Patio accessories are the personal touches that transform your deck or patio from usable to enjoyable, from tolerable to comfortable, from nice to fantastic, and from appreciated to envied. Today, outdoor living means bringing all the comforts of indoor living to the outdoors. This includes the décor of your deck or patio.
In our previous blog, Patio Furniture: All the Comforts of Indoor Living… Outdoors we shared 8 things to consider before selecting your outdoor patio furniture. We included a checklist to help make selecting your ideal furniture even easier. While your patio furniture should be the main focus of your deck or patio, adding the right patio accessories will complete the project.
Many people consider selecting patio accessories simply as decorating your patio. However, your patio accessories should also have a practical function, helping make your deck or patio a more enjoyable place to spend time. Your patio accessories should contribute to one or more of the following:
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- Enhance Comfort: Patio furniture should look and feel comfortable. Adding accessories like pillows, throws, and area rugs will make your deck or patio even more comfortable and inviting, encouraging friends and family to socialize longer.
- Extend Use: Almost everyone loves to sit outside on a perfect day. Unfortunately, conditions outside are harder to control affecting how much we get to enjoy our decks and patios. However, just as we have developed products to make our houses more comfortable, there are many patio accessories available to make our outdoor spaces more comfortable. Patio accessories can provide shade, block the wind, keep us warm, create privacy, and drown out unwanted noise.
- Create Personality and Style: Patio accessories allow you to make your patio or deck uniquely yours--different from all the other patios. Your patio should be an extension of your personality. The function of some patio accessories is to stimulate conversations, coordinate color schemes, create a theme, and connect areas of your backyard.
8 Considerations When Accessorizing Your Deck or Patio
You don’t need to spend a lot of money or have a fantastic backyard to transform your deck or patio into a comfortable and appealing space that your family and friends can enjoy all summer. However, it will require some planning and creativity. Start by taking these 8 things into consideration:
1. Don’t limit the potential of your deck or patio
Your deck can be so much more than deck boards and railings. Your patio can be so much more than a concrete slab, patio stones or pavers. By integrating benches, planters, pergolas, trellises, and privacy screens into your deck or patio design, you can enhance the appeal, functionality and enjoyment of your deck or patio.
While maintaining consistency in materials, colors and designs will help emphasize your patio furniture and patio accessories; adding different objects and textures can grab the attention of guests and express your unique personality. Before starting to plan your outdoor area, take some time to gather some inspiration. Collect pictures, look through magazines, and visit garden centers. The possibilities are limitless.
2. Use outdoor fabrics to enhance your deck's style and comfort
In the past, outdoor cushions and pillows had to be brought in nightly and replaced often. Today, outdoor fabrics are not only designed to withstand the elements Mother Nature throws at them, but also the muddy paws, spilt drinks, and anything else that daily life throws at them.
Outdoor fabrics have transformed our outdoor spaces, adding comfort and style. Soft pillows and cushions allow us to have outdoor patio furniture with indoor worthy comfort. Umbrellas, sails and drapes made from outdoor fabrics help protect us from the hot damaging sun.
Outdoor fabrics are available in a wide variety of materials, patterns, and colors so you can be as creative and daring as you want.
3. Color, color, and more color
One of the main functions of patio accessories is to add color and excitement to your outdoor living space. Create a color scheme that compliments the colors of your house. Focus on one or two colors. Colors should brighten but not distract from the view.
Use colors to unify different areas of your backyard, unify different sets of patio furniture, or even unify indoor and outdoor decors. Many designers are even encouraging homeowners to go with white cushions on your patio furniture and then add color using pillows.
Color can be added in many different and creative ways: furniture, outdoor fabrics on cushions, pillows, umbrellas, and drapes, plant pots and vases, area rugs, paper lanterns, fabric streamers or decorative kites, and in your knick knacks.
4. Bring your deck or patio to life with plants
Adding potted plants or planters is one of the quickest and easiest ways to accessorize your deck or patio. Plants naturally add color, texture, nice aromas and swaying movement which can add life to almost any space. For a more dramatic effect, create layers by using different height pots and plants.
Potted plants can be used to make stairs more interesting, dress up doors, fill in empty spaces, or hide unsightly features like water faucets, furnace vents, hydro meters and pool equipment. They can be used separate areas of your backyard or connect them.
Plants can also serve a more practical purpose. A line of potted skyrocket junipers can be used to block the wind. Create privacy using lattice or a trellis covered with clematis or climbing rose. A large pot with a beautiful Japanese Maple can be used to provide some natural shade.
Get creative with the types of plants you use. Annuals and perennials are known for their bright colors but mixing them with various ferns, vines, shrubs, small trees and even veggies and herbs will make your deck or patio more interesting. In northern climates, some of these potted plants will need to be brought indoors or planted in your gardens in autumn.
To make your deck or patio uniquely yours, personalize your pots. Dry brushing terra cotta pots with layers of acrylic paint or hand painting pictures add color, style and a great conversation piece to your outdoor living space. Pots are also a good way to introduce different textures: metal, clay, or resin.
5. Adding ambiance with fire
Our blog titled Fireplace or Firepit! Add One to Your Outdoor Living Space talks about flickering fire light having the ability to slow brain activity which calms and mesmerizes observers. It shares stories of families sitting around the fire on cool summer nights, talking well into the night.
The ambience created by fire has the power to bring your deck or patio to life after the darkness has taken away your view. It has the power to warm you, inside and out, extending the time you can enjoy outdoor living. Fire can stimulate conversation, justify silence, or keep you company when you are alone.
You can introduce fire as a patio accessory in a number of ways, including fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, fire tables, fire bowls, torches, and candles. Some are simpler than others, but all can create a dramatic effect. If your fire feature doesn’t produce enough heat, consider adding an outdoor patio heater.
6. Let the sound of water sooth you
Our blog Waterfalls: The Soothing Sights and Sounds of Running Water talks about how the sound of running water has a wonderful calming effect that can transform your backyard, enhancing the time you spend unwinding and relaxing. Running water can also drown out noise from traffic or neighbors.
Whether the sound of flowing water is coming from a small ornate fountain or fantastic fish pond with cascading waterfall, you will find your deck more relaxing and enjoyable.
7. Outdoor Lighting and Speakers
Lighting is a very import consideration when accessorizing your deck or patio. When planning your outdoor lighting you need to consider both ambient lighting and task lighting.
Ambient lighting is usually soft indirect lighting used to create a mood. Some examples of ambient lighting would be soft garden lights, railing post cap lights, patio lanterns, candles, torches, and submersed lights in pond, waterfalls and pools.
Task lighting is used to achieve a specific function. This could include providing lighting to stairs, walkways, grilling areas, or dining tables. Task light could also be used to highlight specific décor objects or features like pieces of art, statues, and water features.
If you enjoy listening to music, then don’t forget to include outdoor speakers when planning your accessories. Outdoor speakers are weather resistant and available in many different looks to help camouflage them in your garden or planters.
8. Add a personal touch
Personalize your deck or patio by filling in the blank spots with interesting items and knick knacks: plates, candle holders, garden ornaments, sea shells, unusual rocks, and anything else that will enhance your deck décor and color scheme. Look for things that catch your eye and that you find interesting.
Interesting clocks and thermostats can be both practical and decorative. Wrought iron wall art can stimulate conversation while making a boring wall more interesting. A ceramic statue of your favorite animal placed in a planter tells visitors something about you. An old antique stained glass window can add character and color.
If you plan your deck / patio décor with these things in mind, you are going to have a great summer. Oh yah, you might want to stock up on beer and wine…friends and family will be stopping by more often.
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