4 decorating tips for the perfect outdoor entertaining space

(BPT) – When it comes to outdoor entertaining, making sure your space is ready is critical for enjoying summer — from its “unofficial” start over Memorial Day weekend all the way through Labor Day.

Lowe’s recently partnered with Julia Engel, lifestyle influencer of Gal Meets Glam, to style her new Charleston porch with affordable, effortlessly chic accents so it’s ready to welcome family and friends. The result is a cool, refreshing space to entertain and show off her home’s curb appeal.

If you’re getting ready to celebrate the weekend like Julia, follow these simple tips to turn your backyard or patio into the perfect, affordable, outdoor oasis you can enjoy every beautiful day of summer.

* Get the furniture right. Finding the right furniture for your outdoor space can be tricky. Striking the right balance of ample seating while not overwhelming a space is key. Julia opted for a table that was big enough for four, but not so big that she didn’t have space for other entertaining items, like a bar cart and bench with plenty of potted plants. If you’re having trouble piecing together a patio look, Lowe’s has plenty of patio set options to choose from, including 3-piece and 5-piece sets, as well as trendy daybeds, conversation sets and more.

* Choose your landscaping. Landscaping is crucial for upgrading your outdoor space as it brings a necessary curb appeal or wow factor to your patio or backyard. In Julia’s front porch, she added boxwoods in varying shapes, sizes and placement patterns. For added interest, she included variegated pittosporums spaced between the boxwoods for some leaf color, and agapanthus for their lovely blue flowers in early summer. These plants all love well-drained soil and bright full-sun exposure. In the more shaded areas, Julia planted pink hydrangeas, acanthus and African iris, all lending foliage and flowers to the garden. If you’re not sure what to plant in your outdoor space, live nursery specialists are available at your local Lowe’s to help you get started.

* Select the right containers. A container garden is an easy landscaping solution that can be transported place to place, and is completely customizable. On Julia’s porch she used a variety of pots to include some more seasonal plants that can be changed out through the seasons, but anchored most of the pots with at least one evergreen so she wasn’t tied to re-potting every time the seasons change. When the tree-form hydrangeas flanking her front door in square planters are done with their spring and summer bloom, Julia plans to transplant them out into the garden for their permanent home — that’s the beauty and ease of container gardening!

* Bring the outdoors indoors. For the outdoor dining portion of Julia’s patio, she wanted a natural transition from inside the home, so she added details like an outdoor rug and outdoor lighting, plus some more homey accents like a table lamp to style her bar cart, bringing indoor elegance to her outdoor entertaining space. By giving your outdoor space a cozy touch of home, it will quickly become your favorite spot to relax in the morning with coffee, or with a glass of wine at the end of the day.