Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY.

Bob's Bloggers

A community of bloggers who live and die to DIY

deck patio & porch, decor

5 Easy Ways to Update Your Outdoor Space

By Our Lake Life on Apr 15, 2013

This weekend gave us our first glimpse of impromptu summer BBQ’s and warm lingering evenings spent on the deck. We’ve done our fair share of sprucing around here; from building decks and outdoor bars to potting plants.

I’ve learned a few things in a short time about make the outdoors an extension of the in. Here are five of my favorite easy ways to add spruce up an outdoor space without breaking the budget.

Outdoor pillows can add color and softness to the otherwise hard lines of an outdoor space, making if feel a lot more plush and homey. Try mixing texture and patterns the same way you would indoors and layer them over a neutral sofa for an easy way to change out the look should the mood strike.

Some of my favorite places for outdoor pillows are Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs, World Market also has a ton of choices at a good price point. Or you could sew your own. Last year, I recovered my old cushions with some outdoor fabric and reused the stuffing. It was such a great way to get the look without the price.

Potted plants and window boxes are one of the highest impact things you can do to freshen up your outdoor space. We even built some of our own deck boxes last summer. Use a large pot and tropical plants in the summer months to add height and privacy or smaller pots and a few annuals to add additional color and texture.

But remember to get the right kind of plants for your space. I’ve learned from experience that shade loving plants won’t do well in a space that gets full sun no matter how much you water them.

Outdoor lighting can have such an impact on how you transition from day to night while sitting outside. The right kind of lighting casts an ethereal glow over everything and calls you to stay a little longer. We’re dying to add some layers of lighting. Maybe a few string lights and tiki torches and to help set the mood. I love Target for great lighting options at a good price.


Outdoor rugs define an outdoor space and make it feel grounded. Rugs can section off an area for sitting, add color or create a cushy place for bare feet to land. The great thing about outdoor rugs are that there are as many options and and price points as their are personal styles and budgets.

Paint. Think painting is just for the indoors? What if your patios space is ugly, stained and totally lacks personality. Do what Brittany of Brittany Makes did and paint a bold stencil pattern onto the floor. With some elbow grease, a stencil and paint you too could transform your space into an entertainers paradise.

Images from top down: David Tsay Photography, Pottery Barn, Houzz, Houzz, Ballard Designs, Brittany Makes

The post 5 Easy Ways to Update Your Outdoor Space appeared first on Our Lake Life.

Visit Our Lake Life »

blog comments powered by Disqus