May 22, 2012

5 ideas to make your outdoor spaces cozy.

Living outdoors - even in summer - needs to be cozy and comfortable.  Here are 5 great finds to add to your outdoor spaces for light, warmth and just plain great looks!

1) Lanterns are a safe way to light the outdoors with a fabulous ambiance. With so many finishes, styles and colors available, you can surely find one to suit your style!

2) An outdoor rug does so much for a space. The color, the ambiance, and the feel underfoot are fantastic.  When you have a covered patio or porch, you can expand your selection to cotton, jute and nylon.  Outdoor rugs are generally polypropylene and tolerate sun and rain well.  

3) Add an umbrella to serve as a roof!  Even without a table, you can stand an umbrella to give shade, protection from the rain, and a create a cozy corner. My front balcony is small, so I added a tall ceramic planter - plants and all - and set the umbrella post into the soil. It's 2' tall so I have stability even in wind. 

4) Even a simple plastic chair will feel more comfortable with a pillow. Ideally, pillows used outdoors should be made of a rain and sun resistant polyester fabric, BUT I use regular pillows all the time. Yes, I run out and stash them under the furniture in the rain, but their color, softness and pattern make it worthwhile.

5) Even if your outdoor space is surrounded by trees, an expansive lawn, or hedges, adding plants and planters provides another touch of color, style and personality that can make your space look fabulous.  For traditional home, O love iron and ceramic urn style planters in varying heights. In cottage a beach homes, I opt for aged cedar, crisp glazed ceramics, and moss-enhanced terracotta.  Add an obelisk and you can grow a vine to add a wall of green even on a balcony!