by Jill Scarrow
With summer on the horizon and a long winter behind us, it’s time, once again, for our lives to move outdoors. Thankfully, there is vast array of options for creating beautiful backyard spaces that will make the transition an enjoyable one. Here are a few trendy tips to help your yard look like a well-decorated (and decked out) extension of your home.
Instead of having traditional dining tables and chairs, consider partitioning the space into different areas, such as a dining area and a family room, with deep sofas, plush chairs and coffee tables. Functional summer kitchen designs, comfortable dining furniture and luxurious seating zones create fantastic outdoor rooms.
As Ontarians, we are very aware that our summers are blissful, but brief. Because of this, people are eager to enjoy drinks and meals outside as often as possible. To make the evenings last longer, many homeowners opt to purchase a propane or natural gas fire pit, complete with cast aluminum lounge chairs at coffee-table height and end tables to go with them.
“Giving your deck or patio a spring makeover doesn’t need to be costly, and sometimes a new set of outdoor dinnerware or place mats can be enough to spruce up your existing décor,” suggests Dorothy Morawski, manager at Oakville’s InsideOut Furniture. When it comes to the furniture, if durability is what you’re looking for, cast aluminum delivers the best value for money. “Although it requires little maintenance, it’s more of an investment piece rather than a quick redecorating fix,” says Morawski. She recommends choosing styles that you’ll be happy with for seasons to come. It’s never too early to start planning for summer, so why not start today!
It’s curtains for you! A gazebo or pergola can be enclosed with heavy, rich-looking fabric for privacy. When left open they’ll create a soft visual separation of the area.
Do enter Since the idea is to create another room, add a doorway! An arbor or trellis will define the entrance to the space and can be made even more beautiful by adding climbing plants, such as clematis or climbing roses.
Art in the park Hang a large piece of artwork on the fence. Choose a canvas piece that complements the surroundings or matches the overall décor.
Under the umbrella While umbrellas are much more attractive than they used to be – they can be accented with Chinese lanterns, white lights or hanging baskets.
Waterways A tranquil fountain or water feature will add soothing visual and auditory appeal.
Fire works A fireplace can act as the center of attention at night, but if that’s not in the budget, there are many types of fire pits available in different shapes, sizes and materials.
Magical carpet Colourful outdoor rugs add extra luxury and definition to the “room”.
Kitchen aid Frequent grillers would appreciate having an outdoor kitchen to entertain with from spring until fall. Again, budget-friendly options would be a freestanding cart with a countertop for prep, as well as closed storage areas.
Less lawn is more If lawn care is not something you have time for – or care to do, think about reducing the size of the lawn. Gravel pads, shrubs, wild flower meadows and flowerbeds with perennials or cereal plants are modern trends in backyard landscaping and garden design.
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