Summer is a great time to freshen up your décor. You’ll be spending more time enjoying your outdoor spaces and be happy to have a soothing space to relax after a busy day at the office or out in the summer sun. The key to summer décor is bright colors, light fabrics, plenty of florals, and a little bit of beach décor. You can do a quick refresh with just a few seasonal décor items or go big and add a new patio set.

With these summer decorating ideas, you’ll have it made in the shade all season long.

Summer Decor for the Outdoors

Summer is synonymous with outdoor activities and outdoor entertaining. Keep this in mind when revamping your outdoor décor to match the season. The key to outdoor living is creating zones that define your space, and the key to creating zones is deciding what activities will occur in your outdoor space.

Define Your Zones

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you need a space for casual meals or snacks?
  • Do you need a place to relax?
  • Will you be entertaining outdoors?

Once you have identified the activities for your outdoor space, you can begin to plan what you need and where you want to put it. Commonly defined zones include:

An Eating Space

Dining alfresco is one of the pure joys of summer. A patio set gives you the option to enjoy breakfast outdoors before the sun gets too hot and, when placed for afternoon shade, a place to eat a casual meal with family and friends. A round table opens up the space and offers better traffic flow.

A Sitting Space

Sitting and relaxing, reading a book chatting with friends, or taking a nap are all acceptable summer outdoor activities. Create a simple sitting area with a few chairs, a low ottoman that doubles as a coffee table, and a lounger if you have the space.

Drinks, Anyone?

A drink station or beverage bar can be as simple or fancy as you want it to be. It’s a must if you plan to entertain. It’s also handy if you spend time outdoors gardening or if you are taking advantage of the nice weather and want to move your workstation outside.

Add Some Shade

If your outdoor space lacks shade, consider adding an umbrella or popup gazebo to help make those hot, sunny days bearable. If you do have shade, arrange your patio and outdoor furniture in a way that keeps you cool and comfortable all summer long.

Dress Up Your Space with Outdoor Cushions

Refreshing your outdoor cushions can completely change the look and feel of the space. They are an easy, low-cost way to bring a whole new vibe to the area. This is where your family will spend a lot of time and where you’re likely to entertain, so making it bright and comfortable will make it more enjoyable.

Choosing outdoor cushions is not the same as choosing indoor cushions. For example, in a living room, cushions pull together the design elements in the room. There may not be very many if any, colors or textures in your outdoor space when choosing outdoor cushions. Your cushions play a starring role in adding these elements to the porch or patio.

If your outdoor space needs a little color and texture to jazz it up, outdoor cushions are your best friend. Feel free to have fun with color, but stick with two or three main colors and accessorize around them. An outdoor space can take vibrant, bold colors, so choose two contrasting colors, such as blue and red. Add some orange for a pop of zest. Bold stripes or a tropical print are also good choices and florals are ideal for summer.

Outdoor cushions let you fill the space with texture and dimension, so choose a few different patterns and colors for your patio. You can mix different patterns, such as stripes, a big floral, and a small floral, as long as they share a color palette. This creates a cohesive look that brings life to the porch. You can also mix sizes and shapes for more visual interest. Another option is to keep your outdoor cushions neutral and liven the space up with plenty of throw pillows. This is a great space to play in, so experiment until you find the combination you like.

Perfect Layouts for Patio Furniture

When choosing patio or porch furniture, go for comfort. You want your outdoor space to scream comfort and relaxation, like a mini getaway from the world. Furnish the areas like you would an indoor room with benches, chairs, lounges, accent tables, and more. Wicker is a perennial favorite for porches and patios, but there are plenty of pretty options in metal patio furniture, so you’ve got a lot of choices.

How much space you have will guide how you arrange your patio furniture. You can choose from any number of layouts and switch them up as you wish or needs dictate. Some are more intimate, great for informal family nights or small gatherings, while others can accommodate a crowd.

As a general rule, you’ll need at least two chairs, a loveseat or sofa, and a coffee table or ottoman. This is a classic arrangement that works in any space. Another option is two loveseats, and a mix of chairs – a lounge, a few armchairs, and even a vintage-style rocker creates a nice arrangement with plenty of seating. Loveseats are perfect for patios because they are smaller than a sofa but give you the same amount of seating. In this arrangement above, you can easily move the pieces around as needed. Don’t forget a coffee table and a side table, so your family and guests have a place to put their drinks and food.

If you have the space to set up a separate seating area, use two loveseats to make a corner that defines the space, rather than placing them opposite each other. This gives you an intimate corner and opens up the other side of the seating area for a more effortless flow.

For dining spaces, consider using benches instead of chairs to keep the area from feeling crowded. If you have the room, add two chairs ready to be used as needed. If your patio or porch is larger, then, of course, you can set up separate dining and seating areas. Anchor your outdoor seating area with an umbrella and your dining area with a rug.

Dress Up Your Outdoor Space with Home Accents

Accessorizing your outdoor space with home accents puts the finishing touch on your summer refresh. This will also make your outdoor space as homey as your indoor space, bringing continuity between the two. Your porch style doesn’t have to match your home’s style exactly, but there should be a sense of continuity between the two so that it is obvious that they are two parts of a whole.

Guidelines for accessorizing your patio:

Add lighting – string lights for whimsical appeal, lanterns for portable lighting, candles for a warm glow.

Outdoor textiles – an outdoor rug ties the space together and provides a layer of texture.

Lush greenery – add planters filled with your favorite plants.

Add an area rug to define the space as mentioned above and add style as it protects your feet from hot summer surfaces. Add some lighting, so that family and guests are not stumbling around the area after dark. Low-voltage string lighting, lanterns, or votives are great ways to add a warm glow. Portable lighting is perfect for outdoor areas since the seating arrangements may change, and you never know where you’ll need the light.

Hang some fun artwork on the wall to express your personality and add visual interest. Wall sculptures, botanical or coastal prints, wind chimes, and fun birdhouses add flair. Palms, ferns, and succulents in pretty planters make the space feel lush and cool. Follow the décor rule of three and scatter three planters around the area or create a grouping of three different heights.

When looking for summer decorating ideas, stop into Old Time Pottery for inspiration. You’ll find everything you need to create the perfect outdoor space for summer. From seating to table linens and all things in between, we’ve got what you need to decorate a relaxing space for summer. Order online and have everything delivered to your door, or visit a store near you to shop in person.

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About Our Blog

When it comes to home decor inspiration, we think our shoppers have the best ideas! We have a passion for the unique and beautiful - whether it's decor, food, or furnishings. You'll find simple, inspired ideas to enhance your home and excite your family from real Old Time Pottery fans. Browse all of the looks from Instagram and Pinterest to others' #otpstyle, and use the hashtag to show off your own styles.