You guys – today I am SO excited to introduce our new Home & Garden contributor, Amy from Ms. Toody Goo Shoes!!
After a lengthy career in the TV industry, Amy “put her dress-for-success clothes into storage, and tried on her domestic ‘genes’ ” and I cannot tell you what a blast it has been getting to know her over the last year or so. Without further ado, here’s Amy!
Hello, everyone! I am thrilled that Claire has asked me to be a regular contributor over here at A Little CLAIREification!
Today, I’d like to share some ideas for perking up outdoor living spaces. I know, I know, summer is almost over, but if you’re like me, you’re not quite ready to ditch the geraniums for pumpkins…just yet.
Besides…summer merchandise is on sale now, making it the perfect time to pick up some great additions at discount prices. And these ideas can transition right into fall.
Accessorizing outdoor spaces is just like adding killer shoes and funky jewelry to a ho-hum outfit. They’ll take you from ordinary to GAWGEOUS! So let’s kick those outdoor spaces up a few notches!
1. Topiary Shapes
When I want to add some wow-factor to ordinary flower pots, I add topiary shapes. No deadheading is required, and they won’t wilt! Plus, they’ll look great in winter, even after all the flowers are gone.
2. Garden Stools
Garden stools are a great way to add some interest to the patio. They come in many different colors and textures, and work with most styles of outdoor furniture.
Can someone please tell me why they’re called “garden stools?” I’ve seen them everywhere BUT the garden!
3. Cloth Napkins/Placemats
A single cloth napkin or a placemat is a nice touch in a tray or basket. It’s all about layering! They can also be used as mini table runners (see #7). I’m always scavenging through the clearance shelves for single placemats and napkins for this purpose.
4. Bird-Friendly Features
I think of bird houses, birdbaths, and feeders as “cheep” entertainment
(sorry, couldn’t resist that one). They sing, they dance, and you never know who’s gonna show up!
Grab a chair, your opera glasses, and sit back and enjoy the show!
5. Pretty place settings
Nothing says “Welcome” like a pretty tablescape. Sure,it’s easier to just pull out the paper plates. Now, I am the Queen of Lazy, but I’m convinced that if I distract my guests with an appealing table setting, they’ll forgive me for overcooking the steak!
Decorating with lanterns is practical and pretty. I use battery-operated candles, so I don’t burn my deck down. Aside from candles, I fill lanterns with strings of lights, river rocks, sea glass, pumpkins, gourds, apples, plants, last nights’ leftovers, whatever!
Nope, no nails in the vinyl siding. I like to bring a piece of art outdoors, and prop it up against the wall, on an end table, console, or whatever. Uh, I know I don’t have to say no glass, right? Did you notice the placemat I used as a little table runner to add a punch of color?
8. Pretty Flower Pots
I never met a terracotta pot I didn’t like, but mixing them up with a few pretty pots is an easy way to add accent colors and brighten up outdoor spaces. I really like how this green one sets off the red flowers.
9. Throw Pillows
It’s time for some pillow talk. In addition to seat cushions, I add throw pillows to my outdoor dining chairs, as a way to cozy up my tablescape. Plus, a comfy guest is a happy guest…the only thing is, that they may not want to get up, which may or may not be a good thing. Use with caution!
10. Area Rugs
Floating candles, floating rafts…yes. Floating furniture? Nuh-uh. Without a carpet, outdoor furniture feels, well, unsettled. It needs a foundation, and a rug is the best way to pull everything together to feel like a “room.” Mine is mildew-resistant, and I just hose it down when it needs to be cleaned. If only I could do that with my indoor carpets!
There are so many other ways to add pizzazz to outdoor living spaces, and I’ve got a bunch of things on my list for next summer. What’s on yours?
See you next time!