After a season spent indoors and under quarantine, as the weather warms up people here in the Arlington, Virginia area are gratefully heading outside with visions of entertaining, relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. Going outside to take a stroll, visit and interact with people in the neighborhood and just be social has become a new high priority as communities get reacquainted. Porch parties, driveway drinks, happy hour walks, and front and backyard gatherings are the new belle of the ball when it comes to social time outside this summer season.
If you’re ready to invite people over and spend more time in your front or backyard, we’ve rounded up some ideas for sprucing up your décor and creating ambiance that will delight, relax, or help you find whatever you’re seeking for quality time outside.
Trend #1: Fun groupings with bold colors
Outdoor furniture is taking center stage as people are creating spaces to fit different functions while using bold colors and accents to make a statement. Grouping chairs and tables on the patio, beside the pool, or deep in a yard under leafy trees or near blooming flowers can all create attractive settings that draw people outside.
Once you’ve caught people’s attention with your fun groupings, you can please their eye with bold colors. Chair cushions and pillows in fun patterns are an easy and budget-friendly way to add color. Umbrellas with bright colors are another way, and if you’re feeling like trying something really fun you could even paint furniture in bright blues, yellows, oranges or red to complement your outdoor décor and landscaping.
Trend #2: Blue is the color of summer
Pantone’s color of the year, Classic Blue, is a natural for summer, and easy to incorporate with furniture, accessories, and even landscaping and décor. Start with pillows and umbrellas. Add painted pots and planters in bright blues and fill your flowerbeds with blue flowers such as delphiniums, bluebells, agapanthus, hydrangea, cornflowers, forget-me-nots, grape hyacinth and lobelia.
Trend #3: Edible landscapes
A rising interest in sustainability, and a new-found appreciation for farm-to-table (or yard-to-table) has led to a renewed interest in home gardening. Many vegetables and herbs look great as part of landscaping while also providing a rewarding activity. If you have a small space, try container gardening, raised beds, or something fun like using pretty trellises to support vertical growth for tomatoes, peas, and other climbing plants.
Trend #4: Modern fire pits
The ease and size of portable propane tanks have made it possible for fire pits to experience a leap forward in design and functionality. Incredibly versatile, you can purchase fire pits in any size, shape and style these days to fit the unique furniture and settings you’ve created in the backyard.
Do a quick Google or Pinterest search for “unique fire pits” and you’ll see a cornucopia of ideas and selections from fanciful iron-worked designs to asymmetrical stacks to artistic renderings of animals, trees, mountains and other shapes in copper, steel, iron, brick, stone, cement and wood.
As you rearrange and decorate, remember that your goal is to create a warm welcoming ambiance that invites people to want to go outside to read, visit with friends and family, host a dinner, have a mini-cocktail hour, start the day with coffee, tea and nature, or just sit back and take a breath and a break from the stress of the everyday world.