Canadians know a thing or two about savouring warm weather. While we may not have the longest of summers, we've made it a priority to make the most of every precious sunny day. This summer, take the comfort of your indoors outside and instantly extend the living area of your home to maximize every beautiful day.
A firepit can be a welcoming place for friends and family to gather and a great low-cost entertaining idea for summer evenings. Make sure your fireside gatherings are safe by checking the fire safety regulations in your area before installing this piece. Be sure the firepit is placed in a clear, open space and away from any overhanging branches or plants. And always keep a bucket of sand on hand in case of any emergencies.
2. Outdoor lighting
Enjoy the warm breeze of a summer night with some added lighting to your outdoor area. Energy efficient solar powered lights make it a breeze to light up your whole backyard without the fuss of wires or power outlets. Put up white twinkle lights to create a soft, inviting atmosphere for when you have company over or for a relaxing evening at home with your book.
3. Fully equipped grill
Everyone's favourite summer host is the person with the fully equipped grill. Not just for burgers and hotdogs, a fully equipped barbecue grill can really feel like you've brought the whole kitchen outdoors. Impress carnivores and vegetarians alike with delicious, hot-off-the-grill meals – and it's a great way to get the men to help with dinner.
4. Outdoor rug
A simple way of creating the feeling of having an outdoor living room is with an outdoor rug. Lots of new styles are available in fun and fresh patterns and colours. Look for rugs made with water-resistant plastic and synthetic blends that are easy to clean and can be hosed down for worry-free entertaining. These varieties are also weather-proof and can be left outside all summer long – so there's no need to dash outside when the storm clouds start gathering.
5. Patio plants
Whether you have a big backyard or just a small balcony, a few potted plants are a natural part of outdoor decor. Look for colours that compliment your outdoor furniture and accessories, and add a few potted herbs too – you'll be able to clip fresh ingredients and add to your summer recipes. Keep these plants well hydrated by watering them in the early morning so they'll have enough moisture to last through the heat of the day.
6. Decorative cushions
Even if you don't have the budget for a new patio set, you'll be surprised at how much of an impact you can create with a few new throw pillows in fresh, bright colours. Look for ones in outdoor fabrics that are water-resistant, so that they will be easy to clean and you won't be worried about the occasional rain shower.
The ultimate outdoor living experience, a gazebo is perfect for dining and entertaining and will undoubtedly become an additional room in your home. Look for styles which have a mesh screen so you can enjoy your outdoor space without the nuisance of any pesky insects.
The perfect spot to relax and recline for an afternoon nap or to read a book. Create a private outdoor sanctuary by placing the daybed in a shaded area away from direct sunlight. Consider a extra-wide daybed for lounging à deux or with little ones. Be sure to add lots of throw pillows for added comfort and a more decadent relaxation experience.
9. Cute outdoor tableware
Even the most basic of picnic tables can be transformed into a veritable fête with brightly coloured tableware in an array of playful patterns. Save the worry of damaging your indoor dinnerware with practical plastic pieces. Look for reusable styles which you'll be able to enjoy for summers to come. If you choose to use disposable pieces for entertaining, be sure to have your recycling and green bins handy to reduce the environmental impact and make cleaning up easier.
10. Garden bench
Like the daybed, a garden bench can be a much sought out space for quiet relaxation, but also a practical perch from which to watch your little ones play outside. Place your bench in a well-shaded area that's close to the main hubs of summer activity like by the swimming pool or a trampoline. You'll be just a step away from the action and get to really soak in the summer scenery.