Finally, warmer temps are here, practically begging you to spend time outdoors. But before you fire up the grill, take some time to refresh and add a little punch to your outdoor space.
Home improvement experts recommend starting from the ground up by either staining or painting your patio or deck. "Staining the deck really is one of the best ways to spruce up your yard," says Jill Sandy, founder of the Constant Delights blog. "The yard will stand out and you will have a bright, fancy space all ready to have outdoor gatherings. This may require a lot of work, but the effort will definitely be worth it. Furthermore, staining will help the deck last longer as well."
If you have a wooden patio, a fresh stain or coat of paint "really can bring it back to life," adds Phil Ash, founder of Pro Paint Corner. "Winter can be rough on patios, depending on the location, so when a patio suffers from peeling paint or tarnished stain, a brand-new coat will give it that brand-new look just in time for the sunshine."
Sandy, who is also a home renovator and gardener, likes finding unique dining furniture for outdoor spaces. "One of the best ways to update your patio or backyard is to bring in an antique and roughly finished wooden dining table for outdoor dining," she says. Such a table "doesn't just look classy on your patio or in your backyard but will bring your family and friends together for an amazing dining out experience on a spring (or summer/fall) evening."
A pergola is a fantastic way to add a focal point and create a designated dining or sitting area, says Savannah Phillips, interior designer for The Knobs Company. "A pergola ... offers shade but does not block the view of the rest of the yard," she said. "Pergolas can be used in yards with patios or without patios." You can purchase a pergola or build your own by purchasing a pergola kit at your local home improvement store.
Realtor Nathan Garrett says an outdoor fire pit is one of the best bets when redesigning your backyard space, not only for enjoyment but also for home resale value. "As a real estate agent, I have noticed that buyers really like seeing backyard fire pits," he says. "As a homeowner, this can become an evening oasis after a long day of work. It can be a great place to entertain guests." He recommends incorporating stone pavers around the pit for people to sit around and relax. If hiring a professional to build a fire pit is not in your budget, you can consult DIY articles online and build your own.
For David Cusick, chief strategy officer for House Method, it's all about creating visual appeal and drama through color. "Paint the fences black. The dark color will serve as a nice backdrop for your garden, making the green plants and colorful flowers stand out," he says. "Change your outdoor furniture and accessories. Use garden chairs painted with bright colors, add ceramic vases with beautiful designs, and put out colorful yard accessories to add colors to your yard, other than with flowers."
Ash agrees and sees color as a way to showcase personality. "The best way to freshen up a patio for spring and summer is to add vibrant colors" he says. "This can be done with new furniture, accessories, and plants. It's like bringing a little tropical paradise to your backyard."
Don't forget to include wildlife in your outdoor space. By placing bird feeders on your patio or along the periphery of your yard, you will have lively company any day of the week, with or without your friends and family.
Take on any or all of these home improvement projects to get the most out of your outdoor space for years to come.