Summer is here and the living should be easy. It should be time for patios and relaxing and spending quality time with friends. Is your patio ready for all that fun? If not, we have you covered! We are partnering with Windy City favorite, Walter E. Smithe Furniture to bring you simple tips and eye catching staples to take your backyard hangs up a notch this season.
As you read through the expert tips, start planning your own patio parties, because you can win your own set of two Adirondack Chairs from Walter E. Smithe! The Chicago furniture store is giving one of our lucky followers a FREE pair of chairs for summer, so check our Instagram and Facebook for ways to enter and win! We’ll be posting these tips and photos on both channels, and all you have to do is tag a friend to enter. Who do you want to hang on your new patio with this summer?
We are so happy to be able to bring this special giveaway, and exclusive tips, just to you! As we were updating our own patios, we spoke with Alfred Beam Sierra, the Senior Designer at the Walter E. Smithe Oak Brook Showroom. Sierra has a BFA in Interior Design and is a Member of design group President’s Circle, so you know you’re getting a seriously expert opinion. We put them to use at home, and thanks to Walter E. Smithe and some other local companies, the patio is now our favorite “room” in our house!
INCORPORATE POPS OF COLOR
I believe the days of they typical brightly colored fabrics are gone. Manufacturers have come up with some great neutral textured fabrics to use as main covers for sofa’s and chairs that rival some indoor fabrics. Follow the same rules as you would indoors. A great base fabric is the perfect canvas for the amazing range of pillows available these days. Manufacturers like Surya offer a variety of pillows that would accentuate any outdoor space.
We tried to go as natural as possible to make the most of our space, by incorporating flowers and fresh plants throughout the patio. The growing season is so short in Chicago that we want to take advantage while we can! We also used our bar cart to create a central location of color thanks to light, summer offerings from Santa Margherita and Chloe Wines.
ACCESSORIZE YOUR OUTDOOR SPACES AS IF THEY WERE INDOORS
With the great range of products available, there’s no reason your outdoor entertaining areas shouldn’t feel like a extension of your home. Candle holders, colored planters, lanterns and small statues are all available in materials that are weather resistant. My favorite accents are Chinese Garden Stools. They add a great pop of color, and double up as accent tables or extra seating when needed. Improvise with centerpieces for your outdoor dining tables, including using fresh flowers perfect for the season!
We worked with our amazing neighborhood florist (support your local businesses) Marguerite Gardens to create blooms that matched with our Adirondack chairs to create a consistent look and feel for the whole space. If you live in the Logan Square or West Town area, we can not recommend Marguerite Gardens enough!
DELINEATE YOUR ENTERTAINING AREAS
Outdoor rugs are the perfect element to create “rooms,” they also add warmth to any space. A space without a rug, is just “floating” furniture. The rug grounds the space and gives you that finished look as well as adding yet another layer of color and texture.
We were a little nervous about an outdoor rug at first, but this was one of our favorite additions to the patio! Be sure to search “outdoor” rugs when you’re looking, in order to ensure it’s made of sturdier materials.
DON’T FORGET THE LIGHTING
Manufacturers like Hubbardton Forge, Visual Comfort, Uttermost and Surya offer outdoor lighting options. Why not a chandelier hanging from a pergola, or some lamps on your end tables? The right lighting creates the perfect ambiance for great evening entertaining al fresco!! So make sure to have your landscape architect add some weather proof electric outlets and start planning your dinner party!
Nothing says summertime like a warm night under the stars! We found inexpensive and cute string lights everywhere from Target to Lowe’s to Amazon, just be careful on ladders etc. when you’re hanging them up!
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
We all grew up with the same style wicker or wrought iron outdoor furniture. Matching sofa, loveseat, swivel chair, coffee and end table combos were the norm. If we spend the time picking every detail of our indoor spaces, why stop when it comes to your outdoors? There are now fully upholstered outdoor pieces, that look like they could easily belong indoors. Step away from full collection look and mix and match styles, elements and finishes.
Feeling inspired? We certainly were! Make sure to head over to our our Instagram and Facebook for ways to enter and win your own patio chairs! The final drawing for the lucky will be made on Monday, June 19th.