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A smiling couple toast with glasses of wine while friends look on from the table behind them on a patio with string lights.

READY FOR A PATIO OR BALCONY MAKEOVER? 5 IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED

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Warm weather is coming, inviting al fresco dining on the patio, cocktail hour outdoors, and cozy lounge vibes in your outdoor living space. The smallest of patios or balconies can be transformed into your own little outdoor paradise with just a little creativity, the right furniture, and some pretty decor. Create your own secluded oasis for entertaining and lounging as you please, with these five transformative patio ideas.

Lighting That Shines

Gone are the days of a single porch light to set the mood. Add some serious drama with a new set of string lights, either strung across the ceiling, around a door or window, or artfully draped across a balcony railing. 

Privacy Screens

As a renter, it can be hard to make a space truly feel like yours, and for that matter – feel private. Invest in some curtains or a privacy screen to create a temporary wall. Soften the mood outdoors with a flowy fabric, or try your hand at making an outdoor screen.

Seating for All

Patio furniture is a real investment. It can be expensive, and you really need to work to find a fit for your space. Check out off-season deals for the big items like a table or sofa. Think outside the box when it comes to extra seating. A floor pillow or pouf are easy enough to store when not in use, and take out when there’s a crowd.

Container Gardens & Greenery

Turn your outdoor space into a garden oasis with some decorative plants and perhaps your own vegetable and herb garden. Use up a free patio wall by creating a vertical garden that not only looks pretty but is functional, too! Or go the route of planters lining the perimeter of your space. And when a cocktail calls, you can grab your fresh sprig of basil or mint just outside your door.

Turn It Up

Layering your patio or balcony from top to bottom with curtains, rugs, furniture, and more can set the mood. But it's just as important to have the right music to bring it home. Get a small bluetooth speaker to bring outdoors when you’re lounging, to help drown out any surrounding noises.

Don’t let another night go by looking at a small, unloved patio or balcony. Take the time to invest in your space and make the most of your outdoor area – one you can entertain, relax, or hang out in any time you want. For more great decorating and lifestyle ideas, check out The Ranch at Shadow Lake blog.

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