With the first day of spring behind us, summer is right around the corner, and with it comes invitingly warm weather that makes people turn their thoughts to the great outdoors. With this seasonal transition, many start looking for ways to update and improve their yards and outdoor living spaces for the season. While there are any number of ways to go about this task, sometimes the simplest solutions can be the best. Here are a few easy (and budget-friendly) ways to get your home summer-ready:
One of the easiest additions that can bring new life to a yard (both literally and figuratively) is fresh plant life. Even just a few new shrubs or flowers can add a lot of color and character to a yard. There are numerous varieties of particularly hearty flowers such as marigolds, impatiens and geraniums, that are amazing in just about any garden both for their cheery colors, and because they are said to be nearly impossible to kill. So whether you have a green thumb or are a confirmed plant killer, there are low-maintenance options that can thrive in your yard.
Alternately, if you still prefer to stick with yard upgrades that don’t really require upkeep, simple elements like landscape edging can make a big difference in a space. These decorative barriers are meant to line the sides of flower beds or paths, and can offer an updated look that dresses up a yard and instantly gives it a polished feel.
When updating an outdoor living space, a new set of patio furniture is typically the go-to solution to make an area more comfortable and functional; however, those can be a big investment. For a high-impact update that is much more budget-friendly, consider adding or replacing the cushions on existing patio furniture. Outdoor cushions come in a huge range of colors and patterns, so you can customize the look of your space or even switch it up at a moment’s notice.
Awnings and patio umbrellas can also help provide a more inviting and comfortable space, particularly on warmer days. These can offer bright splashes of color along with much needed shade and a convenient reprieve from summer heat. The Environmental Protection Agency has cited that surfaces in the shade can be up to 45°F cooler than those in direct sunlight, so adding some shade to your space can make a big difference in how usable your outdoor areas are in warmer months.
Patios and porches can be welcoming and relaxing spaces to pass an evening, but only if they are properly lit. There are a lot of different options of outdoor lighting to choose from, but there are few that offer the charm and functionality of vintage inspired string lights (sometimes referred to as market or café lights). Whether draped along a backyard fence or zig-zagged overhead they can bring a surprising amount of area lighting and add a festive feel to a space.
Another great patio accessory that can provide both light and ambiance is a backyard fire pit. Fire pits can instantly and affordably add an outdoor gathering space that the whole family will enjoy. They also have the added bonus of providing a venue for backyard marshmallow roasts, making them a fun and functional addition for any deck or patio.
Whatever improvements you add or updates you undertake to get your home ready for warmer months, what really matters is taking time out to enjoy them. So be sure to take a break from home improvements and appreciate the space you’ve created, because nothing says summer like enjoying the outdoors.