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Bright colors. Design-forward lighting. Fashiony pillows. Croquet (maybe). If you look outdoors and don’t see any of these things, you might be in need of a serious outdoor area revamp. Just one or two of these items (many of which are currently on sale) can turn your patio, deck or yard into your new happy place. 

RELATED: 10 Things Savvy L.A. Renters Do Once a Year

add lamps la outdoor space upgrades

Get an Outdoor Lamp

Don’t you want to be able see what you’re eating or drinking during your backyard dinner party? And please don’t tell us you’re fine using your yard’s blinding floodlights. Instead, bring some style outdoors with a portable lamp—no fancy wiring required.

Fermob ($114)

string lights la outdoor space upgrades
Pottery Barn

Hang Some String Lights

And just like that, your home turns into a café. Ambiance for days.

Pottery Barn ($60)

doormat la outdoor space upgrades
Restoration Hardware

Swap Out Your Doormat

Sure, we can hear you: “This has got to be the least exciting thing ever.” But every time you look down as you cross the threshold and see a smart-looking rectangle instead of the ratty mat that basically came with the house, you’ll thank us.

Restoration Hardware ($75)

pillows la outdoor space upgrades
Pottery Barn

Jazz Up With Patterned Throw Pillows

Skip the “witty” phrases and clashing colors and accent your outdoor chaise or sofa with the same sort of boho chic style you use in your living room.

Pottery Barn ($14)

add a mirror la outdoor space upgrades

Add a Mirror

A segmented wall mirror is a great way to brighten up a dark corner of a covered patio or just to add a European-inspired accent to your garden. (Just make sure it’s not shining directly into your neighbor’s window.)

Grandin Road ($309)

hide the hose la outdoor space upgrades
Ballard Designs

Hide Your Hose

No one wants to look at your messily coiled mass of hose (and besides, it will just make you feel guilty about not giving your plants a drink). Hide it away neatly in a pot with a hole cut out of it, in sturdy polyurethane or glam copper.

Ballard Designs ($159)


Invest in a Mini Projector

Buy a home theater projector that you can hook up to your TV, DVD player or laptop; hang a sheet on the wall; and project your favorite movie while everyone leans back, picnic-style. Who knows? Maybe you can even start charging admission.

Walmart ($50)

outdoor games la space upgrades

Splurge on Lawn Games

Croquet, cornhole, bocce—because who knows where the betting will end up when you’re deep into that pitcher of sangria?

Crate & Barrel ($150)

bright chairs la outdoor space upgrades
West Elm

Take Advantage Of Furniture Sales

Mid-summer is the time big retailers lop huge percentages off their outdoor inventory. (West Elm, for example, has 50 percent off; Pottery Barn, 60 percent.) So you’re actually saving by snapping up that bright powder-coated bistro set.

West Elm ($323)

RELATED: How to Give Your Home Infinite Summer Vibes

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