Aug 2, 2017

Extend Outdoor Living Time

Summer seems fleeting. When school is out, you try to pack a year's worth of relaxation into three short months. When you set up your outdoor space, you're often on the go so much that you don't spend a lot of time in it!  Extend the time you can use your outdoor spaces with a few carefully selected items!

1. Outdoor area rug. Having a rug underfoot adds warmth and comfort. When you use the space for carving fall pumpkins and a mug of hot chocolate in winter, you'll have a bit of insulation. The most durable outdoor rugs are made from nylon, polyester, or polypropylene. Since they are made to withstand the elements, they're mold and mildew resistant. Jute and bamboo are great for outdoors since they add character and natural texture, but they're best in covered spaces. The options for color and pattern are nearly endless, so you can easily duplicate your indoor style.

2. Lanterns - String lights are popular for outdoors, but a lantern looks like a light fixture and you can hang and place them almost anywhere. They're substantial looking and can be found in nearly any style.

3. Weather proof furniture. If you have a covered space you can use almost any furniture - gauge the moisture resistance you'll need and select a durable finish. For decks and patios exposed to rain or snow, select durable pieces that also look like indoor furniture. Teak and eucalyptus win the style award. All weather wicker looks summery all the time, and plastic looks temporary so wood that's meant for outdoors is the right choice.  You can find classic and modern styles, some pieces combined with metal for a sleek look.  A few cozy cushions, and you'll have  outdoor seating year-round.

4. Heater.  Anything from a glamourous and eco-friendly ethanol burner, to a fire pit, to standing or permanently installed on a porch ceiling, will extend the length of time you can enjoy the outdoors.

5. Blanket. Even on a cool summer evening, I love to wrap myself in a throw and snuggle into a chair with a cup of tea. Any throw that suits your style works!  

6. Enclosure or fabric panels. Keep the weather out and some warmth in. You can set up a pop-up shelter for under $200.  Curtain panels can be attached to trellises, free standing poles, and tension wires.