The Secret Ingredients to Great Outdoor Living
The weather has been unusually nice here in PA. The blinding heat and humidity haven’t descended upon us for extended periods just yet. My flowers are all settling into their pots nicely, looking strong and not yet beleaguered by the summer heat. It’s around now that I start pretending that I’m on vacation. For me that means reading a good book (fiction preferred), eating outside as much as possible, and making sure that everywhere I look there is something beautiful to look at. Here are some tips to create a great outdoor space:
- Your outside space should seem like an organic extension of the inside of your home. It should reflect the overall aesthetic of your home.
- Weather resistant fabrics have revolutionized outdoor decorating. There are many options to create a great color scheme.
- Lighting is key to an outside setting. Using up-lights, sconces and spots to highlight different focal points can turn a patio into a beautiful dramatic setting.
- Outdoor rugs are a great way to add color, texture and pattern to a deck. They can also help define the space and make it cozier.
- If you’re adding an outdoor kitchen, make sure that the design is in keeping with the house. Appliances and surfaces should be durable and practical. Study how the outdoor kitchen looks from within your house. You don’t want it to be on permanent display. If the kitchen is not close to the house make sure there’s adequate storage. Think about how you plan to use the kitchen.
- Safety and layout are also important. Make sure the grill or fire pit is not in the middle of a major traffic path. Children may be running around.
- If the host is going to be doing most of the grilling, make sure the barbecue is situated so that the cook is facing guests.
- If possible, conceal the grill. Exposed appliances can kill a mood.
- Sun protection. Make sure to incorporate some kind of shade structure. If you’re not lucky enough to have a gorgeous old tree, consider a Pergola or canvas awning.
The biggest secret to great outdoor living is to take the time to sit and enjoy your outdoor space. If you’re entertaining, keep it simple. If you’re having fun, everyone else will be too. Treasure this beautiful time of the year.
Pretend you’re on vacation at home.