As Nova Scotians we spend so much of our time waiting eagerly for summer months to come around.
We eat up the warm weather knowing full well that our summers are brief and we must make hay while the sun shines. We take to the campgrounds, cottages, beaches, lakes and generally enjoy any and all outdoor activities.
As a decorator/stager the thing I love most about summer is that it extends our living space.
In my own home I have a covered front porch as well as a large back deck with a canopy which provides shelter from the full sun in the middle of the day.
The first thing I do in the morning is open my front and back doors to welcome summer in. I love the fragrant air and the sound of the chirping birds. There is no other time of the year that is so fresh and alive and I relish in it. Most early mornings I can be found on my front porch reviewing emails and planning my day. It is the best office in the world.
Many people may think that it is expensive to have an outdoor space to which they can escape, but there are all kinds of ways to cut costs including purchasing at the end of the season for the next summer. There will be amazing deals on outside furniture in the weeks ahead, and it is a perfect time to take advantage of getting quality furniture at a reduced price. If taken care of well, this furniture can last for years.
I purchased my patio set in 2005 when I purchased the home I am presently in, and other than the cushions being slightly dated, the structure of the furniture is perfect. I store the furniture safely away in the winter to ensure its longevity. My dining table is even older than that, being purchased in 2003 and again still has some life in it. I have since purchased new chairs and an umbrella, but together the set looks lovely. All of these pieces get used on a regular basis not only for quiet moments of relaxation but for family get togethers and socializing with friends.
Along with new pieces it is always nice to reuse and refurbish furniture that no longer works in your house. Adding a bright new coat of paint to an old table not only breathes new life into it, but gives you the perfect place to show off a flower arrangement, or simply another table to hold food and drinks. The possibilities are endless and hindered only by your imagination.
There are no set rules when designing an outdoor space.
Keep in mind what you want to use it for and your family’s specific needs. Make a list of what furniture you require and hit the stores for the sales. Have a look around your house and see if there are pieces of furniture tucked away in your basement or ones that you are thinking of throwing away and see if they would work as outside pieces.