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How to Create a Relaxing Outdoor Space

Written by Karie Reynolds

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Posted on May 23 2019

Last updated on May 2, 2022

Now that you’ve got the main elements of your outdoor space in place, it’s time to add in some plant life and consider additional elements to create the ultimate outdoor escape. Plants can be used to add privacy, especially if you’ve added a lattice to your deck. Climbing plants like roses, clematis, and wisteria will make their way up the lattice over the years, resulting in a stunning wall of blooms that offers both privacy and a burst of color. Large potted plants and container gardens allow you to mix colors and textures, adding life and movement to your patio. 

Consider a few special additions, like a water feature or hanging lights, to add the finishing touches to your atmosphere. The meditative sound of a fountain will remind you to take a deep breath, and hanging lights create a beautiful, soft ambience for entertaining beneath the stars. A privacy screen is also a great way to create a sense of enclosure on your patio.

After a long winter, we all feel the itch to get outside, whether it’s to flip some burgers on the grill, sip some wine with friends, or entertain the kiddos. It's easy to neglect an outdoor space when you're not able to use it. However, good weather has a way of sneaking up on us. So with summer just around the corner, let's take a deep dive into what it takes to maintain the kind of outdoor area you’ll be eager to enjoy with family and friends, and give you a primer for creating an outdoor space that encourages you to relax under the open sky.

Outdoor Furniture and Color Schemes

When selecting your main pieces, think about what you intend to use the furniture for. Do you need a full dining set for summer meals on the patio? Relaxing sofas for wine night with your mom tribe? Or adjustable deck chairs that will help you get your summer glow on? It sounds obvious, but nothing will kill your summer relaxation like furniture that looks good, but isn't comfortable to use.

Once you've selected your furniture, have fun with the colors and patterns. Throw pillows are a great way to do this, especially if you go with neutral cushions. Bright pillows will pop against earthy or natural tones and will allow you to inexpensively freshen up your color scheme. Another strategy is to focus on two colors. This allows you to make bold color choices while still keeping your space unified. Painting an accent wall is a great way to achieve this. Pick a bright color like a lime green and throw in hot pink pillows for a fun contrast. 

Finally, make sure you’ve got enough shade. A shade cloth strung between three or four points is a stylish way to make sure your patio is covered. Add umbrellas for the specific places on your deck you need shade and be sure they have a tilt feature so you can protect yourself as the sun moves across the sky.

The Safety Gate that Looks Great and Helps You Relax

Whether you have human babies or fur babies, relaxation can be elusive when you constantly have to chase your toddler away from the deck stairs or run after a pup that just made a break for the backyard. For a deck with railings, The Stair Barrier is the best child and pet safety gate to help you enjoy time outside without worry. We offer our indoor/outdoor stair gate in black and gray, neutral colors that won’t detract from your décor, and the fabric is waterproof and mildew resistant so it won’t deteriorate easily. When it’s adult night, you can easily roll the safety gate to the side to keep it out of your guests’ way. 

We love how this customer utilizes her Stair Barrier on the front porch to keep her dog safely by her side.

outdoor stair gate

“Thanks to The Stair Barrier we are finally able to enjoy sitting on our front porch without worrying about our sweet pup running off!” Jennifer writes.For a deck with railings, The Stair Barrier is the perfect companion to help you enjoy time outside without worrying about little ones toddling toward the deck stairs or dogs getting loose.

Another customer, Beth, uses her safety gate to wrangle both her toddler and dog. Beth’s son earned the nickname Tarzan when he started walking at just 9 months old and quickly became nearly unstoppable.

outdoor gate for decks
“While our main reason for buying a Stair Barrier was to keep our little Tarzan from wandering in the yard while we enjoyed our back deck, we’ve also discovered that it works perfectly as a pet gate as well. When the Stair Barrier is installed we are able to enjoy dinner outside while our sweet pup (who is a horrible food thief) runs off some energy in the yard.”

In addition to enjoying the peace of mind on her own back deck, Beth loves to roll it up and take it with them when they are visiting grandparents, giving her the chance to relax even when she and Tarzan aren’t hanging out in their own home.

Final Touches: Decor and Plants

Now that you’ve got the main elements of your outdoor space in place, it’s time to add in some plant life and consider additional elements to create the ultimate outdoor escape. Plants can be used to add privacy, especially if you’ve added a lattice to your deck. Climbing plants like roses, clematis, and wisteria will make their way up the lattice over the years, resulting in a stunning wall of blooms that offers both privacy and a burst of color. Large potted plants and container gardens allow you to mix colors and textures, adding life and movement to your patio. 

Consider a few special additions, like a water feature or hanging lights, to add the finishing touches to your atmosphere. The meditative sound of a fountain will remind you to take a deep breath, and hanging lights create a beautiful, soft ambience for entertaining beneath the stars. A privacy screen is also a great way to create a sense of enclosure on your patio.

Maintain + Protect During the Off-Season

It’s important to maintain your outdoor space throughout the year so it’s ready for you when the warm weather returns. This is especially true for wooden decks, which can become a hotspot for mildew and mold if they aren’t maintained properly. In general, the milder temperatures that come with fall make it an ideal time to clean and apply a preventative seal to your deck. Bring in any fabric pieces, like pillows and rugs, and as winter sets in, consider storing outdoor furniture in the garage or basement. If you don’t have the storage space, opt for covering your outdoor furniture instead. When spring rolls around, it’s time to clean and seal again. Remove any debris that has accumulated between the wooden planks, sweep the deck, and clean it with the proper solution. During the summer, check your deck for signs of rot. Pay special attention to joints, posts, and the ledger (the framing piece that attaches the deck to the house), as well as any portions that happen to be in close proximity to water sources or damp areas of your yard. If you have a patio, mid-summer is a good time to inspect for loose or missing grout between tiles and stonework.

We hope this information will help you create an outdoor sanctuary that is ready for you to escape to during the warm summer months and will be easy to maintain for the years to come.

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