Maybe you've been saving up to create your perfect outdoor oasis... or maybe you can only spare enough for that dining set you want - either way, it's always best to build a space in phases. It allows you to live in the space, figure out what you need and what isn't (or is) working for you.
Despite your budget, here is how I suggest building up to the ideal outdoor space, one that is sure to provide just the right amount of relaxation, laughs and memories.
This is what I envision OUR patio to look like when it's all "complete"
*links to everything on the mood board are in this post or linked below on another mood board*
Depending on the size of your space, the first thing you should purchase are the large (usually) big ticket items. These will be the pieces that anchor your space and lay the ground work... all while providing you a place to sit and entertain. Think of pieces such as dining tables, dining chairs, sofas, sectionals, storage containers & furniture covers. I've rounded up a few of my favorite items that fall into "Phase 1" and mocked up a mood board for each phase to show you how the area will evolve by adding items over time.
Depending on your budget and the size of your space, this first phase might be broken down into two parts... for example, our patio is large enough for a dining are and a lounge/sitting area - but some people may not have the budget to buy large items for both those areas at once. If that's the case, decide which are means more to you (which one you'll want to use first) and buy furniture for that specific area. Then, once you're ready, purchase the other pieces. Some people may have a smaller space & only have room for a dining set or a lounge set... if that's your situation, you'll need to decide which one fits your needs better.
We originally wanted to purchase all our "Phase 1" furniture together... but ran into some stock/availability issues, so we are starting with a dining table and chairs and will buy lounge/sofas at a later date. I think it's safe to say, there are no rules to creating a space and when you buy things... but the key is to LOVE the items you buy, take your time and live in the space to see how you want it to evolve.
P.S. - don't forget about covers for your furniture! If you don't take care of the furniture you buy... it won't last and you'll have to spend more money to eventually replace it. No one wants that! Here is a brand on Amazon that I found - they carry a lot of different options for different types of furniture.
Phase 1 Mood Board
For phase two you'll want to add more furniture pieces... these pieces are the ones that will make the space feel more complete (but aren't necessarily essential... a.k.a you could live without them for a season - or even a year).
Phase 2 Mood Board
As I'm sure you guessed, the last items you should buy (for Phase 3) are the "little things" - these are what will truly make the space feel like "yours". This is where you really get to play with textiles, accessories, plants, lighting, etc. These are the things that make your space feel "magical" and complete!
Outdoor Lighting:*this can sometimes fall into Phase 1 or 2 if you're lacking lighting your space*
Coolers & Storage: *if you live in an area that gets severe weather, you may want to invest in storage for cushions, etc earlier on*
Phase 3 Mood Board
I think outdoor spaces are going to be SO essential this Summer, especially with everything that is going on (COVID-19)... this is why we ultimately decided to upgrade our backyard space this year instead of waiting.
I feel like there will be a lot of people (still) staying home into the Summer months, so I hope you are able to create, or even update, your outdoor spaces this season. I hope you have a space (outside) that you can enjoy with your family... and hopefully friends, soon!