Tips ’n’ tricks for turning your outdoor space into a paradise
There is something uniquely Canadian about our obsession with decks and patios and backyards. As soon as the mercury pops into double digits we exit our sweaterriddled coccoons and embrace the outdoors like every day could be the last time we see the sun.
As a result, most design decisions this time of year revolve around letting the light shine in, or maximizing our outdoor living space. Extending the living space of the house into the yard makes it feel that much larger, and now your living space is surrounded by nature.
Think of expanding your house into the outdoors as creating a mirror image of your indoor living space just outside your patio doors.
Start with a dining space that is right off the kitchen. This is where the outdoor kitchen is usually located and keeping it the closest to the house allows you to move food from the fridge and set the table outside with relative ease.
The options for outdoor furniture have become as vast as the options for indoor furniture: everything from traditional to modern is on the market.
Readily availaable woven plastics are made to look like wicker and rattan, and can survive the weather.
Cedar and teak are also a great choice for something more contemporary looking; however, these woods will need to be oiled at the beginning of the season.
It’s hard to compete with the natural beauty of wood; however, if you are not so interested in the additional labour, resin products in combination with steel can create a very modern look. If you have no other outdoor furniture, a dining table and chairs is a must.
Next is what I like to call the party area of the yard. This area is either on the deck around the pool or in the midsection of the yard. This is where you gather with friends to chat, listen to music and soak up the sun.
Think of it like the family room. Create a conversation circle with a sofa loveseat and a couple of chairs that surround a coffee table or a sectional sofa and chairs.
If you want to be a little funkier you can get long bench-type sofas that snake over an expanse of the deck or patio to create smaller conversation areas. This is ideal if you really like to have big backyard parties. Remember to select outdoor fabrics for the cushions on the chairs and seating areas.
Create your own cushion covers, so you can change the look of the yard year after year. Just beyond the party zone, have a couple of chaises and think of this more as the den: a book and some sunshine for two people.
Having a method for controlling the sun in the yard is an important way to avoid too many trips to the dermatologist! There are a bunch of solutions, from an awning or umbrella to a retractable roof structure that surrounds your outdoor room. The retractable quality is important. The starry night shouldn’t be missed and some sun is wonderful.
Think of the fencing around the yard as you would walls in the rooms and accessorize in the same way that you would in the house.
Mirrors are great for the urbansized yard size, but water features and larger sculptures are prefereable for sizeable spaces.
There are outdoor table and floor lamps, speakers, wood-look side tables, etc.
The most important thing is to enjoy not only the people that you are entertaining, but also to enjoy the beauty that nature provides. GLEN PELOSO
Stylish outdoor furnishings allow for more entertaining and living options