You still have two months left until summer officially ends on Sept. 22nd. It only takes a few simple steps to create an outdoor space your entire family can enjoy well into autumn.
Here are five steps to create a fabulous outdoor space.
1. Illuminate in style. Most design experts believe that outdoor lighting is one of the most overlooked aspects of design, usually because the planning and installation can be very expensive. Avoid breaking the bank by adding a simple lighting scheme. For example, a few strings of globe or twinkle lights strung above the deck, patio or other outdoor space creates lot of ambience on a shoestring budget. Criss-cross strands to create a ceiling plane illusion and your space will transform from cold to cozy. Friends and family will be drawn to the illuminated area in the evenings.
2. Heat things up. Everyone loves to curl up next to the fireplace during cold Southeast Michigan winters, and the same effect can occur during the summer with an outdoor fireplace, fire pit or chimenea. There are plenty of options available online, and in specialty patio furniture or large home improvement stores. From full-size gas firepits with places to rest your hot dogs and marshmallows when you roast, to small chimeneas—which are earthenware outdoor, light-bulb shaped fireplaces typically displayed on a wrought-iron stand, there will be a model perfect for your family.
3. Furnish or refresh. Now is the time to purchase new outdoor furniture because many stores try to deplete inventory before the selling-season is completely over. Determine your budget and stick to it. When evaluating options, consider how many people the piece can seat and what is ideal for seating children comfortably? If you have existing outdoor furniture that you like, but it’s a little faded, there are many ways to rejuvenate it. Consider adding pops of color by choosing vibrant hues to paint wooden and wrought iron furniture. Note—if you are painting an entirely new color, you’ll have to remove the existing finish with a hand sander. If there are any scuffs or rough spots, quickly sand them and then apply a fresh coat of an outdoor paint.
4. Put a rug on it. Outdoor rugs have become extremely popular in the last decade. Today, practically every single size, shade, shape and pattern are available. They’re a great investment because of their double-duty—rugs soften the hardscape and help tie the design together. You can also easily define outdoor areas, for example use an 8×10 rectangle under a patio table, and a smaller, round one in a sunbathing area.
5. Set your secret spot. Sanction a specific area of your backyard to be used as an intimate conversation area. Use hardscape materials to define the space or consider planting shrubs or trees around the perimeter to enclose the space. Add some outdoor chairs or even scatter large outdoor pillows for seating. You may want to create a pathway to the spot which can be done by interspersing hardscape materials.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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