With the start of the summer season upon us, the idea of moving our living spaces outside is becoming more of a reality and less of the dream we held onto during the cold, winter months. Whether you have a patio the size of a postage stamp, or a forest for a backyard, Kelly Deck, host of Take It Outside, has some tips on how to spruce up your outdoor living space.
Floor Shui — Give Your Spaces Some Continual Flow
In an effort to expand your living space from inside to outside, consider your flooring. Matching the flooring of your outdoor deck as closely as possible to what you already have indoors will create a sense of continual flow and give the illusion of an even bigger living space.
Try Eco-Chic Flooring Outside
Composite decking is a new product that is made up of 98 per cent recycled material. This decking will not rot or deteriorate due to harsh weather, it’s available in various finishes and colours, is splinter free, contains no toxic chemicals or preservatives, resists moisture, insects and sunlight and has excellent traction even when wet. A hose is all you need to keep it clean. Not only is this product environmental friendly but it is also ideal for children and pets.
Connect the Spots
If there are two areas of your backyard that are functional but seem to have a disconnect from each other, try extending a similar ground cover like a flagstone path or pavers to connect the two spaces; this will also make your space feel larger, offer a sense of flow and improve your functionality.
Plant Yourself — on a Cushion
Floor seating can be casual and fun. If you have an existing deck, add a bamboo, sea grass or jute mat, and place cushions on it. Look for firm seating cushions, or even triangular Thai or Balinese leaning cushions. Some of these may need to be brought in from the rain, but they’re easy to store and then bring out when guests come over.
Make it a More Formal Dining affair — with Slip Covers
An easy way to create elegance in your outdoor dining area is to have slip covers made from outdoor fabric for your chairs. Your slip covers can cover the entire chair to the floor or cover just the backs with a coordinating seat cushion, both will give the same effect depending on your taste. For some added interest and elegance you can have a silhouette or picture silk screened onto the fabric on the seat backs.
Take your Treasures Outside
If you are a collector of decorative items, don’t reserve them simply for your indoor spaces. Bring some of your personality outside by finding creative, safe ways to display your collections in your outdoor room. Some ideas might be to hang shelving on an existing fence or structure, place on tables, in planters or in gardens.
Add a splash of colour to your outdoor space with an easy, do-it-yourself craft project. With colourful tiles, create a mosaic on plywood using cement-based mortar grout, then when dry drop your mosaic into a pre-made frame. Simply hang your creation from your fence or side of the house to accentuate your outdoor space with colour! Don’t forget to bring it inside during the winter months to preserve its longevity!
Be a patio Picasso
When creating your outdoor room don’t forget about art! A bare brick wall or the side of a shed provides the perfect opportunity to hang or lean a beautiful do-it-yourself art piece. Simply stretch some canvas over a basic wooden frame or purchase one already stretched from your local craft store; using acrylic paints let your creativity go wild or keep it to simple lines and shapes. The paint will seal the canvas, so be sure to also paint or varathane the backside to help preserve it.