In this guest post, Chicago-based writer and stylist Wendy Altschuler shares her easy tips for effortlessly elevating your backyard, porch, or patio.
It’s time to enjoy sipping lemonade with family and friends out on the backyard patio or front porch. Warmer weather has finally arrived and is here to stay for a spell. Beyond regular yard maintenance—cutting the grass, cleaning out the gutters, power washing dirty siding, trimming the hedges, and the like—there are several easy upgrades that you can make to add vibrancy and freshness to your outdoor spaces. Spruce up your exterior with the following ideas and you’ll be ready to welcome loved ones in no time.
1. Make It Green
Introducing flowers and plants to your yard is a great way to bring attention-grabbing hues to your house. Fun planters or window boxes can be procured or created DIY. Or get your hands dirty and plant greenery and color straight into the ground. Create symmetry, which is pleasing to the eye, by strategically mirroring the flowerpots on either side of your door or walkway. From hanging plants and manicured gardens to wildflowers that take over a pot, you’ll enjoy lounging on your terrace or stoop with live florae and blossoms in full view.
2. Add Curb Appeal
A freshly painted front door, with a bold color that works in tandem with your dwelling’s exterior, is a great way to liven up the curb appeal. Other smart improvements that will really make your residence sparkle include swapping out your dated mailbox, address numbers, and door mats with something more up-to-the-minute and improved. Making these small changes is easy to do yet will create a big impact on how your home looks and feels overall.
3. Brighten Up
A dark and shadowy entryway or backyard isn’t very appealing or welcoming. Bring in the light! Upgrade your outdoor light sources, framing your front and back doors, to create a fresh look. From trendy drum shades with black pinstripes to sleek and modern satin black or natural brass sconces to painted steel barn-style designs, choose fixtures that match your style and personality.
Wall sconces, surface mounts, and pendants are your friend—get creative with outdoor options. Choose from wet rated alternatives if your lighting will be exposed to the elements. If you’re unsure, obtain finish sample sets so that you can see how everything will work before making an investment. Solar powered lanterns and string lights add additional brightness and delight to your abode.
4. Upgrade your Door Hardware
A simple and cost-effective fix that will shine up your home’s exterior is replacing outmoded worn-out hardware. From entrance handle sets to new hinges to door accessories like bumpers and mail slots, cleaning up your front and back doors will go far in freshening up your entryway or backyard patio. Choose the right style and finish to match the look you’re going for, take precise measurements, and you’re good to go. Contrasting the hardware with the door color is a good idea. For example, if your door is white, choose black hardware for a solid contrast.
5. Consider the Nitty Gritty
If you’re someone that gets a lot of dirt on your shoes, or if you have children that love climbing, hiking, and exploring in the outdoors, you’ll likely need a way to clean off footwear before welcoming folks inside. Boot brushes, made from oiled beech wood with natural horsehair bristles, are a practical way to scrape off the mud and muck. Plus, they look good to boot (see what we did there?).
Shop Porch + Outdoor
Written by Wendy Altschuler