There's nothing like spending a warm, summer evening outside with friends, especially in Chicago where winter tends to be long. The city becomes even more alive in the summer!. Whether sipping a cocktail or cooling off with an ice-cold beer, here are tips to personalize your outdoor space with simple design ideas using items that you (probably) already have around your home. And some of these creative ideas can be used in staging your outdoor space.

Menard Johnson Real Estate Design Tips

Design your lighting layout by using buckets filled with sand or rocks to hold either a bamboo or wood pole to string your lights.

Fill a wheel barrel with ice to create a stylish, outdoor ‘cooler’ for your beverages.

Menard Johnson Real Estate Design Tips

Repel mosquitoes by adding sage to a fire pit or warm grill (after you're done cooking).

Add rosemary to charcoal once coals are uniformly gray and ashy. Most meats and vegetables will be flavored by this savory smoking.

 Menard Johnson Real Estate Design Tips

Use terra cotta planter pots to hold utensils at your party. For an added touch, write on the planters with chalk.

Old maps create a colorful and patterned tablecloth. It might spur interesting conversation around travel.

 Menard Johnson Real Estate Design Tips

 Wine bottles and glass jars are perfect for decorating your outdoor space with flowers.

Freshly cut leaves make natural waterproof coasters and add a touch of color to your table. Cut leaves and set them in water until it's time to serve drinks. Dry before using.

Menard Johnson Real Estate Design Tips

DIY ice buckets create color and a festive look to your party. Find out how to create this simple, yet beautiful ice bucket. 

Create roasting pots for your table to melt marshmallows for s’mores. Simply line foil in a terra cotta pot and add coals.

Menard Johnson Real Estate Design Tips

Add ambiance to your party by putting tea lights and candles in mason jars.

Use tin can lanterns to brighten the night. Learn how to make these lanterns using this simple tutorial. 


Curated Ideas from Pinterest, Martha Stewart, Country Living and HGTV.