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Outdoor Living is Here to Stay

Imagine sitting on your outdoor patio and enjoying the ambience of the moment… the soft blowing breeze caressing your arms, the beautiful scenery in front of you, the bright sun and the perfect companion, and with your favourite beverage or drink! Yes, you can enjoy your outdoor patio! In spring and summer and also to some extent in winter, you can enjoy the outdoor patio.

All you need is a patio space and the right atmosphere. Sprucing up and maintaining your outdoor living space will help the resale value of your home in the long run.

Before you begin, clear everything off of your deck or patio and give it a good pressure wash. If it needs staining, all the new furniture in the world won’t help – bite the bullet and give it a new coat of stain or paint. This is actually a great place to get started with colourful accents. Try painting your fence posts a bright, coordinating colour such as teal. Or paint a pattern or border around the edge of your deck.

Create different rooms; we are use to having our homes divided into rooms, but rarely take this approach to our outdoor spaces. But dividing up your yard can actually help to maximize your enjoyment of it. Look at the available space and designate one area for play, one for dining and socializing, and another for relaxing. Then decorate accordingly!

Decks are for socializing, so show that you are ready for company. The addition of metal furniture is inexpensive and comes in lots of great colours. Place a colourful bar cart in the corner and load it up with bright acrylic glassware.

New furniture can make a wonderful difference in the presentation of your patio. Alternatively, you can simply buy new cushions or covers for your existing patio furniture. The right seating can also be very important. There are many kinds of seating: wooden chairs and benches, wicker chairs, glider chairs and vintage metal chairs, just to name a few.

Yard ornaments: These can be as simple as a small bird house, a pole mounted outdoor lantern light, or even a wheelbarrow with flowers. Putting a little something extra in your yard defines you and your tastes, plus it gives your home a more unique personality that stands out from your neighbours.

Set the mood with colour: Just as you would with an indoor room, you can use colour to decorate outdoors. In fact, applying colour theory when selecting plants and flower arrangements can influence the mood and personality of a space. For example, while earth tones are appropriate for a relaxation corner, bright colours like pink and red are ideal in areas used for play. If you’re building a patio or deck, select a base colour that matches your home, but allows for flexibility in design.

Flowers, Plants, Vines & Bushes: A popular way to spruce up a yard quickly is to simply put out some pretty plants, bushes, vines and flowers. Annuals are great for adding dashes of colour quickly, because you can usually buy them this time of year in bloom. To get continuous colour and greenery, plant some perennials too. Then once the annuals are starting to die out, you’ll have something to replace them. You’ll also have the added joy of seeing the perennials sprout again for several years to come.

Ask a professional. Your local lumberyard, retailer and contractor should each be familiar with the multitude of new deck and railing products. Seek their opinions on what materials and styles would work best for your outdoor haven. -DYH

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