Because Charlotte springs are best enjoyed outdoors, here’s our patio prep tips to get your space ready and you outside — cocktail in hand!
We know that it’s hard to relax in a space that feels unfinished or requires a lot of in-the-moment prep (carrying cushions outside, then back inside, anyone?) — so we’ve compiled our go-to advice whether you are starting with an empty space or just need a refresh.
1. Pick a color palette
When Kell was creating her outdoor oasis (pictured here) — a rooftop patio on her townhome in NoDa — she wanted the space to be an extension of their home. Something that felt modern and fun fused with a bohemian feel.
Kell’s tip? Start by thinking about the location of your outdoor space. What’s the color of your siding, your deck railing or the brick of your patio? Take those tones into consideration as you plan and shop. For Kell, her dark gray siding immediately set the tone, calling for a white sofa.
2. Play the Seating Game
Configuring seating is the most important game to play in patio design. For Kell, maximizing seating for her rooftop space was vital to the hosting they envisioned — and have done — since their house was built!
Kell’s tip? Consider if you’re up for the in-and-out with the cushions game. If not, consider going with a sofa set that’s just as stylish, but not as cushion-heavy. Other less-cushioned styles that caught our eye include this gray-washed set and this natural collection.
3. Keep it Fun and Light
To keep the vibe light, add in extra seating with something unexpected. Add a hanging chair (which look best mounted in corners) or two to mix things up. Or jump for the double if can find the perfect spot! (Check out our hanging-chair tutorial for step-by-step mounting instructions.)
Pops of color are a must for outdoor spaces, and whether it’s aqua or pink or something a little more mid-century that’s your vibe — acapulco chairs are our go-to! We are huge fans of this white loveseat, too. Let’s not forget about the power of rattan, which is on-trend right now, comes in all colors and is comfortable — even cushion-less.
More can be less sometimes, so consider adding a bench for more seating — coupled as a plant-stand, bar cart and catch-all when you don’t have a crowd.
If you’re looking for a dining table, we can’t get enough of cement these days and this one sure is a beauty. (If that’s not on-par with your budget, take a look at this.) Pair it with these white cuties and add in some texture with chair cushions.
4. Layer It
While we are against it feeling like it’s a chore to go in and out of any space, Kell says there are a few soft goods she brings out every time she grabs a glass of wine and heads for the roof. These items include her poufs, and a pillow or two.
It’s important that an outdoor space feel warm and inviting and the grounding layer is the rug. Kell brought in pops of color with her indoor/outdoor rug, but you could not go wrong with bold stripes, something a bit playful, a more neutral or graphic route, a little blush or all natural.
Kell’s tip? Commit to bring in and out some soft goods for comfort, but pick other grounding items that stay put. Their stay-put items that have weathered the best have been cement pieces — coffee tables and side tables — their drum end table and their black acapulco chairs.
5. Lighten the Mood
It’s truly incredible the power a strand or two of outdoor lights has over a space. String up some lights, pour some drinks and the party is cued. Add in a battery-powered, rattan lantern or two, which can be hung or placed wherever a little extra light is needed.
6. Plant it Up
Kell’s tip? Make sure add in lots of greenery and pay attention to scale. Most often, plants are bought too small for a space — and there’s nothing better than the right amount/size of plants reminiscing your Queen City patio of tropical vacations.
Our friends at Malone’s said good plants that can survive the CLT summer include tropical cacti (the cholla cactus grows tall) — as well as lavender, which loves the heat as well as the drought. Cold-hardy succulents such as hens and chicks are perfect for outdoor patios as well as salvia, which adds purple blooms and a lovely scent. Kell’s had success with rooftop monsteras and ferns, as well.
When picking planters, concrete is a great option for outdoors. We’re loving this bohemian planter and the feel this would bring to an outdoor dining space. Dress up the walls or your table with these modern options for cut greens.
7. Don’t Forget the Sun
Kell’s must-have? Her patio umbrella, which can be adjusted with the sun’s movements. She snagged this one and it’s held up beautifully.
Cheers to a beautiful spring and summertime where your patio’s ready, full of friends and the design makes you feel right at home. Follow along with our daily design inspo on Instagram — and contact us if you hit any design snags and we can help along the way!