let’s make your outdoors great – part III

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! 

With the arrival of warmer weather, it's time to start really focusing on our outside spaces.  In case you missed any of my previous posts, I've discussed improving your Curb Appeal in a dayin a weekend, and in a month and I given simple suggestions on how to bring the feel of the warmer weather into your home. I've also give a small definition of patio and porch - did you know that they really aren't the same thing?  And yesterday, I shared some tips on how to expand your living space to the outdoorsRemember, when you create a living space outdoors – you could double your living space square footage and with the right planning, be able to use it all year long.

When designing your outdoor living space, think about creating distinct areas for distinct purposes. Yesterday, I discussed creating a private open-air sitting room. Today, let's complete that design.  You should treat exterior spaces the same as you would your interior spaces. Plush furnishings and special accessories evoke a feeling of being an indoor living space but with the extra beauty of being outdoors.

81518_2_23.inddAdd Candles A collection of various sized candles can brighten any space at sunset and they can add a warm glow to your outdoor setting. Housing candles in containers such as antique carriage lamps or even ordinary mason jars not only shelter the flame from the breeze (or ceiling fan), they can evoke a glowing ambiance to a backyard that will draw people in like moths.

sisal rugInclude Rugs Adding a sisal rug to any outdoor space will add a finishing touch to hard floor surfaces and a feeling of indoors. Instead of a large floor cloth, maybe try overlapping a few small woven rugs to add warmth underfoot and make the space feel like you are relaxing in your favorite room of your home.

landscaping-lights-6Scatter Night Lights Having your outdoor landscaping look beautiful both day and night can be as simple as installing low voltage lighting. This feature is available in an abundance of styles and can add emphasis to the key elements of your home or garden at night. Outdoor lighting will also make it safer on your walkways after the sun goes down. If installed correctly, low voltage lighting should give you a soft nightly glow rather than making your yard light up like a football field.

James-outdoor-loudspeakersListen to Music How about bringing your outdoors a musical atmosphere? The great outdoors presents a different listening environment than your typical room. Inside your home, there are walls to reinforce low-frequency response and reflect and contain sound. Outside, of course, it's wide open, and there's usually much more background noise - wind, traffic, barking dogs, and even crickets. You can find great easy suggestions on the internet to help give your outdoors a musical ambiance by placing sound system speakers appropriately.

fireplaceBuild a Focal Point For those cool evenings outdoors, a fireplace makes a great gathering spot. It creates a feeling of intimacy while letting you stay outside and take advantage of crisp cool evenings. Install one in a sheltered entry courtyard, along the rear wall of a home, or at the boundary between paved and planted areas. A fireplace can be a patio's focal point. With a prefab box; framed in wood; and capped with stone veneer, you have a beautiful anchor to any outdoor living space. One of my favorites is a portable fire pit to warm a patio corner. Something as simple as a wide copper bowl with wrought-iron legs can be an easy solution to taking the chill off the crisp evening air.

With your sitting room complete - containing candles, music, and lighting, all you need to do to enjoy this space year round is toss in a fleecy throw on a chaise, bring out a mug or two of steaming hot chocolate or tomato bisque, sink into the cushions, and enjoy the view.

Check back tomorrow, I will discuss how to create an Alfresco Dining Room