Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
It’s almost August, and the boys have been in the pool since Memorial Day. I’ve been soaking wet, too, but that’s just from walking from my car into H.E.B. for more Cokes and chips. Ah, Texas summer.
Are you ready for your back-to-school pool party? Because it’s time to wrap up the dog days of summer and start buying school supplies. The good news is, all those retailers with terrific patio furniture, cute summer pillows, planters, umbrellas, and serveware are CLEARING IT OUT to make room for backpacks and notebook paper. So…
#1. Get out there and scarf up some clearance bargains to beautify your backyard inexpensively!
When we bought our current house, it had been on the market a while and the backyard had started to get a wee bit overgrown. Well, maybe more than a wee bit. As in, “Yikes!” Since it was winter, I didn’t think about it much, but when spring hit I realized we looked like the spooky house the neighborhood kids avoid. Something–actually several somethings–had to change. Badly in need of pool makeover ideas!
Texas sun can beat down hard, so umbrellas were my first purchase. Peppering them around the yard turned the too-sunny spots SHADY and cute besides! The bold black and white stripes brought an instant chic that I paired with turquoise and green cushions and throw pillows for that fun pop of color.
I just spray painted the vintage metal chairs that came with the house to coordinate with my scheme. The shed became my cabana.
#2. Stretch your dollars by re-purposing what you have!
Pool and patio decor: a few little cedar trellises, a few potted plants, some chaises and towels. TA-DAH! Instant resort style, folks.
String up some clearance lights and hang a poolside sign or jumbo vintage letters. Let the FUN begin!
Part of entertaining kids is having plenty of food and drinks on hand, so make sure to have both. See why I’m trotting to H.E.B. all the time? Do these kids ever stop eating?!
#3. If you don’t have a built-in outdoor kitchen, you can mimic the storage and serving surface with a secondhand cabinet, buffet, table or old dresser. Either give the piece multiple coats of poly or keep it under a patio cover. Then just set out some colorful plastic tubs for icing down the drinks.
Backyard pool areas on a budget!
Since you’ve saved all that money on clearance furnishings and accessories, you can splurge on something that will make your backyard one-of-a-kind. One of my treats to myself is something I have done for my design clients, but never for me. I commissioned an amazing local muralist to paint an enormous custom sign for our back porch. My sons love seeing their name in big letters, and the twinkle lights hanging from the ceiling make it feel magical at night.
Lastly, why spend money on throw-away paper? All the summer tableware is on clearance now, too, so…
#4. Save by stocking up on bright, unbreakable dishes and colorful linens that you can use again and again.
Catch the replay of my appearance on Fox 4 Good Day about summer table decorations. And don’t forget that the festive food can be part of the decorations!
Needing some porch or patio inspiration? Or maybe you’re already thinking ahead to the interior projects you want to start once the kids are back in school? I just happen to know an interior designer! Let’s talk!
Have some questions? No problem! I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation.
Email me to book a call time–and let’s start making design fun!