6 Quick-Change Boosts for a Spring Patio
In spring it's time to get outside and enjoy your patio. So make the most of your space without a huge investment of time or money by planting, scrubbing and accessorizing your way to a renewed outdoor room. From the free (rearranging furniture) to the smart (increase space with a mirror) and easy (add new pillows), these practical tips should spark your imagination and guide you in improving your patio this weekend. Let's get started.
1. Renew plantings. Fresh, vibrant plants can transform the look and feel of your patio, so any investment you make here is well worth your while. Give existing plantings a little TLC, remove dead leaves and spent blooms, and water well.
If you have empty pots to fill, make a trip to the garden center and choose new plants. Be sure to select healthy plants that are suited to the light levels of your patio — and don't hesitate to ask for advice if you need it.
2. Make a fresh start. Giving your patio a top-to-bottom spring cleaning can do wonders. Sweep away leaves and other debris, clean patio furniture, wash exterior windows and hose down the floor. Toss out any junk that has accumulated in the area.
3. Find your focal point. Think about what you use your patio for, and what you would like to use it for in the future. Is the furniture arranged in a way that makes sense for your needs?
Just as in your living room, it usually looks best to pull the furniture away from the walls. Experiment with different arrangements until it feels right.
4. Hang a mirror. Hanging a mirror on an exterior wall or fence is a great way to create a feeling of spaciousness on a small patio. Choose a mirror frame that can stand up to the elements, and hang it in a covered area.
5. Get plump new pillows. It's said often because it is so true: Fresh throw pillows can change the look of a space in an instant. Outdoor fabrics are best, because they are designed to resist sun bleaching and mildew.
If you can't resist using indoor pillows on your patio, simply keep a storage bench in a protected spot at hand to throw them into, and they should last outdoors for a long time.
6. Add a small, charming note. Sometimes, especially on a small patio, all you need is one just-right accent to make the whole space come to life. A potted geranium on a colorful café chair could be all you need.
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