Ways to update an outdoor living area

This spring, if you're staying at home, you may still be going out — onto your decks, porches, patios and yards. With streaming services and food delivery options, people are spending more money around the house on entertainment areas, like an outdoor living space, said Robert Novogratz, co-owner of The Novogratz, a Los Angeles-based design firm.

If you’re looking to refresh your outdoor spaces this spring, these small updates will pack a punch.

If it’s time for new rugs …

Adding a new rug or replacing an old one can help anchor the area, even with the the same furniture. Bright colors, fresh youthful patterns and geometric motifs are part of The Novogratz’s new collection of weather-resistant polypropylene rugs (starting at 2-by-3 feet and up, and at $50) designed with Momeni, a rug manufacturer.

Beth Johnson, co-founder of Bekel Home + Design in Alpharetta, carries Dash & Albert indoor/outdoor rugs in patterns such as vertical and horizontal stripes, herringbone, diamond and vintage patterns. She suggests making weather-resistant materials a priority, for convenience.

“For an indoor-outdoor rug, I would go with a polypropylene that you can just spray off,” she said. “It’s not going to get moldy.”

If it’s time for new accessories …

Cortney Novogratz, who co-authored with her husband, “Beachside Bohemian: Easy Living By the Sea — A Designer Couple’s Refuge for Family and Friends” (2016, Rizzoli), recommends incorporating natural elements.

“A beautiful long piece of driftwood on a coffee table speaks of nature and the beach and outside,” she said.

Other beachy accents that are hot this spring include mermaids and octopi, which are seen in everything from statuary and signs to pillows and napkins. But no matter your design style, container plants are a go-to accessory for some designers.

“I do an herb garden in one and then I do flowers in the other to incorporate some color,” Johnson said. “And then I match the pillows to the color of the pot to really tie it all together.”

If it’s time for new seating …

Johnson’s clients are increasingly choosing outdoor sectionals and larger sofas.

“I’ve seen a lot of sectionals where you can seat a lot of people in a relatively small area,” she said.

Johnson suggests purchasing furniture made of aluminum or teak to avoid weather damage and selecting cushions made of Sunbrella fabric. For her own patio, she chose lumbar pillows made with Sunbrella fabric from The Company Store and Adirondack chairs by Polywood.

If it’s time for a new ambience …

Outdoor lighting doesn't have to just be electrical. Picks for outdoor spaces inspired by the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, which is open until May 14, by retailer Huff Harrington Home include the glass and metallic "Audrey lantern" ($65-$98). Frontgate's spring collection includes Rimini lanterns (starting at $99), which have a cast-aluminum frame and mother of pearl insets.

“The one thing a lot of people are incorporating is some sort of fire element,” said Johnson. “It could just be a giant candle. Having that as the focus at nighttime makes the space feel more elegant.”