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How To Create The Ultimate Outdoor Space

Outdoor space is SOO important to me and with summer finally here, I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks on creating the ULTIMATE outdoor space!! I wait all year long to get out on that patio as it is one of my favourite spots to relax with a coffee, entertain friends or host a dinner party. It’s safe to say that I treat my outdoor space equally as I do my indoor space. So without further ado, let’s get started!!

Every patio space needs to start with a foundation and that foundation is your patio furniture. This is THE most crucial part of any patio and I would say the most difficult to choose. You have to think about what you are using your patio space for. Will you be dining or lounging? Maybe both? There are so many options out there and not every patio has room for what you would like, so definitely choose wisely or get creative!

Jillian Harris Patio Furniture

Tip #1: Invest in good quality patio furniture

I was lucky enough to have been passed down a set of Ratana patio furniture when I bought my first condo. I absolutely LOVED it and when I bought my home in Kelowna I knew I had to have more Ratana furniture. I can’t express how impressed I am with their product!! I have had my Ratana patio furniture for 6 years now and even though they recommend covering the furniture or storing your cushions through the winter, I have NEVER ONCE taken it into storage or covered any of it up! I mean these things have been through years of extreme hot AND cold weather and they still look brand spankin’ new!! You can’t tell me your big box department store patio furniture can last through that! I know good patio furniture can get expensive but it is SO worth it when you can buy such a great quality set like Ratana‘s and not have to worry about replacing it next season. You may want to replace your cushions after a few seasons if they start to fade, or if you want to change colours (opt for off white, as they won’t fade like other bright colours) but that is a fraction of the cost of purchasing an entire new patio set.

PS. This is NOT a sponsored post…I really just want to let you know how absolutely AWESOME Ratana patio furniture is!!!

Jillian Harris Patio Furniture Jillian-Harris-Ratana-Patio-Furniture

Tip #2: Bring the indoors out

Now that you’ve got your furniture and you’ve spent a pretty penny on it, it’s time to decorate this space without breaking the bank. This is when I hit the local thrift stores, and neighbourhood garage sales to find hidden gems like old mirrors, chandeliers, vases and other inexpensive antiques that you won’t mind getting weathered. These inexpensive indoor pieces will transform the look and feel of your space creating a unique and interesting ambiance for you and your guests.

Jillian Harris Patio Furniture Jillian Harris Patio Furniture and Nacho

Tip #3: Make it cozy

Add extra cozy indoor vibes by having plenty of throws and pillows on or around your furniture. I like to have one throw across each sofa with a few accent pillows and a few more blankets stored in baskets or wooden crates close by. Changing up the pillows and throws is another inexpensive way to change up the look of your patio from season to season. Another great addition is an outdoor rug … you can find some really nice ones at or if you’re lucky you might find an old used one at your local thrift store.

Jillian Harris Patio Furniture

Tip #4: Fake it until you make it

Whether you have a lush garden surrounding your patio, or no greenery at all…I always recommend sprucing up the space with some plants. My secret…artificial boxwoods!! I bought some of the boxwood balls from and they stay outside on my patio all year long.  Once they start to fade or change colour, all I do is spray them with a fresh coat of Design Master Colour Tool spray (I use the ‘Basil’ colour) and voila!! Good as new! (Looks like I need to spray the one in the pic below..OOPS! lol)

Jillian Harris Patio Furniture Nacho-Cilantro-Patio

Tip #5: It’s ok to mix it up

It’s always nice to create a more eclectic feel in your outdoor space, this makes it easy to bring in a variety of artwork or unique vintage pieces that don’t need to match. Whether you’re mixing metals with wood or finding new or salvaged items, it’s totally ok to mix it up just find a balance with your decor.

Jillian Harris Patio

Tip #6: It’s all about the lighting

It really is!! You can make any outdoor space magical with some good lighting. My advice is to layer different types of lighting throughout the space. String cafe lights, candle lit lanterns, maybe even some standing lanterns. You can also find some awesome solar powered lights that won’t drive up your utility bill and are cordless!

Jillian Harris Patio Furniture

Well my loves, that pretty much wraps up my tips for creating the ultimate outdoor living space. I hope you can put some of these tips to use this summer and when you do…have a drink for me because I won’t be able to until next summer 🙁

If you have any tips or tricks for me…I’d love to hear them in the comments below!!



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  1. Your patio is beautiful! I’m on the Ratana website….What is the name of your patio furniture???

  2. Ratana’s furniture is very nice, but the price.. I get investing but that is out there. Looking for a sectional. $8000 for the set!! Yikes!! Might be nice to have high/low options. I’ll never afford that, lol

    1. But it’s worth the investment!!! I have had it for 6 years now and I’m sure I’ll have it for another 6!!! Instead of buying the “cheaper” option that will only last 2 years and you will need to replenish which ends up equalling the same amount!!! BUT … if that’s how you role that’s totally fine too … Canadian Tire and IKEA have some great options!

      1. Agreed! Almost 10 years ago our decorator talked us into spending over $7,000 on a patio set. At the time, I didn’t know too much about patio furniture and assumed he knew what was best. As I started to shop around I was so mad at myself (and my husband was disappointed that we had “wasted” the money when we could have and “should have” gotten something far less expensive). Now, fast forward 10 years with 7 moves, southern sun and heat of 100 degrees F or greater and Chicago snows with temps below 0 and the set STILL looks as good as it did the day we bought it. Other sets have come and gone, rusted over, and fallen apart over the years and that one still remains. It’s held up beautifully where we didn’t have a dining room to give us a true outdoor room, handled dozens of kids parties and hundreds of special occasions. If you really believe it to be an “outdoor room” it also really helps to validate. Now to us, it doesn’t feel like such a poor investment, it feels like a happy “mistake!”

      2. I’m sure it is, and I’d love too but sometimes it doesn’t matter how much of a great investment it is, the monies just not there 🙂 I’d have to save up for 6 years first, lol. Maybe someday… In the meantime my cheaper stuff has lasted 4 yerars so far so I’ll check some of the other options you mentioned, thanks!!

  3. Beautiful furniture and post! Although I do hope the pup didn’t eat the cherrys! As delicious as they are, they are toxic to dogs if they eat to many pits, (the flesh is ok)! Love your blog

  4. Hi Jill, beautiful outdoor space! We looked at Ratana, but ultimately decided to go with Barlow Tyree. We’ve had it for two years and do put the cushions and pillows away for the winter. Is your furniture under cover or completely out in the open all year long? Have you had any experience with the Barlow Tyree and elements?

  5. Hi Jillian, I went with the black/white theme this year too! I love it. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of privacy between us and the neighbour behind us. They cut down all of their cedar trees. We have planted some along the fence line for privacy, but they are going to take a bit of time to grow. Any ideas for inexpensive privacy screens? I live in my backyard and love to have my own oasis….drinking coffee outside in my pj’s is what I love to do.

  6. Hey Hun! Where could I find replacement covers for the patio furniture! The zippers and fabric is all worn and torn!

  7. Love your furniture set up…. planning on purchasing a Ratana Furniture set for uncovered patio area, for now
    Have your set been subject to (Vancouver)rainy days and if so how have the cushions perform
    Thank you

  8. Where did you get the decorative planters that your boxwood is in? Do you have a link for it?


  9. Jillian I am looking for the silver plated chandelier you put in on the Stephanie & Chris episode of LI or LI Vancouver. It was in an article in Space magazine. Spring 2017. Any help?

  10. Can you recommend where I can get Ratana outdoor furniture at a reasonable price, I live in Port Moody.
    Thanks ….Cheryl

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