Fun and refreshing, styling your outdoor space is a great way to add excitement to your summer. Have you thought it through? There are important elements to remember when making your outdoor space ready for company–from plants that help keep the bugs away, to seating arrangements that’ll keep your guests happy for hours on end. At Metropolitan Window Fashions, we love helping clients get the most of the outdoors with decor that adds both fashion and function! From suggestions of unique pieces that will make your space stand out, to custom upholstery that will let you enjoy your patio for years to come, we can help. Get your patio entertainment-ready with these six tips.
#1 Choose the Right Fabrics.
Right now, the weather is gorgeous! It’s the perfect time of year for entertaining–picnics, graduation parties, late nights around the fire. But don’t forget that living on the east coast can mean a host of issues for your outdoor space. Make sure you choose fabrics that are ready for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at you! The upholstery on your chair cushions and accent pillows should be durable, with qualities that protect it from normal wear and tear, as well as UV rays. We love the Open Air collection from Robert Allen Fabrics–made with Sunbrella yarns in colors and patterns created with the playfulness of summer in mind!
#2 Provide Ample Seating.
The great thing about summertime entertaining is the endless possibilities. Unlike cold weather visits, when friends come for dinner and leave shortly after dessert, warm weather entertaining allows you to spend as much time with friends and loved ones as you’d like. Start in the afternoon with an outdoor BBQ and pool time. Relax with drinks as the sun goes down, and spend time chatting quietly around the fire as your kids chase fireflies. Summertime entertaining is where memories are made. But the stages of summer entertaining in your outdoor space can only progress if you have enough seating. Make sure there’s room for everyone, and provide at least two different areas of seating–one around a table, and one section to simply kick back and relax.
#3 Get Storage.
Speaking of the weather, you’ll probably want to have necessities of comfort on hand to meet all of the temperatures shifts that are likely. Storage benches and cabinets can hold blankets–sure to come in handy after the sun goes down, and the chill sets in. The night doesn’t need to end just because it’s nighttime. The best part? It’s fun to get creative with storage, often it will bring extra seating for your guests, while being an incredibly functional way to keep blankets, pillows and cushions right where you need them.
#4 Make Part-Shade, Part-Sun.
Meeting all the needs of your guests can be a challenge when entertaining in an outdoor space. One issue many of us face is control of the atmosphere. You’re likely to have a mixture of preferences in every crowd. Some of your guests want to be in the shade, and some want to relax in the sun. Remember how we said it’s important to provide ample seating? This is yet another example of making your guests comfortable. When you have more than one seating area, you can create shade with an umbrella or a pergola. Let your guests choose the atmosphere where they will be most comfortable, and your party will be a success!
#5 Plant Herbs That Repel Mosquitos.
No matter what you do, your outdoor space is still…well…outdoors. Bugs are biting, and it’s a big problem when you just want to relax with friends. Do you know there are actually plants that repel bugs and mosquitos? Citronella–made famous by the outdoor candles–is actually a perennial grass that looks beautiful. The drawback might be that the aroma can be stronger than the candles, so if you’re not a fan of that smell, we’ve got some other ideas for you. Mint, lemon balm, basil, lavender…we are talking about herbs that will create a gorgeous garden, highly functional for cooking, while also keeping the annoying bugs at bay. Don’t be surprised if you see a butterfly or two. Plants that flower, like lavender can bring these visitors, but they are more of a help than a hinderance!
#6 Enjoy Your Outdoor Space From the Inside.
There are times when you want to relax inside–while still enjoying your view to the outside. Maybe it’s too hot. Maybe it’s just a bit too chilly. No matter the reason, you can get window shades that give you all the benefits of window treatments–light control, privacy, energy efficiency, UV protection–while still allowing you to see your breathtaking landscape. At Metropolitan Window Fashions, we want to help you enjoy summer to the fullest! From custom fabrics and upholstery, to accent pieces and window shades, we will help you design the outdoor space of your dreams. Contact our design team for a free, in-home consultation.