Creating inviting outdoor living spaces

Well-tailored outdoor spaces are necessary in any warm climate where the back yard becomes additional living space. It is a place to relax, eat al fresco, watch a little television and enjoy cooking out.  As spring morphs into summer, it is time to think about refreshing or decorating outdoor spaces. Creating inviting outdoor living spaces is simple with the right approach.  Whether the lanai is enclosed or left open to the elements, here are a few tips that will have the space looking stylish and welcoming.

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Generate Ideas

Jot down a few ideas on the function of the outdoor space. Decide what activities the space will serve. Will it be for outdoor dining, lounging by the pool, or both?  Understanding the purpose the space will serve guides the furniture purchases. If lounging is the primary activity, do not spend time looking for the best outdoor dining set. Focus instead on the seating.

Try It Out

Today’s outdoor furniture selection has grown beyond the Adirondack chair and the old fold out lawn chair. More stylish and sturdier options are widely available, from complete outdoor living room sets, to adorable bistro dining sets. Before purchasing patio furniture, try it out. Sit in the love seat and chairs to see if it is comfortable. If it is, it is more likely to get regular use. Nothing hard and uncomfortable will be worth the money.

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Low Maintenance

Do not waste time with pieces requiring a lot of upkeep. Opt instead for easy low maintenance materials that can take whatever Mother Nature tosses their way.  Look for teak, wicker, cedar, metals and composite plastics. These will stand up to summer rains and hot sun for years to come.

Embrace Color

In today’s market place, the color choices are not limited to beige, white, gray or black. Finishes are available in a wide range of colors. One thing to consider, is keeping the vibrant, trendy colors to the seat cushions and rugs so as not to date the main pieces.

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Invest Wisely

These pieces may need to last more than a few years and investing in quality pieces will help them to last. Cheap is not always better, in most cases cheap is cheap. It is better to spend wisely on pieces that will last, rather than on pieces that will break or rust over time.  Plastic resin chairs and tables are affordable, but over time, the plastic breaks down and cracks.

 Accessories

Round out the space with outdoor window treatments, rugs, decorative lighting, and tiki torches to add a little personality to the space.  Each accessory adds an extra bit of interest and keeps the space from appearing flat.  Outdoor rugs keep your feet comfortable and safe from the rough feel of concrete. They also offer a great opportunity for a splash of color while tying the space together.  Window treatments keep the sun out and keep the space a bit cool.  Plant a variety of flowers to add color and texture to the room. Hang paper lanterns for a festive vibe and keep the bugs away with citronella votive candles.

Turn any drab out door space into an inviting space the neighbors will be jealous of with these easy tips.