Spruce up Your Outdoor Living Space in the Hudson Valley

Adobe Stock / Joanne Dale

To improve your backyard vibe this season, follow these tips on outdoor staples and design from Pomona’s Down to Earth Living.

The spring and summer of 2020 saw a focus toward outdoor living as homeowners transformed their backyards into real living spaces, from the extravagant (adding an outdoor kitchen) to the simple (a firepit or new cocktail table). Now that the warm weather has returned, the focus is once again outside.

One trend Stuart Leventhal, owner of Down to Earth Living, has noticed is that “people are not in the market to buy ‘a set,’ but are seeking out complementary, unique pieces that reflect their tastes as well as their needs for the space.”

Here are some tips from Leventhal on ways to do this in your home, on any budget:

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Sensory Design

The goal of a homeowner’s outdoor space is to satisfy the senses of sight, sound, and smell. Eyes are drawn to bold colors, interesting textures, and structures. Calming sounds can come from free-flowing water or music installations. Flowers, fresh grass, and outdoor cooking are arguably the best smells of spring and summer. These sensory trends can be fulfilled with defined spaces or edible, container, and perennial gardens. Planting annuals and mixing perennials with potted vegetables are a must; and don’t forget to add some specimen trees, too!


Ceramics are perfect accent pieces as they pair well with furniture. Nevertheless, they can definitely become a center piece of spaces, too. White pottery is king — it goes with everything. Black and red are the second favorites for color choices. The shapes and colors of ceramics are engaging and fill the space of wider surroundings, like patios or porches.

Neutral Colors

Begone bold colors! Neutrals are the clear winner in recent trends. Nearly everything can be made neutral; the tame colors light up the environment and offer balance to the space. Throw pillows, outdoor wall décor and paintings, and tableware are perfect for neutrals.

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