The weather hit 57 this week In Rhode Island which means we seriously started thinking about our outdoor spaces. In case anyone is new here, we moved into a neglected 1945 colonial fixer upper on an 1.5 acre lot with lots of outdoor areas to make sense of, but we didn’t get a chance to address them before winter hit. One space I wanted to focus on first this season was our screened in patio. When we moved here it was quite dated, and needed some serious TLC—so much so that we even contemplated taking it all down.
With the weather feeling nice this past week we began sitting out on the screened patio and even lighting the grill in the late afternoons as the sun sets so wonderfully in this direction, giving us that nice golden hour warmth. This time that we spent out there made us realize what a gem this little screened patio truly was, so I decided I would take my time to DIY it into the cozy patio of my dreams.
We began by clearing the overgrown wisteria vines and removing the metal swirly decorations, as well as the dated plastic lattice that bordered the patio. We then spray painted the metal and screen frames a flat black, and we were blown away by what a difference that made—I’m always amazed at the power of paint. Then it was time for the fun part, making it cozy!
This month for my Better Homes & Gardens Live Better Challenge, they asked us to share some outdoor staples, so when choosing items for this space, I thought of the 6 steps I typically go by when creating a cozy porch or patio.
6 Steps to a Cozy Patio or Porch
1. Furnish it:
Choose furniture in your favorite style that fits your space and provides adequate seating for your needs. Better Homes & Gardens has a wide selection of outdoor furniture to fit every budget. If your porch/patio is large, create zones: one for lounging, one for outdoor cooking and one for dining (and don’t forget an outdoor rug to ground at all.)
For this small space, I kept going back and forth between rocking chairs, a swing chair (my daughter begged me), or just some side chairs. Ultimately, I decided on this awesome conversation set, because we have an outdoor sectional in storage that we will likely incorporate out here eventually, and I just couldn’t beat the value and style of this 3 piece set for only $160!
2. Let there be light
Add ambient lighting by way of string lights and lanterns with battery operated candles. If you have a covered patio area, bring out a little lamp to truly make it feel cozy. I used both string lights and lanterns in this space.
3. Green it up!
Use pots and hanging planters to add some fresh or faux greenery o the space to help bring it to life.
Because we live in New England . . . and there’s a really great chance that we will still get snow, I used mostly faux plants for the time being, but I’m looking forward to putting my Better Homes & Gardens new planters to use with some beautiful succulents.
4. Bring on the hospitality:
Incorporate a bar cart or tray to serve beverages and snacks. This bar cart is amazing!!!! It’s not designated for outdoors, but I think it’s fine as long as the area is covered. It has wine glass racks, and three generous sized shelves. I also love that it rolls really easily and the wheels lock in place.
I couldn’t resist this 7 piece Glass Pitcher and Tumbler Set, I think it will be great for entertaining once things gets back to normal. I also picked up some plastic stemware to complete the cart, which was a great bargain at less than $3 per glass. The “fruit bowl” which is actually a planter is legit my favorite thing I’ve purchased this season. I have three of them, one I use as a planter inside, this one which I use as a bowl and then a smaller one that I use as a planter outdoors.
5. Layer in the cozy:
Throw in some outdoor pillows in coordinating colors and patterns, and throw blankets to keep you warm on cool summer nights. These items will help to soften your porch and make it feel super cozy. The larger pillows I chose for this space are not outdoor pillows, but the lumbar pillow is,( again an exception since this area is covered).
6. Don’t forget to utilize vertical space:
Use command strips or cup hooks to hang a gallery wall of baskets, melamine plates, potted herbs or even a mirror to add some interest and truly make it feel like an extension of your home. Although I haven’t hung my mirror yet, I love how it makes the patio feel like a room and reflects the light to brighten up the space.
I’m really happy how this space is coming together and while there’s still a bit of work to be done out here, I think we’re off to a good start! Have you begun sprucing up any outdoor spaces yet?