4 Tips to Prep Your Outdoor Space for Summer

Written by Margaret Schell, Arhaus Interior Designer

Image source: @ourfauxfarmhouse

Ready or not, outdoor season is here! Depending on your location, the outdoors will be your go-to hangout for the coming 4-5 months, so why not spend some time beforehand prepping and refreshing the space?

Image source: @themakerista

Whether you’re buying outdoor furniture for the first time, or bringing out the tried and true—here are some simple and easy tips for prepping your outdoor living spaces this summer season.


Cleaning with a pressure washer is one of those easy chores that can be oh so gratifying. Grab one to use on your decks, patios, stone pavers and dirty furniture. However, be careful not to get too carried away as power washers can remove finishes! Pro trip: Always be sure to use a low pressure tip when washing furniture.

Image source: @themakerista

Furniture that’s been covered or stored may not need a deep cleaning. If this is the case for you, simply wash with a sponge or brush, mild detergent and rinse thoroughly. Make sure all pieces are dried completely before replacing cushions and pillows.


Outdoor cushions made from Sunbrella fabrics are amazingly easy to maintain and a breeze to clean—which is a good thing since you’ll be so busy loving your outdoor space. Deep cushion cleaning can be delayed with the 3 rules of maintenance:

1. brush off dirt and debris regularly

2. wipe up spills with a damp cloth immediately

3. spot clean stains with an upholstery shampoo or mild detergent

Image source: @ourfauxfarmhouse

When it does come time for that deep cushion cleaning simply remove the slipcovers from the cushions, zip close, and divide into two or three loads. Never mix with other laundry—always wash separately with a mild detergent on cold in a gentle cycle. Then let them air dry completely.

Image source: @ourfauxfarmhouse

Cleaning care for other outdoor fabrics can vary so always be sure to read the instructions.

Outdoor pillows can also be washed while rugs can simply be hosed down and hung to dry.


Outdoor living is effortless so why shouldn’t the care of your outdoor furniture be?

Teak wood (the most common wood used for outdoor furniture) can and will turn grey—an effect some people like. For those who prefer to keep its original golden hue, a light cleaning, sanding and application of teak sealant once a year will do the trick.

Image source: @desertdecor

Metal and wicker furniture’s luster can easily be restored with a light application of car or paste wax.

Image source: @desertdecor

When treating your furniture, always wear protective clothing, protect your surroundings and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


A very simple way of making your outdoor furniture spring to life is to add new elements – alternative cushion colors, decorative pillows, blankets, poufs, rugs, and decor can easily update and transform a space making it look fresh and new season to season.

Image source: @ourfauxfarmhouse


Last but not least, covering your furniture during bad weather and while it’s not in use is the easiest, most economical and best way to keep it looking clean and pristine over time.

Image source: @desertdecor


Margaret Schell

Margaret lives in Los Angeles, California where the sun shines all day every day, except when it rains. She is an interior designer who loves fabric mash-ups, the bold use of color, and natural textures.

To make an appointment contact her at The Oaks showroom, Thousand Oaks, CA 805-857-7001.


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