Memorial Day weekend is upon us and suddenly your winter storage area—also known as the patio—is top on the priority list. The backyard probably hasn’t seen traffic for months and is in serious need of some TLC. You may think you’ll need to spend major bucks to get your patio barbecue-ready by the weekend, but thankfully, there is no need to worry! By following these simple (and inexpensive) tips, you’ll soon be sipping on lemonade and enjoying a cozy and inviting new patio.
Clean up! It may sound pretty obvious, but the first step is to de-clutter your outdoor space. Mow the lawn, trim the weeds, and sweep up dead leaves. Eliminate all those unused garden tools, equipment, and yards of uncoiled hose that may be scattered about your patio. Don’t bother spending huge amounts of time sorting or organizing—the objective is to get things out of the way fast. Stack items up in a storage shed, garage, or even on the side of the house if it comes down to it. Just get them out of sight for the weekend—you’ll be amazed how much of a difference a clean, sparse yard can make.
Display backyard tools in a stylish way. For those items that you simply don’t have the storage space available to tuck away, consider displaying them stylishly. It’s expected that a backyard or garden be worked in regularly—it’s simply about organizing items in an artful way:
-A rustic barrel is a perfect way to tame that garden hose that you spent so much time coiling—and it looks like part of the design! Try this “Whiskey Barrel” from Home Depot.
-Organize gardening gloves, shovels and tools in one place, such as a wooden carpenter’s caddy, and set on an end table or deck railing. There may not be time to order anything vintage online, but try stores like Home Goods for affordable styles.
-If you have a tree that drops fruit or pinecones all over your yard, quickly gather them up and toss in a basket for a natural pop of texture and color. Plain wicker baskets can be purchased for next to nothing at TJ Maxx.
-A few cheap hooks can be quickly installed to hang raincoats, gardening smocks, and even beach towels. Designate an area to quickly fashion into an outdoor mudroom. It’s much more pleasing to the eye for items to be organized in a thoughtful order. Try something colorful and inexpensive like these yellow hooks found at Lowe’s.
Focus on fabric not furniture. There is likely not enough time or money in the budget to replace all of your patio furniture. Instead, a fresh new palette of bright summer fabrics will be enough to transform your entire space:
-For outdoor dining sets, pick up a few new seat cushions in a single hue, like these teal tie-on seat cushions found at Target.
-For deck and patio seating, add throw pillows with fun patterns that match the new color scheme. Try Ikea for colorful pillows, like this adorable hot pink owl pillow cover for just $4.
Pick up summer plates! You don’t have to invest in a whole new set of dinnerware to host a barbecue. It’s summer—your décor can be casual and stylish without spending a fortune! Try adding colorful plastic plates like this cute set of watermelon-colored plates found at Kmart for under $2!
Heat things up. If you already have a fire pit or outdoor fireplace set up, all you have to do is clean things up and add fresh logs. For those who don’t have outdoor heating, you can still add some warm lighting without investing in a major fixture. For get-togethers that roll into the evening, tiki torches and lanterns are festive and fairly inexpensive. Try adding a few of these tabletop Luau lights from Walmart.
Remember, the important thing is to clean up, add stylish storage, and insert a lively new color palette. Try any or all of the above tips and you’ll be ready for a fun Memorial Day Weekend in no time!
By Malena Jaime
Photography by Jaimee Itagaki