15 Easy Ways to Get Your Outdoor Living Space Ready For Summer

Update your outdoor space with these 15 great ideas, just in time for spring and summer.

Is your outdoor living space in need of a makeover? Do you look at your patio and cringe every time you dream of inviting your friends over for a backyard barbecue?

Whether you live in the city and have a small outdoor living space, or you live in the countryside and have a wide open meadow to work with, there are simple solutions for turning that drab outdoor area into a fabulous spot for your family and friends to enjoy. With these fifteen simple ways to dress up your outdoor living space, you’ll be able to call your girls over for cocktails on the deck by next weekend!

1. Lighting

The easiest way to dress up your outdoor living space and still make a big impact is with lighting. There are many options to choose from depending on your space and your style. String lights work really well for small patios, but look great in any outdoor space.

 2. Seating

The right seating for your outdoor living space can make all the difference. Big spaces can handle the bulk look of a farmhouse table, a custom built bench or an outdoor sectional. In smaller spaces, try brightly colored wicker chairs, or a small bench with bright throw pillows to help make the space feel more open.

3. Pergola

Adding a pergola to your outdoor living space can help define your patio and “hangout zone” from the rest of your backyard. It can lend your space more privacy, shade, and shelter.

4. Curtains

Speaking of more privacy and shade, adding curtains to your outdoor living space can do more than just dress it up. No need to invite the neighbors to every cookout. Just draw the curtains, and they’ll get the hint!

5. Bar/Kitchen

Turn your patio into the ultimate hot spot with a customized bar that is stocked with all the necessary items to make every weekend the perfect summer party. Plus, outdoor bars and kitchens can make hosting duties so much easier!

6. Beverage Area

If you’d love an outdoor kitchen, but don’t have the space, get the best of both worlds with a cute beverage station. Make over an old bar cart, repurpose an unused dresser, or use an few old crates or pallets. The possibilities are endless!

7. Area Rug

If your budget won’t allow you to buy much more than seating and a table for your patio, you can still dress up your outdoor living space with an area rug. To help stretch your budget even further, purchase an inexpensive rug, and transform it with a stencil.

8. Stenciled Deck

An area rug isn’t the only way to dress up your patio floor. For a fun, textured look, stencil a design directly on your deck planks or concrete patio.

9. Pretty Storage

Outdoor storage doesn’t have to be boring. Dress it up and make it multifunctional with a storage box that can function as extra seating for your guests, or as a table for your food and drinks.


10. Mosaic Patterns

Do you have a hidden artistic flair that hasn’t yet had the chance to shine in your outdoor space? Use a mosaic tile pattern and some recycled glass pieces to turn simple backyard objects into works of art.

11. Unique Planters

Don’t settle for just any planter for your beautiful hanging plants. Grab a can of spray paint in your favorite accent color and repurpose unique items like an old tire, a broken wheelbarrow, or bird bath for a fun and rustic look.

12. Decorative Planters

No old tires lying around? No problem! You can still make a statement with your backyard planters. If you already have tons of plain or mismatched pots in your outdoor space, transform their look with fun pops of color. These DIYs will even work on those plastic pots that come with the plants!

13. Shutters and Flower Boxes

Enhance the look of your house by adding shutters and flower boxes. These pops of color that will not only help dress up your outdoor living space, but will also give your home great curb appeal.


14. Garden Fountain

A water feature looks great in both large and small outdoor living spaces. Make a DIY project out of it, and create a garden fountain out of a gorgeous container and some commonplace irrigation tools.


15. Fire Pit Cover

Fire pits are a nice addition to any outdoor space. Make your fire pit great do double-duty by creating this game board fire pit tabletop for daylight gatherings.

Top Image Credit: Lowe’s 
Do you have plans to dress up your outdoor living space for the spring and summer? Which of these ideas will you get started on first?
Diana Trotter

Diana Trotter

Contributor, Porch.com. Diana Trotter is a lifestyle writer and editor from the Philadelphia area who blogs about DIY projects, her favorite recipes, and life in the 'burbs. When she isn't blogging, you can find her volunteering with her local women's group, catching up on her favorite TV shows, or relaxing at home with her husband and stepdaughters. Connect with Diana on her blog, TheWorldAroundHer.com, or on Twitter @WorldAroundHer.

Did you love the post? Tell us about it in the comments below!

  • Derek Lotts

    I like number 2 🙂

    • Jacqui Adams

      Thanks Derek! That bench is kind of awesome, huh? Glad you like it!

  • Heather

    Awesome inspiration! I love the idea of adding a garden fountain! 🙂

    • Jacqui Adams

      Thank Heather! I love that project too–had no idea it was so easy!

  • Ma Kimmel

    I LOVE that stenciled deck area! wow, that’s a really cool idea!!

    • Jacqui Adams

      Thanks Ma! Doesn’t that look neat? I’ve also seen it done in neutral colors and with a border to look like an area rug. Very neat!

  • Mark Cunningham

    Love the spray painted tire pretty cool lookin!!

    • Lewis

      And lookie here, Clem and Matilda can swing on it days that the revenuers don’t come.

  • Lewis

    Low cost changes, what a novel idea.

  • Levy R.

    These are some really great ideas on how making your yard look even more amazing. I liked your tip about covering up the fire pit with something fun. I also liked the idea of having a water fountain or other feature. I really find the white noise of water running, relaxing and that would be great to have in the backyard. http://www.americangiftstore.net/default.asp?dept_id=30030

  • Jamie Wrimer

    I am thinking of ways I could improve my yard, and I never even considered lighting! I have been so focused on storage space and seating that lighting has slipped my mind. I really like the string lighting idea, I think It would work well with my set up. Thanks for the tips! http://www.seabreezepropertyservices.com/property-services/residential/

  • By The Yard

    This is great, practical tips to create a unique backyard space! If you are on a tight budget but want to create an outdoor living space, you can also up-cycle old pieces of furniture, making them equipped for the outdoor environment. If you are not the DIY type, there are also many furniture stores that up-cycle furniture for you! If you live in Vernon Hills or Jordan, we make custom pieces from old furniture.

  • These are all great ideas! I agree with proper lighting and seating options – these items will transform the space to entertain guests. If you are on the hunt for quality outdoor furniture, I highly recommend All American Pool & Patio: http://finepatiofurniture.com

  • Pergolas are an enticing way to enhance the beauty of your outdoors.

  • 295 Fifth Avenue

    The decorative planters look fantastic here! They really make the yard look nice! Great read thanks for sharing!