Why do you spend so much time making sure that your outdoor space looks great? The first reason could be because it is the first thing people notice when they come to your home. Your visitors could form an impression, even before entering the house.
What comes to mind when you see an unkempt lawn? Bushes are running amok and there is rubbish everywhere. You will think that if the outdoors looks that bad, the indoors must be in critical condition.
Outdoor spaces provide a lot of functionality. It is an excellent extension to the home. You get extra space for relaxing or entertaining visitors. Who doesn’t enjoy a good BBQ on cool summer nights?
And, it does not matter if you live in an apartment. Sitting on your balcony, sipping your favorite beverage is an excellent way to relax.
Sprucing up your outdoor space has even more benefits. You can drive up the value of your home with some simple additions or accessories. The property will be attractive to prospective buyers because it shows that you take good care of the home.
There is a lot that goes into transforming outdoor spaces. The most important being the type of accessories you go for. Our article explores considerations you must have in mind when choosing them.
1. Take Stock of the Available Space
Before you add any accessories take stock of the available space. How much outdoor living area do you have? It will determine everything you can do.
If you for example like to host a large number of people, it can only be possible if the grounds are sufficient. A good idea is to measure the space.
Next, allocate specific areas for whatever you want. An outdoor kitchen should be right next to the house. In this way, you avoid long trips back and forth if you need anything from the kitchen.
If you are working with the balcony space, you cannot put in too much. That means large furniture may be out of the question.
2. See What Is Missing
Part of taking stock of the available spaces to see what is missing. Let’s say you already have a wide selection of plants. It frees you from starting landscaping from the very beginning. All you need to do is get the right person to work with what you have.
Let’s say you do a lot of online shopping. Anytime you have deliveries, the courier leaves the packages on your front porch. It can be pretty unsightly. And, you are leaving yourself open to burglaries.
In this case, it would be a wise idea to install a parcel drop box. You get a secure lockable facility that will keep your purchases safe. And, you can install it in various places. These include the driveway, front porch, gate post, or the path leading to your front door.
You can also go for the wall-mounted parcel boxes if you would rather have them off the floor.
Think of everything you typically use when outdoors and have it in the plan. You don’t want to have to carry chairs in and out of the house every time. Lighting will be necessary, especially if you enjoy evenings outdoors. So, add seats and extra lights to your list.
3. Think Functionality and Cost Savings
Whatever you buy for your outdoor space should provide maximum functionality. Let’s start with something as simple as the outdoor sitting in your lounge area. You can get custom designs that give you storage right within the seat.
Installing a serving counter also allows you to add storage underneath. Placing giant cushions on the bench adds comfort. But, you can also use them as extra seating, separate from the bench.
And of course, the bench can also give you storage. There are some fantastic designs you can borrow from platforms like YouTube and Pinterest.
Stools are great for holding plates and glasses. And, they can also be seats if need be. Do pick strong wood if you foresee this as possible use. Weak stools can break if you apply too much weight to them.
Here is an idea to consider. For every accessory you buy, try and see if you can use it for more than one thing. And, do not be afraid to infuse your personality and decor style in whatever you choose. If you love to mix and match textures, then, do the same outside.
There should not be a disconnect between the indoor and outdoor space. The idea is to create a seamless extension of the space. Maintaining styling consistency will help you achieve this.
If you are good with DIY projects, you can also create some of the accessories. There are, for example, tons of YouTube tutorials on simple projects you can do. Do you, for example, know that you can create an ottoman from an old tire?
4. Pick Weatherproof Material
Any accessory you buy for the outdoors should be weatherproof.
Let’s go back to the example of the parcel drop box. Some material options include wood and metal. But, exposure to the elements can cause rusting or rotting. Only opt for parcel delivery boxes that have weatherproofing material. It ensures durability, thus giving you long-term usage.
The same applies to your chairs and tables. Think about the weather conditions in your area. If you experience a lot of rain, water, mold, and mildew resistance should be a key consideration. Rusting, warping, and rotting will be a big issue for you.
The sun’s UV rays can also cause a lot of damage. Expect discoloration, fading colors, and cracking. And, let’s not forget what strong winds can do. You will be picking up your furniture from all over because the wind carried them away.
So, if you like wood, make sure it underwent the proper treatment process. Hardwood looks great, it is hardy and durable. But, it does come at a higher price point than softwood.
Metal is also a good choice. The downside is it will absorb heat. It can get uncomfortable during very hot days.
Resin and plastic are inexpensive and provide so many design options. But, you will have to bolt them down because they can be pretty light.
You can check out this article for some great ideas for patio furniture.
5. Consider Maintenance
Whatever accessories you have outdoors should be easy to maintain. Wood and metal are popular options for furniture. But, you must schedule regular maintenance to keep them in optimal condition.
That means sanding, sealing, painting, and weatherproofing will be critical processes you must undertake.
Aluminum maintenance is not as demanding as other metals. It will not rust, but continued exposure to moisture will cause it to corrode. But, what does this mean, aren’t the two the same thing? Well, no, although many people use the words interchangeably.
Both rusting and corrosion are chemical processes. The result is the degradation of the material. But rusting is a type of corrosion that affects iron. Corrosion can affect metal, ceramic, polymer, wood, and skin.
Iron oxide forms during rusting, and is easy to see due to the orange or red hue. When choosing aluminum furniture, look for those with a powder-coated finish for protection from corrosion.
Rattan, wicker, synthetic resin, and plastic are easy to maintain. A simple damp cloth wipe should be enough.
You also want to pick easy to maintain, outdoor fabric. Dyed acrylic is tough, and will resist mold and mildew.
Polypropylene or Olefin will not fade or stain. Polyester is inexpensive and can resist water damage. But, you should not expose it to direct sunlight because it will fade.
Textilene is polyester with a PVC cover. It is flame retardant, mold, and waterproof. The downside is that it has a plastic texture, which may not appeal to everyone.
6. A Shade Is Important
If you live in an apartment, the balcony probably already has shade. But you do not have the same in the yard. That means you will need to invest some money in creating a shade. You will thank yourself for the addition during those scorching days.
And, adding a curtain will give you privacy from prying neighbor’s eyes. You have tons of options with the type of shades you can have. A gazebo is fantastic if you have space. Porch umbrellas, sunshades, and awnings can also work quite well.
Please make sure you anchor removable shades well. A strong wind can blow off the pergola cover or carry away the umbrella. In the worst-case scenario, it can injure anyone who happens to be within the vicinity at the time.
Your outdoor space is an extension of the house. You can make it a livable, comfortable space with some simple steps. And, one of the ways is by having the right accessories.
We have shared some of the considerations to have in mind. The starting point should be by taking stock of the available space.
A balcony and yard do not compare in size. So, what you can do in both outdoor spaces is very different. The next step is to see what is missing and to be strategic about what you buy. A good way to save money is to purchase multifunctional pieces.
Also, choose weatherproof and easy-to-maintain accessories. Remember, your outdoor space should be as stylish and inviting as the indoors.