective.