We all want to make the most of the warmer months and to be able to enjoy spending as much time outdoors as possible. Even when you are on a budget, you deserve a great space to relax and unwind in.
These tips can help you put together your own outdoor oasis at any price point—and they’ll help you extend the enjoyment of that space for years to come.
1. Look for dual-purpose pieces
Whenever you’re buying a piece of furniture for your outdoor space, consider pieces that can multitask for you. A serving cart, for example, is ideal as a drinks cart to store all of the drinks and accessories you need for entertaining, but that isn’t its only use. You can also use it to hold plates, utensils and glasses, or as a server to put appetizers and food dishes on; you could even use it as an additional work or prep surface, if needed.
The Kailani serving cart is an especially handsome and modern bar cart made of acacia wood; it would look great on any deck or patio. The slat-style design allows rainwater to run off and not pool. It includes functional trays (one even slides out), smooth-gliding wheels, and a bottle and wine glass holder to help keep you organized.
The Janiyah Outdoor Bench offers additional seating and is a great accent piece you can use in multiple spots. It can work as extra seating you pull up to a dining table when you have guests over, as a pretty garden bench nestled amongst your flowers and even as some light and portable seating you can carry into a shady spot when you need a break from the sun.
2. Take good care of your outdoor furniture
Our outdoor pieces take a fair bit of abuse from the elements. Show them some extra care through regular maintenance, cleaning and repair, which will also extend their use.
When you’re caring for outdoor fabrics, experts recommend that you clean your outdoor cushions with mild soap and water, then let them air dry completely. If you happen to have any stubborn stains, you can use a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water.
At the end of the season, it’s best if you can bring your outdoor pieces indoors. If you don’t have the storage space and need to leave them outside, be sure to invest in furniture covers to protect them from the harsh winds, snow and ice.
3. Give your space a new look with accessories
You can update any space through the addition of a few smaller, less expensive accent pieces. These add style and comfort too, and can personalize your space, making it feel like your own.
An area rug lends cosiness underfoot so you can slip off your shoes and relax. It also helps to delineate a space and pull your furniture pieces together, creating a cohesive look. The Wraylen area rug is a multicoloured indoor/outdoor rug that is contemporary looking and adds texture to your outdoor space. It contains a mix of hues—blue, cream, gray, mustard and burnt orange—so it is easy to decorate around and match with other pieces.
For comfort, softness and colour, be sure to add in a throw pillow or two. The Yarnley pillow comes in gray and white or navy and white. Solid on the back and patterned on the front, these pillows are neutral enough to work with any décor. They are made for both indoor and outdoor use and are durable, only requiring the occasional spot cleaning.
Something many of us don’t think about when it comes to decorating our outdoor spaces is wall décor. If you have a fence or a wall nearby, consider adding a wall planter and splashes of greenery or a piece of decorative wall art that is meant for the outdoors. The Dashney wall planter can be hung indoors or out, contains room for three small plants, is made of metal and has a chic black finish. The Averlain wall decor is a stylish accent that would look great anywhere in your home, but would be especially striking in a backyard setting.
4. Add lighting for atmosphere
Another inexpensive way to warm up a space is to add some lighting accents. Strategically place a pair of lanterns that hold battery-operated candles or hang some string lights (or do both!) to make your outdoor space more functional and create some atmosphere. This set of 2 Diedrick lanterns in a black and gray colour palette feature galvanized metal and hold pillar candles. The Eudocia candle holders (set of 2) are gorgeous hurricane lamps made of seeded glass and hemp rope; they have a shabby chic flair that reads relaxed and coastal—perfect for time spent outside in the fresh air.5. Use plants to add colour, texture and interest
As a finishing touch, be sure to add some greenery or flowers to your outdoor space. While the backdrop of a lush lawn and garden is lovely, include a dash of florals up close too. You don’t need much, just a couple of pots. These Domele planters have a bohemian look and will elevate your favourite blooms. They’re made of white and galvanized metal finish planter pots and antique brown finish wood leg stands.
Whether you’re planning to host a lot of get-togethers this summer or you simply want to create a beautiful and inspiring space you can relax and unwind in, these budget-friendly tips will have your outdoor oasis looking like a million bucks.
Ashley HomeStore North offers a wide range of storage solutions for every room of your home.
Looking for more great design ideas? Follow the store on Instagram.