If you are craving more space, but really don’t want to (or can’t) expand your living space with an addition, consider using your outdoor space as an extension of your home…at least for four or five months of the year.

First, think about what you want to achieve—space for play, space to relax, space to entertain…?

Do you just want a cozy oasis to sit and read a book near a water feature that’s just calling you to relax?  Or, do you want to dine and entertain outdoors—sharing your patio, gazebo, or deck with friends and family?

You may want to create a permanent shady area to protect you from sun (or a spring shower), such as a covered patio.  Or, you may want a removable shelter, such as a fabric-covered gazebo that gives you flexibility to be covered or open…or a combination of open and sheltered to give you maximum flexibility and create interesting “areas” in your yard.

Incorporating outdoor “heat” is also a consideration. Do you have an outdoor fireplace or fire pit?  Will the fire zone be a focal point, or do you have an outdoor water feature that will help dictate where you position your furniture?

You should also think about your proximity to neighbours and the road. If privacy is a concern, a hedge or row of potted bamboo can provide a nestled feel. Or, think about a fabric-covered “screen” that you can remove when you’re using your outdoor space, or make permanent; you can also use draperies or curtains around a deck or gazebo to create a “cabana” just like fancy resort pools.

Of course, a traditional fence can be attractive, especially with hanging planters, lighting, vines, and/or outdoor decorations on it.

Consider your seating, too. Are you going with a traditional wood picnic table, metal and glass patio furniture set, or outdoor couches and chairs that look more like a living room set?

Now, think cushions and accessories. There is a huge variety of waterproof and UV-resistant materials on the market now, so choosing your patterns for custom cushions is very easy.

If you’re outdoor area is mostly green, add colour to your space with your fabrics and décor. If your space has colourful landscaping already,  neutral fabrics may be best. Placemats to match or complement your cushions and throw pillows also make an area very homey.

Think also about your lighting needs. Options range from solar walk lights, to tiki torches, string lights, and candlelit lanterns.

Accessories also affect the mood and function of your space. If you have a bbq in this area, why not do a custom BBQ cover to complement your cushions and colour palette? You can also create “texture” by adding an outdoor carpet or even painting or stenciling patterns on the concrete.

Now is the perfect time to phone Donna Clairmont for a complimentary at-home consultation or to schedule an appointment to see a variety of fabric choices for a few accessories that can jazz up your space on a budget.

Mention this newsletter for a complimentary table runner with any purchase of $200 or more in outdoor living décor.