If the fast-approaching summer season has snuck up on you, you're not alone. Thankfully, designer Emily Henderson chatted with us on how to get your outdoor space ready for warmer weather.
Emily, in her ever-so-fab capacity as style ambassador, transformed a space three different ways using Target's Project 62, Threshold, and Opalhouse collections. While each collection has a different vibe (mid-century minimal, coastal casual, boho eclectic), they all can mix and match nicely for an eclectic look. We asked her for tips on what makes a space party ready, her favorite plants right now, and what she's loving from each of each of the collections. Check out her expert answers (and each of the three looks) below.
Apartment Therapy: What are your go-to must haves for a successful outdoor space?
Emily Henderson: Essentially an outdoor space is treated the same as an indoor — you think function first, decor second while keeping the style of your space in mind. When designing an outdoor space, you want to make sure you have something comfortable for you and your guests to hang out on, and then plenty of greenery (planters serve as great decor pieces) and a beverage station if space permits. I love the Threshold Fernhill furniture set and Project 62 bar cart for entertaining. For extra seating options, try layering outdoor blankets and poufs, like this one .
AT: What takes an outdoor space from ordinary to party ready?
EH: Ambience is really important, so consider your lighting options. I love to hang string lights and group lanterns and votive candles around my patio, especially when I'm hosting company. Think about creating a 'ceiling and walls' through your lighting, umbrella, pergola or greenery. It creates intimacy which is lovely for long conversations.
I'm all about effortless entertaining – especially during the summer months. Style fresh florals from a market or your own backyard in bud vases, and create a food and beverage area for your guests to help themselves. Try serving using the Opalhouse melamine plates, pitcher and glasses . They're so colorful and will make any outdoor party pop!
And think about what you like about an indoor party – it's the same. Good drink, food, easy access to both and then lighting, music and comfortable furniture. The decor should match the vibe that you want to create, which is what we did here.
AT: What gives the biggest bang for your buck when you want to spruce up your outdoor space, especially if it's small?
EH: If you don't have a big backyard, you can still create a warm, inviting area by investing in one key furniture piece that can serve as the main anchor of your space. I love the Project 62 Standish Patio Loveseat that is perfect for small space living. If you just want to use existing furniture, you can add texture and color to any space by styling the pieces with new accent pillows and a patterned rug .
AT: The three looks are all very fun and different in their own way. Do you have a favorite piece from each collection?
EH: Target's lawn and patio assortment is really strong this season and offers so many beautiful and affordable options to choose from, which made styling the three looks really fun and easy.
Threshold: I'm a huge fan of the loveseat and chairs we used in the Threshold design. They are really comfortable and so stylish. I have the loveseat on my own patio and it's fantastic.
Project 62: The modern string lights we used are a small detail we incorporated around the patio umbrella, but it makes a big impact, especially at dusk.
AT: Any favorite outdoor items that you're using inside or vice versa?
EH: I typically like to style neutral tones inside my home and leave bolder styles for outside, but planters are transitional and can easily dress up both spaces. This Threshold Textured Ceramic Planter has a beautiful texture to it and the white color contrasts nicely with the color of any floral or greenery you choose. It also comes in three different sizes for plants of varying heights or small trees.
AT: Speaking of outdoors, do you have any favorite plants right now?
EH: I love a climbing rose, if your weather/season permits. Of course we have an English Tudor so it works there. Otherwise citrus trees are always beautiful and obviously when they bear fruit you get that added bonus. I like putting plants and trees in a decorative basketto give it an added impact.