It’s time to get our porches, patios, and front door stoops ready for outdoor living! Yea! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a clean and well-decorated area to enjoy the upcoming late spring and  summer!  Now’s the time to do little things to an outside space to make it a fabulous outdoor living area! Here are 8 tips to work on now for a great outdoor space you will love spending time in!


Get out the hose, bucket and cleaner and give your outdoor space a good scrub! Don’t forget the ceiling of a porch. Wash the windows around your porch or patio and keep them sparkling! Because farmland surrounds StoneGable I have a constant battle with dirt! In between monthly washings I use a leaf blower to blow off the dirt and grime from my porch and patio almost daily.

Start now to wash down patio furniture and porch rockers. At my home, this is a weekly occurrence!  My favorite solution for my furniture and rockers is a 2 TBS Pinesol in a bucket of warm water. After a good scrub, I hose them down. I dry down my rockers so they don’t get water spots.

It’s also a great time to wash down any umbrellas and outdoor seat cushions too. I have white cushions so the get a good dose of bleach.


I’m not talking about a porch… that’s a huge job. We will not be tackling that job again. This year we are calling in professionals… thank goodness! We have painted our porch for the last 20 years. It’s time to let someone else do that big job!

I’m talking about things like rockers and tables and swings and such. Make sure they are not chipping (unless that’s the look you want). It only takes a couple of hours to make a rocker as good as new! Try a fun new color this year!

The time to start painting is not when you want to be rocking and sipping ice tea! So let’s do it now!


Plants bring life and oh, such beauty to an outdoor living space! The more the merrier I say!

The planting process… and it is a process… begins by inspecting your pots, giving them a good scrub and planting them with seasonal flowers and plants. Right now in my area pansies are ready to be planted! Then summer flowers will go in by Mother’s Day.

When planting annuals in pots it’s a good idea to give them a dose of time released fertilizer like Osmocote.

Each year I have a “theme” and plant flowers accordingly. This year I’m going to plant lots of white flowers. I’ve used such bright colors over the last few years, I think I’ll give white a turn. This year’s theme is BLIZZARD IN SUMMER.

Now is the time to start thinking about what you will plant in all those outdoor pots! Let’s get our hands dirty NOW!


Nothing defines an outdoor space like a cool rug! And there are sooooo many great rugs and lots of sizes to be found! Start looking now and enjoy the coziness and added color and texture a rug brings!


A bistro dining area, a summer reading spot or a nice place to swing and count the fireflies are all examples of fun spaces to create outdoors! Do you like to get up early and read the paper with your cup of coffee? Why not create a little space outdoors to enjoy your morning ritual.  Make is special!


Curtains are a great way to “frame” an outdoor living space and give you the privacy and shade you may need. No wonder they are so popular right now! And they look so beautiful fluttering in the breeze! Big, easy to create WOW factor and drama!


Don’t you love bringing indoor elements outdoors? Pillow are a fabulous way to do that. They are textural and add color and also a nice soft place to land!

Make sure the pillows you use are filled with poly-fiber and not feathers. We want pillows that can get wet and dry easily! There are so many great pillows made for the outdoors that are weather and sun resistant. They are your best bet!

If you have lots of outdoor pillows, now is the time to get them out and see if they need to be cleaned up or mended!


Add lanterns, torches and solar lights to your outdoor space. What a wonderful way to add mood lighting! They can be moved around unlike wired lighting.

I use battery operated candles on timers to get the most glow from my lanterns!

These torches from Tiki Brand have a solar light that lights up from dusk to dawn! I love love love them!!!!