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Comfortable Home Exterior Design

What’s a beautiful home without a well-maintained outdoor area? Thankfully, some of the prettiest upgrades are also budget-friendly. From the placement of plant containers to cheery paint colors, read on and click through to find pointers that will perk up your patio in no time.

patio furniture

Paint your furniture

Paint your furniture

Wind, rain and snow can give outdoor pieces a beating—revive them with a new finish. Sand your furniture to remove rust or flaked bits of paint (if needed), wash with a mildew-killing cleaner and prime before applying paint. And don’t let the pieces dry where leaves or other debris will ruin your hard work: A breezy, covered area like the garage is best.

Have your plants and eat them, too

Flora-filled containers brighten a neglected corner and disguise gutters or outlets. Plant them with herbs or greens to get some fresh ingredients. Go with mint and basil, or chamomile and lemon verbena for teas; arugula and watercress for salads.

outdoor pathway design
Stuck in a rut? Turn it into a pathway

Daily trips to the shed or compost pile take a toll on your lawn, so replace trodden-down grass with gravel, stepping stones or pavers. Or use an eclectic mix of found materials.

cozy outdoor furniture
Layer in cozy touches

Don’t sacrifice comfort to enjoy some fresh air. Plop cushions on wooden, wicker or wrought-iron seating to encourage outdoor lounging, stick a garden bench or side table next to a chair to hold your lemonade, and add lighting (hurricane candleholders on your tabletop, tiki torches in your flower beds) so you’ll linger there into the evening.

Play with containers

Beyond holding your flowers, planters can act as space dividers, sectioning off a nook for quiet time or defining your patio’s edges. Use them to add some style: a classic touch with terracotta, a worldly vibe with a colorful woven basket or a playful tone with an old rain boot.