For the better part of the year I’m focused on what happens in rooms inside the house, but early Summer is when I start to focus on the outside. I love my outdoor “rooms”.
In case you haven’t noticed, outdoor furniture is beginning to look and feel a lot more like indoor furniture. The cushions have gotten much comfier, thicker, and more durable, and the new performance fabrics have made all this possible. Sunbrella and Perennials lead the way with great solids and patterns, all able to remain outside for hours on end without fading or showing signs of wear. Not to mention the materials the actual furniture is made from, of course there’s always beautiful, durable teak or wrought iron but the new wicker is fantastic looking!
All of this allows for many more hours of comfortable conversation and entertaining long after the sun goes down.
So where to begin creating your own outdoor room…
Furniture may be the first step, but flowers alone can create a cozy colorful atmosphere. Make sure your pots are large enough. That way you won’t need so many of them. I also like larger plants.
Think hibiscus or anything that will create a big statement. Dinky pots will not give you the impact you need. Remember you do need to take care of all this so don’t plant anything too far away from a hose!
Lighting can also play an important part in your evening activities. I love large lanterns with big white candles. If your budget’s big enough, installing more permanent lighting is always an option. Up-lights and path lights create wonderful evening atmosphere.
As with everything I do indoors, I always have a color scheme in mind for each outdoor area. Think of creating an outdoor painting with flowers. This is your backdrop for furniture. Perennials (the plants, not the fabric) will help with this, blooming at different times of the summer season. But annuals give that great pop of color.
The opportunity to create your great outdoor room happens anywhere there is action …. the patio, fire pit or pool deck and grilling area, places for furniture, flowers and people. Areas to have great conversation and gatherings with friends and family on those gorgeous summer nights.
The only thing we can’t control is the weather.
Let’s hope it cooperates.