DIY Design Diary: How to Deck out Your Space for Summer
5 Ways to Create an Outdoor Oasis
As the weather warms, we’ll be looking at our outdoor spaces to provide a welcome change of scenery. Whether you have a small slab of concrete in the city or a sprawling backyard in the suburbs, getting prepared for the sights and sounds of summer is an uplifting DIY project!
Imagine evenings gathered around the fire pit, grilling, and being surrounded by nature and our loved ones. After all, vacation is not a destination; it’s a state of mind.
1. Clean it Up
All projects start with prep work -- and the outdoors are no exception. So before sprucing up the decor, it’s important to start with a solid foundation. The first priority on the to-do list is to give your deck or porch a good cleaning. Clear away any debris with a broom or blower, and then wash it down. Using a professional cleaning product will help prime the area for any staining or painting. C2’s Paint Deck Cleaner is a 3-in-1 revolutionary product that deeply penetrates pores and loosens contamination for easy cleaning on all wood types. It contains enhancers that remove unsightly wood discoloration while easily and safely removing mold and mildew stains. Because it contains no harsh chemicals, it’s safe for pets and family!
2. Protect and Preserve
Using a quality product to protect the wood from the elements will keep it from rotting and wear over the years. C2 Guard absorbs deeply into the wood, forming a flexible polymer barrier and becoming part of the wood’s cellular structure. This enhanced cellular structure resists water penetration, helping to prevent cracking, splitting, or warping, while at the same time reducing the effects of mold and mildew. (Note: using C2 Guard will protect the wood structure for up to 10 years. However, the surface might need re-stained before then because of general wear and tear like scuffing).
See for yourself how C2 Guard protects wood from within
3. Add Some Color
Here’s the fun part! Determine your decor vibe. Are you a funky modernist who covets bright colors or a naturalist looking to create a bohemian oasis? Two key decor elements include:
- Rugs - There are so many beautiful rug designs to choose from these days. Depending on whether or not your outdoor space is covered, make sure to find a material that will last. (i.e. if it’s not covered, an indoor/outdoor rug will mold quickly so look for outdoor only rugs.) Flat-weave rugs are typically best for outdoors because they are sewn together tightly making them perform well in high traffic areas and for enduring moisture. Rugs with fluffy piles, on the other hand, will absorb dirt and water, so those are best kept inside. Choose a design that will add some personality but also be neutral enough to not compete with your other design elements. Frontgate offers several high quality, weatherproof solutions.
- Throw pillows - Pillows provide the ultimate opportunity to tie your design together and add interest, so get creative! Layer in color, and mix and match size, shape pattern to provide comfort, and complete your color story.
4. Mirror Nature with Greenery
Nothing enhances the outdoors like beautiful greenery, florals, and even herbs. Do some research on what is right for your region and area (full sun vs. partial shade, etc.). Some people prefer more sculptured greenery a la Edward Scissorhands while others prefer more free-flowing plants like pampas grass that moves fluidly with the wind.
5. Light it Up
Alfresco dining, anyone? Outdoor lighting is one of the easiest ways to add instant ambiance -- and looks especially inviting outdoors. Choose from a wide variety of lighting options to suit your needs and taste:
- Landscape - these are more utilitarian and used to light pathways, highlight certain areas, and add shadows and depth to the area.
- Globe Lights - these are functional in the sense that they are usually strung above to light a certain area below. They provide a subtle amount of light by being spaced symmetrically apart but also add a beautiful softness.
- Fairy - these are more decorative in nature and strung in a more whimsical way. They are used for more for ambiance and less for the actual amount of light they emit.
The outdoors are an important extension of our homes, so protecting the structure from the weather is priority number one. Once that task is complete, get creative with the design. Consider your own style and function, consider reusing or refurbishing old furniture, and then add lanterns or lighting to create an escape that's just steps away!