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How To Add Color To Your Outdoor Space

Neutrals are great. They’re functional, versatile, and hard to get wrong. But unfortunately, they can also be boring. With the rise of all-white spaces, many people are left with patios and yards that are a bit more drab and boring than anticipated. What’s the solution? Adding color, of course.

Adding color doesn’t to your outdoor living space doesn’t have to be overly complex. With a basic understanding of color, some inspiration, and a little bit of sage guidance, you can make your backyard pop.

Year Long Color Through Plantings

One of the most effective and natural ways to add color to your backyard is through strategic planting. Often underestimated, great landscaping is a powerful tool for bringing depth, texture, and color to your space. The best landscaping offers year long color. There are a few key ways to go about this.

Staggered Blooming

The best landscape is a cohesive landscape. This means reducing gaps in color or greenery by ensuring something is either flowering or green all year long. A grand display of color at the beginning of spring and early summer is beautiful at the time. But much like fireworks, once the grand finale is over, there’s not a whole lot to see.

Instead, choose a variety of plants with a wide range of blooming times. Early, cold hardy blooms like pansies and petunias are great for planters. Create rainbows of color through spring with flower beds of bulbs plants such as daffodils, tulips, and crocus.

Coast through mid and late summer with hot weather hardy blooms from alliums and anemones. Falls can be brought to life with mums and ornamental grass. For the best chance at spectacular color, try to bring in plants native to your area. Native plants are likely to fare better in the face of drought, cold, and other regional weather events.

Evergreens & Shrubs

They aren’t called “evergreens” for no reason! These backyard staples are one of the few groups of plants that allow you to enjoy greenery all year long. And with a broad list of species to choose from, it doesn’t have to get boring.

Create privacy with arborvitae, add shape and dimension with a carefully pruned box shrub. Pops of color are great, but nothing is more welcoming than year-long foliage be it pine needles or spruce trees.

Evergreens aren’t the only opportunity for color. Some shrubs such as Dogwood and Abelia drop their foliage in fall only to reveal another layer of gorgeous red color. For inspiration on what plants will give you the biggest color pop for their price point, visit a local nursery or take inspiration from a yard in your area that you love.

Planters & Hanging Baskets

Not all plants have to be permanent. Achieve flexibility and more opportunity for color by integrating planters throughout your space. This double whammy of color allows room for eye-popping color in both manmade and natural materials.

Planters come in a massive variety of sizes, colors, textures, patterns, and materials. No matter what your space looks like, there’s a planter to help it look it’s best. Shop in-person at local nurseries or ceramics stores, or browse massive online selections on sites like Amazon or Wayfair.

Color doesn’t have to be stuck on the ground. Draw the eye up with strategic hanging baskets of flowers, ferns, or succulents. Installing hanging baskets is simple and inexpensive. Identify areas of your outdoor space that are falling flat, and give them an injection of color with a rainbow of airborne begonias or geometric ferns.

Hardscaping and Pavers

It’s possible to begin integrating color into your space long before you begin accessorizing. Achieve a truly seamless and established color palette by incorporating color into the building blocks of your initial design. Use multiple tones of wood for decking, or accent tiles in an outdoor kitchen backsplash.

The rise of permeable concrete pavers has opened even more doors and opportunities for color. Companies like TechoBloc offer a wide range of customizable tones and designs. This gives customers the power to bring dimension, contrast, and yes, color, back into their patio or walkways.

Advancements in composite woods are also opening design doors. Made from a blend of plastic and recycled wood components, homeowners can now reap the benefits of real wood decking without the limitations in color or yearly maintenance. Embrace a single tone, or have fun with patterns.

Add Color Through Furniture

We know white furniture looks nice and clean. But for how long? A white sofa may spark joy for the first few weeks, but that feeling is likely to retreat the first time your kid spills food on the armrest. Instead, add pops of color through your furniture.

Breathe some life back into your outdoor fabric with a soothing light blue sofa set. Add sun with a few bright and cheerful dining chairs. Not every piece of furniture in your outdoor space needs to take cues from the color wheel, and more often than not, subtlety is key. 

But with so much out there, incorporating a few accents will help draw the eye and keep things interesting even when the weather changes and greenery dissipates. If you’re having troubles finding what color furniture will work in your space, look at your surroundings.

Take cues from flowering plants, architecture, and even tones of wood and hardscaping. If you are working with a dark wood palette, this can be a great opportunity to add some brightness. If much of your space is subdued and bright, add depth with darker fabrics.

Vessels and Accessories

Vases and art aren’t just for inside the home. Outdoor living spaces are becoming a daily retreat, and indoor comforts have migrated onto the patio and beneath the pergola. Bring some common indoor design practices to the great outdoors as a simple way to add color.

Vessels and Vases

Vases or vessels are great and affordable ways to add pops of color throughout your space. Largely neutral palettes can come off as one dimensional. Utilize side tables or other outdoor table tops to host small sculptural elements, vases, or even photography and art.

Online art spaces such as Etsy are a treasure trove for unique inspiration. Those on a budget can find one of a kind pottery and planters at local thrift shops and flea markets.

Outdoor Rugs

Decks and patios are beautiful, but keeping them cool in hot summer months can be a battle. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Bring some life into your space and keep your feet comfortable with a colorful outdoor rug.

Outdoor rugs have grown in popularity recently due to their versatility and ability to add warmth to even the simplest outdoor designs. Most are woven with incredibly durable fabric, but should be taken indoors during persistently wet weather or during winter months.

Adding Color To Your Outdoor Living Space Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated

The idea of adding color to your backyard living space can be daunting. It’s tempting to play it safe. However, small things can make a big difference. Simple items such as vases, a colorful rug, or a great basket of flowers can help draw the eye around the space. Next time you’re tempted to buy yet another neutral colored outdoor patio chair, maybe browse through a few more colorful selections as well. Life is too short to have a boring backyard!

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