Warm weather is coming......are you ready?  That first warm evening when you can't wait to kick off your shoes and enjoy the sun and warmth on your porch or patio.  Until you look around and realize the paint is peeling off your favorite chair, the mildew has crept into your favorite cushion, and the patio umbrella is leaning a bit like it has had one too many margaritas.  Let's fix that right now, so you can look forward to every warm ray of sun shining down on your patio!

The key to bringing comfort and style to your outdoor spaces is to select things you would want to have on the interior of your home.  Let's break it down, and put an outdoor space together, step by step.  For this space, we started with natural blues and greens, the colors of sky and grass to get us started!

1.  Outdoor Area Rugs:

Often the flag stones, brick or concrete of your porch or patio are too cold or too warm for bare feet.  By layering it with an area rug, you make the space more comfortable for you and your guests.  When you steal away to the porch to have a quiet cup of coffee first thing in the morning, your toes will be thankful for that extra layer of texture!

2.  Comfortable Upholstery:

Want your guest to sit and stay awhile?  Or do you want to finally crack that novel you've been dying to read on a sunny, Sunday afternoon?  A folding lawn chair just won't do!  Bring on the fully, upholstered comfort of weatherproof, washable slipcovers and cotton-y soft fabrics.

3.  Plants:  

Yes, there are surely beautiful plants in your yard or garden.  But, bring some of that gorgeous texture up onto your patio or porch, too!  This will blur the lines between lawn and patio, and give you a front row seat for all those blooming beauties.  If your lawn could use a little more privacy from your neighbors, this is also a great way to add a beautiful buffer between you and your elderly neighbor who likes to mow his lawn at 8:00pm on a Saturday night without a shirt on, just as you finally sit down to have that glass of wine.  

4.  Step Away From the "Matching Set":

The sofa does not need to match the coffee table, which matches the dining chairs and the dining table and the end tables........This isn't the way you would design the interior of your home, so why do it outside?  Plus, when you get tired of that style or it starts to wear out, it will all "expire" at the same moment.  If we add different layers and textures and styles to your outdoor living space, we will increase its longevity.  Have some fun with this!  If your dining table is wood, mix in some metal for your coffee and end tables.  This is a great place to also have some fun with vintage pieces, as they are already a little weathered, and the outdoor elements won't be detrimental to their already-loved finishes.  

5.  Surfaces:

How often have you been to a friend's barbecue and they have put out chairs galore but not one side table on which to set down a drink or a plate of food?  So, you end up juggling your drink and a a plate of food and spilling baked beans all over your white shorts (okay, maybe that is just me)....Be generous with your surfaces!  Just like indoors, every seat should have an accompanying spot to set down a drink or a book.  

6.  Shade:

When the summer sun is high in the sky and your lemonade glass is sweating more than middle-aged women in a hot yoga class, you know you are in need of some shade!  This can come in the form of a pergola, a generous umbrella or even some outdoor draperies strategically placed on your porch.  If the sun is too bright, or too hot at the time of day when you are actually able to use your outdoor space, the sad truth is that you just won't use it.  

 How have you made your outdoor space more inviting and comfortable?  We would love to hear all about it!



March 16, 2018

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