We’re in that sweet spot between spring storms and intense summer humidity when the days are long and the sun is bright. Now that school is out for the summer, we can truly enjoy these gorgeous summer days and nights with our families and loved ones. It’s the perfect time to enjoy your backyard and make the most out of your indoor/outdoor living space. Whether you’re looking to make a big change, or just add a few finishing touches, I’ve got a few suggestions that will make you never want to leave your backyard.


Mix up your seating area: Your outdoor living area doesn’t have to be limited to a few simple chairs and a table. Double the relaxation with a hammock, porch swing or chaise lounge. Be sure to invest in furniture and fabrics that are weather resistant and will hold up well against wear and tear. Add a fun pop of summertime color with outdoor throw pillows. One of my favorite local places to get these is 4Rooms on Augusta Road.


Light up the night: Incorporate various forms of lighting to help your indoor/outdoor space transition from day to night. Ornate, oversized candles in decorative holders are a great way to brighten up your space and show off your personal style. I spotted some wonderful scented candles at Gages last weekend during Summer on Augusta. Purchase citronella candles to do double duty and keep bugs at bay. Another popular choice for outdoor lighting is bulb string lights. String them along your fence or above your patio for a fun, carefree summer vibe. Check out World Market on Woodruff Road for a great selection.


Add an element of fun: People will be drawn to an indoor/outdoor living space that allows them to enjoy themselves. Whether it be as simple as an outdoor television or as exciting an all-purpose Ping-Pong table, adding a focal point to your space will draw your friends and family out of the house and into your yard. Add a beer tap to your outdoor kitchen for parties or opt for a fire table in lieu of a fire pit in order to enjoy your meals around the fire with ease.


Purchase Party Essentials: No matter what you are looking for in terms of party décor and essentials, you can find it at The Pickwick Pharmacy and Soda Fountain. They have a wide variety of color coordinating cups, napkins utensils, plates and even balloons that you can pre-order and they’ll have ready and waiting for you! Another local favorite for party essentials and unique décor is Paisley and Paper—also on Augusta Road!


Get ready to party! After you’ve gotten your indoor/outdoor space ready, it’s time to party! A couple of favorites from Greenville, SC locals are Itz Spritz, a flavorful sparkling alcohol beverage crafted with simple, natural ingredients that pairs well with Carolina Girl Cooks orange cardamom, lavender, rose and chocolate rosemary sea salt tea cookies.