Smart Solutions: Update your patio for the sunny spring days to come

By Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

With so many restrictions and guidelines in place, our homes have never played such a crucial role in our lives. As temperatures begin to climb, our outdoor spaces may be as far as we can stretch our new boundaries.

Given our current circumstances, this could be a good time to consider some quick and easy updates for your patio, porch or deck to make them more attractive and welcoming for increased usage. Evaluating your outdoor living spaces to see what improvements are needed can make your unintended staycation more enjoyable for the duration.

Umbrellas make your outdoor experience more enjoyable.

Comfort is key in this type of environment where nature can be unpredictable. Though fresh air feels invigorating after being cooped up inside for weeks at a time, the elements can be harsh, but there are ways to protect yourself and maximize your opportunities outside.

According to the experts at Duck Covers, a company that specializes in outdoor furniture covers, some simple fixes are all it takes to enhance your outdoor living experience. Here are four easy ways to spruce up your outdoor space:

First, bring on the shade. Too much sun can put a damper on your plans for relaxing or gathering with members of your household. A substantial umbrella provides much-needed protection from the elements while adding a finishing touch to your open-air surroundings.

Decorative accents can have an impact in a natural environment. Toss a few throw pillows on your patio furniture and add scented bug-repellent candles to your tables for added comfort. You can also line your walkways with some tiki torches instead of standard lights. These seemingly small add-ons give your outdoor space more pizzazz.

Comfort and style go hand in hand in an outdoor setting. For starters, you can perk up that old patio furniture with slipcovers designed for chairs and chaise lounges. Duck Covers feature an adjustable belted hem and click-close straps to ensure a tight, customizable fit. This solution makes existing pieces more current and better secured in the elements. 

Lastly, they suggest creating some privacy for you and your family to enjoy the outdoors more often. This can be done by adding a botanical wall or floral arrangements in between different sections. You can also separate your space from your neighbors’ property and other parts of your backyard with succulents, a tall trellis or a pergola. When you get creative with your space and your greenery, others will want to do the same.  

A hammock can provide a soothing spot to relax during tough times.

At the very least, these enhancements can take your focus away from feeling secluded by spreading your wings as far as your property lines allow. You might even add a soothing component like a hammock for an afternoon nap. For now, making the best use of our personal surroundings should be comforting enough to get us through it all one day at a time.

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Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at