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It’s all in the details: Get the outdoors ready for Memorial Day

By Michelle Martin for Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design
Create the perfect outdoor space for you and your guests this Memorial Day Weekend.

Memorial Day unofficially kicks off the summer season, and with it comes a long weekend of outdoor parties. During the summer months, decks, patios and other outside areas become an extension of the home’s living space, and there are many ways to make the most of them while entertaining over Memorial Day Weekend. 

“You’re really creating an outdoor room for you and your guests,” said Tom Lias of Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design, which has locations throughout metro Detroit and in Grand Rapids. “There are large and small ways to update and design the space and get it ready for the holiday weekend.”

Planning to host a Memorial Day party? Here’s how to make the most of your outdoor space.

Bring in new colors and textures this season for an updated look for your outdoor space.

High-quality seating 

At one time, patio furniture was thought to be just a dining table and chairs. But that’s no longer the case. For entertaining, high-quality outdoor seating is popular, particularly when placed around a fire pit or outdoor coffee table. To keep things fresh, the furniture can be rearranged, and the pillows can easily be swapped out to bring in new colors and textures throughout the season. Two Michigan-based companies, Lloyd Flanders and Woodard, make high-quality outdoor seating that will last for many seasons to come. Both brands are available at Gorman’s.

Containers and pots

Flowers in brightly colored containers and pots are a great way to get ready for Memorial Day. Opt for annuals in a variety of summertime hues that can be potted quickly and easily. Choose a few different flowers, and look for ways to coordinate the colors with the pots and containers. For the strongest impact, less is always more. Consider setting out three or four large containers around the deck or patio and balancing them with a few smaller pots.


Nothing provides better ambiance for an outdoor party than strategically placed lighting. But these days, lighting up the outdoors isn’t restricted only to traditional in-ground fixtures or string lighting. Today’s outdoor lighting takes a cue from indoor furnishings and includes UL-approved, water-resistant floor and table lamps that warm up any space.

A unique fire pit can boost your outdoor space with a cozy, modern glow.

Fire pits

Available in varying heights and styles, fire pits are hot right now, and they are a must-have for any deck or patio. Look for propane-fueled styles that double as a table — whether it’s at cocktail height, counter height or bar height. Coffee or cocktail table styles provide a natural gathering space when coupled with comfortable outdoor lounge chairs and sofas, while those at counter height can function as an island. Woodard fire pits can be customized so consumers can choose the patterns they’d like for the inside and the ledge.

Curtains, fabrics and rugs

In some newer homes, patios are being built out to accommodate an outdoor fireplace. To soften the look, designers are hanging drapes and fabrics — all specially made for the outdoors — to set off this intimate gathering area. Still, no matter what size or shape your deck or patio, outdoor fabrics can create the sense of having different outdoor rooms. Fabric can be tied back to draw attention to a corner seating area or draped over a high post to create dramatic flair. Light fabrics also can be hung over an overhead lattice to create a sun screen effect.

Furniture placement

Do you host a Memorial Day party every year? Are you looking for ways to make this one different? If so, try rearranging your outdoor furniture. Though it sounds simple, changing everything up will make your entire outdoor area seem fresh. Even just swapping the position of a sofa and a chair and adding a few new pillows will bring new life to your outdoor party. And to define a seating area, consider using an outdoor rug. Like outdoor fabrics, they resist the elements and bring the indoors outside. 

Sun protection

Outdoor umbrellas don’t just provide shade — they also bring style to an outside space. One of the easiest ways to update your deck, patio or entertaining area is with a new umbrella or sunshade. They add a bold splash of color over a dining table and define a corner seating area. Look for high-quality umbrellas that are made from the same material used for making the sails of ships. TUUCI umbrellas, available at Gorman’s, are marine-grade quality for long-lasting shade and style.

Ready to get your outdoor space in style? Visit Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design today  to customize a one-of-a-kind look just in time for Memorial Day Weekend.