You’re not dumb, but if you’re anything like me you’re left scratching your head when it comes to decorating your outdoor spaces. Outfitting your porch, balcony, deck, or patio is no longer as simple as throwing together a grill, picnic table, and some lawn chairs. That’s the method you employ when you’re young, broke, and decorating via hand-me-downs.

But now you have a nice career and own a tastefully appointed home with a big empty deck out back. You’ve heard about outdoor living spaces and outdoor living rooms but, frankly, don’t know where to begin. Well kick back, perhaps with one of those fruity, frozen summer adult beverages, and I’ll drop some knowledge on how to deck out your deck, beautify your balcony, and pretty-up your patio.

Your deck or patio is where your friends gather

You’ll want to create a spot for people to gather. I know, it sounds a little ambiguous. Well, the path of least resistance—a path I’m familiar with—is to get yourself an outdoor set. These come in a variety of styles and configurations. 

Maybe outdoor sets aren’t your thing— your style tends more towards the eclectic. No worries, Zinc Décor carries all the home decor you’ll need. Choose from outdoor coffee tables and outdoor benches to outdoor accent tables and outdoor chairs, settees, and loungers—plus so much more—to design your outdoor living area.

You’ll want to pay attention to scale as you don’t want your new outdoor set to look out of place. Now that you’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to decorate the rest of your outdoor space with accessories.

Don't forget the visual and functional elements

Outdoor Bars and Bar Carts are a cool way to keep drinks cold and enticing. Whether you stock it full of adult libations or beverages for the kiddos, adding a bar or bar cart to your outdoor space will be an attention getter (so pick a nice one!).

And who doesn’t love S’mores? I know I do—and the only way to make the real deal is over a fire. You’ll want to choose a firepit that accents your other outdoor furniture—and complies with your local fire code. One last tip regarding this tip—Hershey Bar, marshmallow, graham cracker—accept no substitutes. 

An arch or arbor will provide a nice transition between outdoor spaces and add a vertical element. Not to mention, they add a touch of class to any outdoor area. I’d recommend decorating the area around the arbor or arch with flowering plants to transform it into an interesting, romantic outdoor addition.

We all need our vitamin D, but too much sun drives guests indoors. Your solution is an outdoor umbrella. You’ll want to choose one big enough to cover a large swath of your outdoor area. Pick an eye-catching pattern or color to make your outdoor space pop and you’ll be made in the shade.

These tips and tricks should be enough to set you well on your way to creating a warm and inviting outdoor space. Designing an outdoor space is about more than just bringing the inside aesthetic out, it’s about creating an area for you, your family, and friends to gather and spend some time together.