Midcentury RivieraMidcentury Patio, Santa Barbara
Photo credit: Ryan Goldman, Jennifer Roberts, Eric Doolin
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2. Hang String LightsOutdoor rooms are often designed for daytime enjoyment, but it’s also worthwhile to design them to take advantage of beautiful evenings. This means incorporating outdoor lighting. Nothing beats the ambiance that outdoor string lights create, whether you’re going for the feel of a funky Austin patio or a rustic Italian courtyard. String lights can be installed in outdoor areas big and small and don’t always require hardwiring, making them a versatile lighting option for nearly any outdoor room. See how to hang string lights
Before You Start1. Choose where to hang your outdoor lights. Pick a spot outside where you’d like to hang your string lights and identify a power source. If you don’t have an exterior outlet where you need one, be sure to have an outdoor extension cord handy. 2. Measure for length and roughly choose your light configuration. Before purchasing string lights, run a tape measure along the distance you’d like to hang lights, including any zigzags or crisscrosses for the configuration. This can be a fairly rough estimate, such as three times across a 25-foot-wide patio; just get a sense of the length of lights you need.Need help with your project? Find an outdoor lighting professional on Houzz
4. Add light. Especially in the darker times of year, bringing outdoor lights to your patio can make a big impact in upping the ambiance of an outdoor room. Cafe lights, like those strung over this Santa Barbara, California, patio, are easy to set up, and they create a lovely glow. To use them year-round, invest in string lights that are industrial-grade quality and have watertight seals around the bulbs.
Consider creating separate lighting designs for everyday use and for special events. If you are hosting a beach party, try fun string lights, gas lamps or candle luminaries to create a nice atmosphere for your event.
6. Have multiple light sources. Just like indoors, lighting can make or break an outdoor room. For the most flattering glow at an evening soiree, try to include at least three light sources. For instance, hang string lights overhead, light up the fire pit and place a few small landscape lights in the bushes around the edge of the patio.