An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Patio Decoration Tips

Monday, April 15, 2019

Patio Decoration Tips

As the weather warms up, use these patio or courtyard decoration tips to brighten and liven up your outdoor living space


I think the single most life-changing, life-GIVING thing about re-locating to the South is our ability to be outside 12 months out of the year. Yes, we have winters here and yes, it can some days be too cold to be outside, although most likely, it's just going to be too rainy. Even on our coldest winter days, it's still in the 40's (there's only the very rare day that doesn't get out of the 30's). I'm a big enforcer/encourager of daily outdoor time. I mean, have you seen my Instagram?! We're outdoors every. single. day. The fresh air is good for everyone, even our baby twins. However, I can totally relate to not wanting to spend time outside when it's not a pretty or pleasant place to spend time at. So, I thought I'd share some of my best tips to decorating your patio (or general outdoor space), making it more livable and enjoyable, and actually using it to your benefit and the best design of the space. *affiliate links used*

Courtyard view out to the yard. Having paved space in the backyard has been GREAT - the kids play here year round

First up, our covered space. We have a small patio that's covered from the awning of our roof. See, Dallas homes are built to keep the sun out. We're like the opposite of everyone else - sun in our homes means high energy bills. So we have over sized-awnings and soffets, and light reflective windows. Ever notice how most my photos are taken outside? Yeah, that's because even though we have floor to ceiling windows in just about every room, the light doesn't come in because of the design of the house. I appreciate our low energy bills, but it does get annoying to have such a dark house. Just another reason to make sure and get outside everyday! The first stop on my patio or courtyard decoration tips is my patio, that's covered by an awning from our living room. This is a small space; just enough for a long and lean table or a table for four or even potentially a small couch and coffee table, if it was positioned correctly. 

Our covered space is perfect for a table and chairs. I recommend steel (aluminum gets blown over easily) and woven seats like ours so that you don't have to bring cushions in and out nonstop - or clean them!

Ok, so how do we deal with making the most of this small space? We've decided that since it's covered, always shaded and has a ceiling fan (which is SO great for warmer climates) we'd make it our eating space. We currently have a table for four (we'll need to expand that to 6 soon enough - this one is close to what we have for an AMAZING price) and some flowers and herbs growing nearby. If you have a pleasant space that's near a door, like ours is for easy bringing food out entertaining, I'd suggest making it your dining space. We have steel framed table and chairs so that winds won't blow anything over. I also recommend woven chairs, like what I linked and is pictured here. This way you don't have to bring cushions in and out of the home, you won't forget them when it rains and then plop your butt down on a wet cushion, there's nothing to clean but it's still comfortable. Low maintenance but comfy? I'll take that over the most stylish outdoor furniture any day!

Put an herb garden right outside your back door for easy access to fresh herbs all summer long

I like having an herb garden planter like this one nearby so that I don't need to go on a pilgrimage for my herbs when I'm cooking (just right outside the back door!) and so that you can also plant things that are bug-deterrent. I've planted rosemary and mosquito grass in my planters near the covered patio before. We also have citronella candles that we light (get a soy based candle with essential oils like this one), and wear lemongrass-based bug spray. You have to take all the precautions when you live where there is West Nile Virus and Zika! I'm not sure if the bug-deterrents or the bug spray does a better job, but all of those plus the ceiling fan on keeps it fairly pleasant, even in one of the worst mosquito states in the U.S.

Hanging plants in the courtyard

Moving on down the way from the covered patio is the courtyard. We use this space CONSTANTLY. It's actually one of my favorite parts about the house. The boys can ride their bikes on it without getting stuck in the grass or the mud. We can easily set up the pool without ruining grass (like this one you see on my Instagram all summer long - we love this thing!) It helps keeps bugs away. And it creates stable spaces for chairs and tables. We've decided to have Adirondack chairs with side tables line the courtyard for spaces to sit and to warm up the space. This link has them in nearly every color - we chose green but I love just about all of them! We have Japanese Yews lining the space to bring green in, and then have potted plants to bring in color. We plant our pots in March and they usually last all the way through November! Although I know many people in Dallas who re-plant things because our growing season is so long, and the summers get so hot, you've got to plant different plants that can "weather" the weather, as it were. In our courtyard space we have decorative planters on the ground, hanging baskets, bird houses and table plants in decorative pots. Want a cute luminary DIY? Check out this post I made to give your space a cute lighting touch for a party!

Seating area in the courtyard - perfect for sitting and watching the kids splash in the blow up pool 

Onward out to the yard, we have a decent size grass space. Out here we have a swing for the boys (also featured heavily on my Instagram - here is the exact swing we have!), our raised veggie garden, three large potted plants, and landscaping on the side of the house. My goal is to leave this space as grass-heavy as possible so my kids have room to run, bike and move. When it's really hot, we set up the sprinkler out here for them to run through it. It's also where we experiment with growing our own vegetables in my raised veggie garden. Want to learn more about my veggie garden? Check out this post about growing veggies from seeds and this cute DIY I made to keep it organized!

The grassy area of the yard where we have a swing, the kids' table, the veggie garden (not pictured) and the grill

Decorating outdoors is one of the best parts of home ownership. I've surprised myself with how much I enjoy gardening and planting. We spend time outside every single day because of our year-round nice weather, so having a well decorated and pleasant outdoor space has been crucial for our enjoyment. Use these patio decorating tips to make your outdoor space a beautiful, useful and fun place to be, too.

14 comments:

  1. Great thing you have many plants there to fight the heat. Hope we have more soon too!

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  3. I love how you've decorated your patio with the herb garden planter. Looks like you've done a wonderful job maximizing the space there!

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  4. Looks like you're so ready for summer! I love your fan - it goes really well on the patio. And your herb planter is great!

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  5. Everything looks so good! I love the colors of the patio chairs!

    -Madi xo | http://www.everydaywithmadirae.com

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  6. Beautiful I can't wait to have a patio in our new house currently we don't have one but love getting ideas beforehand.

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  7. These are some really helpful tips! Might come in handy in the future!

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  8. Some great tips here! Looking forward to some sunny weather so I can work on mine!

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  9. These are such cute ideas! My patio is so drab and boring, I need to shake off winter and let the spring in.

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  10. I love the herb garden idea in particular. Just clicked through and bought it right away :) x
    www.IsabellaDavid.com
    IG @IsabellaDavidVintage

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  11. i love the set up with the chairs and the small table in the middle. We are in the middle of re-vamping our backyard and I am taking away some good tips from your blog. Thanks!

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  12. You have inspired me to recreate my outdoor patio space. I need to go track down some plants to help eliminate the heat and to add some color.

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