Spring is already upon us full force and we can already see that summer is right on the horizon. Those weekend BBQs and cocktail events are starting to pop up, and it’s time to move the party outside. It’s not a hot scene for well-dressed company to sit in unfinished yard space, with slabs of cement, wire fences, and a stack of recycling bins making people feel quietly uncomfortable.
Step up your game. You’ll want to impress your friends with a gorgeous patio or balcony this year so that your pad is a hit for outdoor social fiestas. Below are our recommendations for spicing up an outdoor space without demanding too much time, effort, or money from the busy (or lazy) Torontonian.
We’ve geared these points to everyone renting in the city. Everything is easy to pack up and bring to your next space once the lease is up and you’re ready to experience living in a new Toronto neighbourhood.
Get a set of patio furniture.
If you’re someone who has a tiny outdoor space, opt for a bistro set with a smaller table and chairs. Then you can complain in style about how you deserve a yard that actually has grass. Hit up an affordable store like IKEA, where patio sets can cost as little as $110. DOT Furniture is another great option with prices hovering around $59-$109 for a bistro set, and Moss Danforth offers better deals on wicker and metal furniture than other specialty stores in the city.
Plants. All the plants.
You don’t have to be a master gardener to put a bit of life into your yard or balcony. Growing your own plant babies from scratch will give you a default conversation topic in case a party lulls to an awkward silence, but if you already have a dog to play that roll then go ahead and buy some pots of annual flowers. Nothing personal in these plants, only pretty colours. Try hanging them from a wall or fence so the plants are on eye level. The effect is powerful.
Throw up some party lights.
A simple string of Christmas lights or lanterns will go a long way in setting a memorable mood. Keep the party going into the night, and don’t forget to put some candles on the table.
Artwork isn’t for indoors only.
Try hanging some pieces outdoors or leaning a big picture against a wall. Create an awesome still life, you could always use this as a way to hide your garbage bins from sitting in plain sight and spare your guests from feeling like they’re sitting out back a fast food restaurant.
Fabric can be hung to create a sense of movement, softness, and luxury.
Depending on your space, you can tie it to be above your patio space between beams, weave it through your wire fence, or even use fabric to between trees.