Spring is the perfect time to start dreaming of warm, sunny days relaxing on your deck or patio, even though it may not look like spring outside!! Before you start purchasing anything, it is important to put some thought into how exactly you want to use your space. A little planning will go a long way to help curb any impulse buying. What will your outdoor space be used for? Dining? Relaxing? BBQ-ing? Kids play area? Or maybe even all of the above!
Be sure to put some thought into how you will arrange the furniture. If you are planning on purchasing (or already have) a dining set your options may be limited. However, the current trend of having a loveseat and chairs does offer several options for placement. A small chair and side table may be all you need if you are tight on space.
Will you require privacy? There are many options to research. Opaque panels in plexiglass added to your deck railing will allow light to filter through but still provide an element of privacy. There are also wood or metal screens in a variety of styles to suit your taste. If you have the space, you can use lattice and plant a creeping vine such as clematis or Virginia creeper (beautiful fall color!!). Consider using ornamental grasses grown in tall pots. These are beautiful and provide textural interest. A favorite is feather reed grass, which can grow 60-80`tall. It is a perennial in zones 3-9. Many northern gardeners are able to grow this grass in our zone 2 climate with a little fall prep work. Remember that these will not make it through our harsh winters if left in the pots!
Image courtesy of davesgarden.com
Accessorize!! One of the best ways to save money is to shop your home! Anything from sculptures to even artwork can be used on a deck or patio. A large mirror is a great way to visually expand the space. Place one on your fence to reflect the view of your yard or on your deck to help your deck or patio feel more like an extension of the home. Outdoor rugs are another way to add a level of coziness to your space.
What about colour? Do you want soothing tones or something more vibrant and fun? Choose pillows in weather resistant fabric. You could even use pillows meant for indoors as long as they are stored away in a deck box when inclement weather comes in!
If your budget allows, an outdoor fireplace is the ultimate in exterior luxury. Not only are they beautiful but they will most definitely extend the life of your outdoor space and allow you to enjoy it well into the late fall.
Image courtesy of charlotte.archadeck.com
Most importantly, be sure to add your own personal touch! After all, your outdoor space is an extension of your home and deserves to be given the same amount of thought and care.