Monday, March 25, 2013

9 Tips For Updating Your Outdoor Living Space

While our day- and nighttime temperatures can still tend towards the cooler side of the thermometer, now is the time to update your outdoor living space for the upcoming "Outdoor Entertainment Season". As the "Staycation" becomes more popular, the backyard patio is becoming an extension of indoor living space, including swanky outdoor designs, lighting schemes, outdoor kitchens professional chefs would envy, and stunning landscapes.

Here are 9 ways to update your outdoor living space this spring and summer.
  1. Consider Existing Space. If you weren't a part of your outdoor design, make sure it works for the lay-of-the-land. Is sun and shade balanced? Are you protected from wind? Does it drain well after a storm? If not, first things first. Consult a local architect or interior designer (they do exteriors too!) and create a functional outdoor space. Then you can move onto the fun stuff.
  2. Seating. If a grand outdoor living space is your goal, don't skimp on outdoor seating. Find a mixture of couches, chairs, and benches to accommodate social gatherings. The furniture should be comfortable enough to enjoy a long read, or a satisfying nap, on a lazy afternoon.
  3. Outdoor Kitchen. Kitchen remodels have been a hot interior design feature for some time, but now they have a rival - the outdoor kitchen. Things to consider: grills, smokers. sinks, refrigeration, and peninsula or bar seating.
  4. Landscaping. Just as your paint colors, wall paper, flooring set the tone for your interior design, planting flowers, plants, trees, and even an edible garden will set the backdrop for your outdoor aesthetic. Consider using drought and fire resistant plants for an extra "Green" bonus.
  5. Succulents. If you haven't experienced the joys of container gardening with succulents, head on down to the local nursery. Succulents are hardy, beautiful, and colorful. Plus, they can be planted in just about anything from tea cups to pots and wreaths.
  6. Lighting. While we love our outdoor spaces during the day, there's nothing better than whiling away summer evenings, sitting outside and enjoying star-lit skies. Your outdoor lighting can be a couple of traditional patio lights OR you can create a magical wonderland by selecting a combination of artistic and unique hanging, twinkle, and lantern-esque lighting for a more ideal nighttime ambiance.
  7. Water Feature(s). It's a rare human that doesn't have a natural affinity towards water. Patio fountains come in all different shapes and sizes. A large enough fountain can become home to water plants and a few goldfish. Try building your own fountain using a wine barrel and a water pump. Water sounds are a pleasant addition to any backyard.
  8. Fire. From small, low-profile fire pits to large, ornate outdoor fireplaces, most fire features require minimal room but provide maximum enjoyment. They also make your backyard usable in cooler weather.
  9. Screens and/or Cover. One way to maximize your outdoor space is to make one section an outdoor room. Screens and overhead cover will create a year-round outdoor space.
Once your outdoor living space has been transformed, your backyard will be the go-to spot for summertime garden parties and BBQs.

1 comment:

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