Weekend Cleanup Series: Pretty Up Your Patio

The outdoor table, the umbrella, the seat cushions, the cute decorative stuff—oh my, there's a lot to do to ready your favorite outdoor space for the season. Follow these easy cleaning and decorating tips today, and you'll be grilling and relaxing tonight.

Weekend Cleanup Series: Pretty Up Your Patio

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Revive your current decor.

Before buying new chair cushions, see what you can do with the old ones. Shake out dust, then clean up stains with a multipurpose, color-safe cleaner. Mix the cleaner with warm water in a bucket, following package directions, and dip a sponge in the solution and wipe the stains. Let the solution soak in for 15 minutes. Rinse with a hose and air-dry. Got icky umbrellas? Follow the same steps to clean them. 

Weekend Cleanup Series: Pretty Up Your Patio

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Add a decorative rug.

A pretty outdoor throw rug will define your seating area and make it feel more intimate. If the rug’s label indicates that it can be washed, do so once a month with a solution of stain remover and water in a bucket. Scrub the rug using a large nylon chore brush, then rinse with a hose and air-dry. 

Weekend Cleanup Series: Pretty Up Your Patio

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Let there be light.

Glass lanterns or tiki torches that throw off a warm glow will encourage your friends and family to linger after the sun sets. You can also brighten things up by wrapping strands of tiny white outdoor lights around a column. 

Weekend Cleanup Series: Pretty Up Your Patio

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Green it up.

A container garden can beautify your patio and provide mouthwatering fruits and veggies. Pick a container at least 24 inches in diameter so there’s room for strong plant roots to develop. Choose a large plant like a tomato or a tall plant like fennel as a centerpiece, and then fill around the edges with smaller herb plantings, like parsley, basil, or rosemary. As a finishing visual touch, include something that will dangle over the edge, like strawberries. 

Weekend Cleanup Series: Pretty Up Your Patio

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Encorporate serene sounds.

Wind chimes made from bamboo, teak, metal, glass, or shells create relaxing sounds of music. You can step the serenity moments up a notch by adding a small water garden (find one with a recirculating pump so you can enjoy the sound of trickling water). All you need now are burgers, drinks, and your loved ones.