Spring is here and we need to be thinking about our outdoor space and gardens. Why does the decorating stop when the door closes. Curb appeal and outdoor rooms are an essential on today’s real estate market, as well as an inexpensive way to expand your living space.
Before stepping outside, we have to do one spring cleaning item. Wash the windows. Windows are the jewels on a house and nothing improves your decorating more than clean windows- both inside and out! So scrub away, and get them sparkling.
Now, your outdoor space needs to be defined as an actual area. A deck, patio, slab of concrete all does this for you. If you do not have this, define the space with your seating grouping, flowering pots and landscape lighting. This is the area in which your outdoor furniture will be placed, forming a living/dining room outside.
Before placing the furniture-look at the hardscape that you are working with. If it is a cement slab, why not paint or dye it to soften the look. Add decorative bricks or pavers around the edges to give it more appeal. Use a natural fiber indoor/outdoor area rug like sisal or jute to define the actual conversation area. An area rug can be used on any surface to make it feel more comfortable and finished.
The furniture is next. Most people have a table/chairs grouping which can be placed on that area rug. If you have other furniture follow the “focal point” rule. Pick a focal point in your new outdoor room and place the furniture in a U-shape around it. Additional pieces can be placed in smaller conversation groupings, like a bench and table off to one side so people can speak with each other. The furniture is in place, but it still needs the finishing touches.
We now need to accessorize and decorate the space. Flowering pots and containers are a welcome addition, if you have a green thumb. Group your containers together for maximum impact and easier watering. Make sure the containers vary in height and size with one or two pieces breaking up the terra cotta pot look. Choose flowers that do well in this area because they will be under close inspection by people on the patio. No plant is better than a dead plant. Use spheres, baskets, smaller pots, and sculptures to fill in a container and add interest.
Soft goods will bring the inside out. Use a table linen on your table, put some throw pillows on that bench. There are many outdoor safe fabrics now in great pattern and color selection. Place candles in hurricanes for outside light, string paper lanterns in bright colors for a festive look, and display your collection of antique watering cans! All of this adds charm and “decorates” your outdoor room.
These are just some ideas to finish your outdoor space. Make a room out of your patio or deck and start enjoying your yard. A few extra touches will transform that boring patio into an oasis that you can enjoy with friends and family. Don’t forget the grill!