This post is brought to you in partnership with Tuesday Morning.
Although spring has officially sprung, good ol’ sunshine and warm temperatures seem to have taken a wrong turn and gotten terribly lost on their way to most of the East coast.
Nevertheless, I am honoring my allegiance to my favorite season by re-decorating our outdoor living area (and sharing my strategy for making it all look cohesive). So when the sun finally does arrive, you and I will be ready for nonstop al fresco dinner parties and outdoor hangs.
If you’re anything like me, you walk into a store like Tuesday Morning – with its beyond amazing selection, one-of-a-kind items and affordable prices – and you want to buy everything.
Needless to say: unless you have an unlimited budget, a strategy is necessary. I’ve partnered with Tuesday Morning to share mine with you in this handy-dandy guide to a cohesive outdoor living space.
1. Function + Layout
Before you do anything else, figure out how you typically use (or plan to use) your patio or deck.
For example, do you often host al fresco dinner parties? You’ll need an outdoor dining area. Are you more of a conversations-by-the-fire-with-refreshments-in-hand hostess? Consider a seating set, fire pit and side tables on which guests can place those refreshments. Is your patio too small for multiple activities? Multi-purpose furniture – like a sitting bench with storage that can quickly convert into a table – may be what you need. If you love to cook, invest in a grill. Like to sunbathe while reading? Lounge chairs are a must.
You get the idea.
I like to think of the patio as an open-concept home that needs to accommodate multiple activities: a designated place to cook, a designated place to eat, a designed place to sit and relax, and so forth. Each area – or “room” – needs to have a clearly defined purpose, which will help you decide which furniture to buy and how to best lay it out.
Much like you would in an interior open-concept situation, use rugs, architectural elements, plants or other decor to clearly define each functional area and create a comfortable flow from room to room.
2. Theme or Style
Choosing a specific theme or style is key to making your indoor or outdoor look cohesive.
A foolproof way to achieve cohesiveness? Extend your interior style outdoors. So if your home is traditional, use those elements throughout your patio, too. If you have a specific color palette indoors, incorporate it outside.
I’ve always struggled to fit my personal style into one neat category. (Anyone else?) The closest I’ve come is modern farmhouse, but that statement is always followed by a slew of clarifications, which defeats the purpose. Because of that, I prefer to choose a color palette to help guide the overall design.
Our home interior consists mostly of textured neutrals, so when shopping for outdoor furniture or decor I choose minimal color for consistency. Take this vase with clean, modern lines, for example. It was only $7.99 (compare to $17.99). If it was plain white, that would be boring. But the ribbed detailing adds just the right dose of texture and visual interest.
Sticking to a specific aesthetic – whether a style or color palette or both – will help your outdoor space feel calm and uncluttered. Whichever style or color palette you choose, Tuesday Morning offers a variety of products and incredible deals to help you achieve your desired look.
Before you run out and buy all new furniture, take stock of what you already own. Can any of it be repurposed? Say you want to replace your seating set; consider the alternatives. Will new cushions achieve your desired look? Can you paint or stain an existing item and gain a few more years’ use out of it?
Salvaging things you already own helps stretch that budget, because let’s face it, not all of us have the monetary means for new furniture every spring.
The furniture doesn’t necessarily need to match; in fact, it’ll look more intentional if it’s not from the same store/collection/designer. However, one unifying element should be repeated throughout. In our case, the wood stain is different on the seating and the dining sets, but the unifying detail is the cushions and timber slats – an element that is found on both sets.
4. Decor and Accessories
Most people figure out the furniture situation and stop there. But decor and accessories are what really make a patio feel intentional and representative of your personal style. Again, think of the space as an extension of your home, and use that strategy when shopping for outdoor decor.
I found this small, flat-woven outdoor rug at Tuesday Morning (that perfectly fits our neutral, geometric aesthetic) for $9.99 (compare to $39.99) to use as a doormat. Plants are another way to make the space feel complete. My favorite find at Tuesday Morning was these macrame plant hangers, which are handmade in Mexico. They were only $7.99 each (compare to $24.99), so I bought three.
Tuesday Morning buyers travel all around the world in search of one-of-a-kind items that aren’t available elsewhere, which makes shopping there that much more special. We have four Tuesday Morning locations nearby, and the selection between those stores alone is so vast that I ended up visiting three of the four because I kept finding such interesting items, like a pack of patterned kitchen towels made in India that I ended up using as napkins. Each 3-piece set was $7.99 (compare to $14.95).
When decorating for a get-together, take your decor up a notch by incorporating items meant for indoor use. This light gray table runner was only $9.99 (compare to $25.99), and it’s the perfect neutral backdrop for a low-key tablescape.
I prefer real glass over melamine or plastic, because it makes the table setting feel a bit more fancy with minimal effort. These gold-rim glasses ($9.99 for a set of four, instead of $19.99) were another favorite find. (I bought two sets!) Serve refreshments out of a glass pitcher instead of straight out of a bottle. This one was only $9.99 (compare to $25.00).
Remember that any accessory you add should match with your overall theme. This ceramic, black and white vase, which was only $29.99 (compare to $60.00), is a great example, because the pattern is nearly identical to some artwork I DIY’ed in our living room.
Adding lights to your patio is a small detail that has maximum effect. Whether you use outdoor fixtures, string lights, candles or another alternative, lights add a cozy feeling to your patio.
These solar LED path lights were one of the best deals in my Tuesday Morning haul; at $16.99 for a set of six (compare to $30.00), I bought four sets and placed them all around the perimeter of the deck for 1) increased safety after dusk, and 2) to help set a romantic mood for those al fresco dinners. I love that there’s no need for any wiring, as they’re powered by the sun!
Check out the Tuesday Morning website to learn more about the brand (and see the weekly deals in your area!), or check the Tuesday Morning store locator to find your nearest store.
FYI, if you’re in the Chattanooga area, you are in luck because we have four (!!!) locations nearby!
Thank you to Tuesday Morning for kindly sponsoring this post. All writing and opinions are always my own and never influenced by gifted products or any type of compensation. Thanks for supporting the brands that make FOXYOXIE.com possible!