Using a rug outdoors can really brighten up the atmosphere as well as define seating areas and draw attention to plants or art. When you start looking for an outdoor rug, you will notice that some descriptions say "indoor/outdoor" rug, meaning it can be used in either place. If you are using an indoor/outdoor rug outside, you'll need to take good care of it by keeping it clean and bringing it indoors if possible during bad weather, such as rainstorms that last for days. If it's in a totally open outdoor space, a rug will usually last one to two seasons.
Look for names such as DuraCord and Olefin for products that offer UV protection, mold- and mildew-resistance and fibers that can withstand high traffic. When it comes to cleaning your outdoor rug, use a broom to brush off any daily accumulated debris. If there are stains or spots you can use a brush on these small areas. Most rugs can be washed with a simple garden hose and a mild soap. You can also use a solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar to a bucket of water. (It’s best to test this on a tiny corner first to check for colorfastness.) Let the rug dry in the sun and turn it over to make sure both sides dry thoroughly.
A fun way to perk up a small outdoor area is with the use of doormats in bright colors or patterns. A doormat fits perfectly under a small table and can help elevate it slightly for ease of use when dining. By setting a few small potted plants on a fun doormat, you can create a chic or whimsical focal point on your deck or patio without breaking the bank.
Store your rug in the off-season by first cleaning it, then rolling it up and placing it in a plastic covering. This way it's all ready to come out, fresh and fancy, the moment the weather warms up.
Our favorite festive and fun rugs and doormats:
Outdoor rugs are a desirable design element, as they can provide an unexpected pop of color and/or a cool, understated design. They easily bring your outdoor space together and come in every price point imaginable. This year, when you’re sizing up plans for your deck or patio, don’t forget the pretty power of outdoor rugs!
More outdoor decor
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Creating an outdoor oasis on the cheap
How to make your backyard a hangout spot