Having worked in the wedding industry for years, I have learned how quickly an outdoor space can be transformed into a beautiful, romantic area by simply adding the right lighting. Everyone can enjoy this same ambiance at home on a daily basis. Any backyard or porch area can increase its usefulness and visual appeal with the same simple outdoor lighting. With minimal effort, these ideas can enable a transformation in two easy steps.
Step One: String Lights
From reusing white Christmas lights to purchasing the more trendy Edison-bulb style lights, you can create an amazing outdoor space with ambient lighting. First, decide where you want to define your outdoor space. For example, you probably do not want to light up your entire yard. Instead, define the space with your string of lights. You can criss-cross the strand, sweep up in rows like a tent, or go around the perimeter.
I prefer hanging overhead lights because it defines the space well, but still allows our eyes to see beyond. It definitely creates visual impact and adds drama to the space. However, you can also hang lights on your fence, wrap lights around a tree trunk, or hang lights vertically down one wall to create a stunning backdrop. The important thing is to know your backyard. What does it have to offer? Which aspect do you want to highlight and/or showcase?
The cost for outdoor string lights is not cost prohibitive. Even the trendy LED versions of the Edison-bulb style can be found for under $100 for 98 feet of lights. A quick search on Amazon will show you all your options.
Step Two: Lanterns
Now that you have defined your outdoor space with ambient string lighting. Create focal points with candle-lit lanterns. Think of these as accent lighting. You can use real candles, even citronella candles to drive away mosquitoes. Or you can opt for the battery operated candles. Either way the soft light from the lanterns will draw your eye down from the “stars” above and illuminate the area across from you.
Who doesn’t look great in the soft, romantic glow of a candle? The addition of these accent lanterns will increase the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space for very little money. They come in all sizes and different materials for an average of $20 a piece. Choose the style that best represents you and your space.
For inspiration, Lavin Label has some great photos of her backyard, which shows how some string lights and lanterns can beautifully illuminate a backyard dinner party. The great news is that these simple outdoor lighting ideas are not just for summertime. In Texas, these can be utilized for most if not all year long.