It’s finally that special time of year that finds us emerging from our winter cocoons and looking for some quality time in the great outdoors. What better place than your own back yard to relax, iced tea in hand, and enjoy the warm weather in the comfy confines of the deck or patio? Here, then, are 13 must-have accessories to make your outdoor space a true oasis right at home.
String up one, two, or three (or more!) hammocks or hammock chairs on the patio or deck, and enjoy lazy summer days swinging in the breeze. You can easily take them down during inclement weather, and you can store them in the shed or garage during the winter months. If you have a pergola, hang the hammocks from the corner posts or from the ceiling. If your deck or patio has nowhere to string up a hammock, consider stand-alone hammock frames.
Deck railings have a big impact on the look of your outdoor space. Take some time this spring to give your deck railing a facelift with stain, paint, or sealer. If your deck railings are loose or hopelessly weather-worn, new railing will not only increase the safety of your deck, but it will also give your deck a facelift. Consider new railings with round aluminum spindles instead of wood, which gives you a better view of the yard and creates a more contemporary look for the deck.
For downtown dwellers or others without much grass to speak of, covering the deck or patio with artificial turf brings in the green. High quality artificial turf is durable and realistic-looking, and it feels great underfoot. Use a leaf blower to remove leaves and debris, and hose it down to remove dirt. Quality artificial turf won’t mold, mildew, or stain.
For sunny decks and patios, a good, old-fashioned umbrella keeps you cool when the sun’s beating down. Umbrellas range in size from 5.5 feet to 10.5 feet or more in diameter. Ideally, your umbrella should extend over your seating area or table by two feet on each side. Cantilever umbrellas hang over your space from a stand that’s curved so that it can be place off to the side of your seating area, while market umbrellas have straight poles that fit into a stand or a table.
Nothing transforms a seating area like throw pillows, and the patio furniture is no exception. Pillows dress up your space and make super comfy and cozy. Choose outdoor pillows that can withstand the occasional rain shower. Outdoor fabric is available in endless fun colors and designs, so if you can’t find pre-made pillows that speak to your heart, visit the fabric store, and make your own covers.
Give your outdoor space street cred with potted plants. Use potted trees as a screen, or plant container-friendly flowers to give your space a splash of color. Hang plants from the pergola, or install shepherd hook hangers along your deck railing. Consider planting a container herb garden if your deck or patio gets plenty of sun.
A rug completes your outdoor space, giving it the homey feel of a room in the house. Outdoor rugs delineate your seating area and are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs to complement your backyard decor. Durable and weather-resistant, outdoor rugs are made from materials like synthetic polypropylene, which stands up to high traffic and can be swept or vacuumed for easy maintenance.
8. Composite Tiles
If your deck or patio needs a facelift, composite deck tiles may be just what you’re looking for. These interlocking tiles are made from materials that won’t rot. They’re easy for a DIYer to install, and you can install them over your current decking material or lay them on a concrete patio. All you need is a flat surface to lay them on–including dirt or crushed limestone–and you have an instant patio or a deck makeover.
9. Water Feature
A water feature near the deck or patio provides you with gentle sounds of nature while cooling the air around it. Pre-made water features include fountains, ponds, waterfalls, and water walls. They can be above the ground or in-ground. You can even create your own water feature with a receptacle, such as a large ceramic bowl or planter, and a fountain pump kit.
10. Solar Lights
Create a cozy ambience on your deck or patio with strategic lighting. Thanks to a huge selection of outdoor solar lighting options, devising a lighting scheme is easy. Hang string lights from your pergola or umbrella, or fashion a lit-up design for an exterior wall using solar rope lighting. Install lighting on your deck railings, or use solar spotlights to illuminate the garden around the patio. Wrap copper-wire fairy lights around your favorite features out in the yard to create a sense of depth at night.
11. Citronella Candles
Citronella candles smell great, and they help keep the mosquitos away. Place them around your outdoor space, and light them in the evenings, when mosquitos seem to be out in force. Citronella candles are available in heavy-duty tins, but if you want your mosquito control to be easier on the eyes, you can find fun, fashionable citronella candles in a variety of sizes and styles.
12. Privacy Screen
If your deck or patio feels open and vulnerable, consider a lattice or bamboo privacy screen. Even if your space isn’t exposed to the neighbors, a screen makes it feel more private and intimate. Both lattice and bamboo screens are easy DIY projects, and you can plant climbing flowers like clematis and climbing roses at the base to create a wall of fragrant blooms.
13. Fire Feature
You don’t need a fire pit to enjoy fire on the deck or patio. A fire bowl is easy to make, and it provides glowing warmth for late nights outside. To make a fire bowl, use a 10-inch terra cotta pot. Place a 13-ounce can of clean-burning, gel-alcohol fuel in the bottom of the pot, and fill the pot with glass marbles, tumbled recycled glass, or other glass filler so that it covers up the fuel container. Light the fire, and it’ll burn safely all night.
Accessories help you create an al fresco room that invites you to relax and settle in. Make your space a special oasis, and it’s bound to become your favorite room in the house.