It may not seem like it, but spring is on its way, which of course means that summer is not far behind. It’s time to get outside and look over your outdoor spaces to make sure they are ready for warmer months and family gatherings.
First, take a look at the furniture on your front porch or the lawn furniture stashed in the garage. Check for damage, particularly if the furniture remained outside during the winter months. Splintered wood can be sanded smooth using sandpaper and some rust can be repaired with Rust-Oleum and similar products. If you are able to repair the wood and metal furniture, you can always repaint them for a fresh look. Rust-Oleum and similar products often comes in colors so you can do both jobs at once.
While you are checking your furniture, don’t forget the chair cushions. Even cushions stored indoors or on a porch can become moldy. Bleach and tea tree oil can be used to kill the mold, but if it has spread too much, it may be time to replace the cushions. If you need to replace them, it’s a good opportunity to find something completely different. New paint and new cushions are a great way to add color to any space and make it seem like new.
Speaking of repainting, you can always check to see if your front porch needs some refreshing. While repainting the entire porch may be costly and time consuming, look for smaller areas, such as trim, the steps, or even your front door. Adding potted plants, new outdoor rugs, a spring themed wreath, or even a few cute, kitschy garden gnomes can change the look of your porch.
You can use some of the same ideas for your patio or backyard, adding a few new touches here and there. Repainting can be used out here as well, stepping stones, furniture, the patio itself. Trying out some new plants can change the look as well. Small succulents are a low maintenance plant that can be added anywhere with little effort. Repotting existing plants into new planters can be easily done as well.
Shopping for your outdoor spaces can be done almost anywhere, grocery shopping at Target or Wal-Mart? Stop by lawn and garden. Grabbing some items at a dollar store, or even a thrift store, look around, outdoor rugs, garden décor, planters, crop up seemingly everywhere this time of the year. Of course, home improvement stores, are a wonderful place to look as well, as their often have large lawn and garden departments.
Candles may seem like an odd outdoor decor choice, but if you are lighting Citronella candles to keep bugs away, you may as well find decorative ones for patio tables, or even the porch if you plan to gather there. You can add some purely decorative candles as well, hanging lanterns from trees, or from garden hooks. Though, for those candles, you should consider the flameless variety for safety reasons.
The website Pinterest and home and garden magazines are wonderful places to gather ideas about decorations and even some gardening tips, but don’t try to completely recreate what you find. It’s your outdoor space, after all, not a picture.
If you have kids, include them in the process. Making fairy and gnome gardens are popular right now among kids and adults alike. You and your kids can create or buy houses, fairies and intersperse them around your garden. You can find mailboxes, swing sets, and even small ponds for your fairy gardens. If you lack space, you can create tiny fairy gardens in planters or window boxes.
However your spruce up your space, remember… your house is your HOME! Try to enjoy the process and enjoy your time outdoors.