The Canadian winter is just far too long for me. As soon as the sun starts shining in Ontario I make it my business to soak up every second of it. I truly believe that being outdoors is good for the soul. Every summer I extend my living space to the outdoors. A pretty patio is important to me. Here are a few inexpensive ways to update your patio this summer.

I love bringing textiles outside. A medium to large sized rug in a bold pattern or strong block colour will ground the space. This black and cream indoor/outdoor rug is from Canadian Tire. I like to layer blankets, throws and accent cushions which pick up on the colour from the rug. Choosing a few different materials brings great texture and warmth to the space. This sofa is also from Canadian Tire. It really is a blank canvas which can be dressed up anyway you like. Pillows were a Stockyards Homesense find and throws were picked up in Ikea on the Queensway in Etobicoke. Don’t be afraid to mix a few different patterns for a unique style impact.

More textiles! These outdoor curtains serve a purpose as well as creating drama in the space. They are perfect for blocking out the harsh sun at dinnertime and of course create a beautiful Gatsby style atmosphere. They are so beautiful when they sway in a slight breeze. Pottery Barn at Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke have a lovely selection of indoor/outdoor panels.

Fairy lights and greenery! There is a rule when it comes to using faux greenery in design…if you mix the faux with a little or in this case a lot of real greenery it will look great. We all know that keeping real potted plants alive is a bit of a challenge and the cost of fresh flowers can really start to add up. Choose some realistic faux greenery for a centrepiece with a pop of colour. I still do like to switch this up with fresh flowers when I have company but it does the job for the day to day look over the summer. Both Ikea and Homesense in Etobicoke keep a wonderful stock of realistic looking greenery. Get those Christmas lights out or get yourself some hipster style patio lights, whatever you decide there is nothing quite like the atmosphere of sipping wine with friends under some moody and twinkly lights. Fairy lights work in every type of outdoor space and are always so atmospheric.

Another money saving tip here. Instead of buying fresh flowers every week and because I love a pop of green so much, I just trim some greenery from the garden and pop it in a vase. Most greenery looks great in a clear vase or you can choose something more dramatic like this bronze and gold Moroccan style one from Homesense (yes at least 50% of my decor comes from Homesense! The one on North Queen in Etobicoke is by far my favourite and the fab finds never end for me at this location). If you don’t have a garden, you can trim some greenery from a local park. Side note, the wild flowers and greenery that you can forage along the Humber River is really amazing! Do not report me to the city for suggesting that you do this!!! 🙂

I couldn’t resist this adorable little wooden bistro set from Ikea in Etobicoke. This cute set sits on my driveway and overlooks the gorgeous Humber River but it could also work in the tiniest of condo balconies. This is my favourite morning coffee spot. Nothing beats enjoying that hot cuppa out here on those beautiful Toronto summer mornings. You only need a few square feet of space to soak up the sun this summer!

If you are ever in need of styling advice, this interior design junkie has assembled a list of all of the best furniture and interior stores which service Bloor West Village, The Junction, The Kingsway, Sunnylea and the remainder of Etobicoke. Whether you are a bargain hunter or looking for those very special investment pieces, I’ve got you covered! Contact me directly for my list of favs!

Forgive me but I just had to include this little snap of the most recent addition to our family. This little fur ball may or may not be influencing my current design colour scheme 🙂