Friday, May 7, 2010

Enjoy Alfresco Living this Summer

Great place to entertain, unwind and relax this summer is on the patio. The patio is viewed as a of bonus room that allows you to enjoy the outdoor with easy access to indoor conveniences. Here are some tips to make the most of your exterior space.

Determine a color scheme. Take inspiration from your garden and carry the colors around the space with pillows, and umbrella and garden art pieces. Add sizzle with bright accessories and festive stripes.

Light up the night with candles, torches, hanging lanterns, strings of light entwined in nearby trees and bushes. Solar lights will add to the sense of drama as they mark the pathways.

Turn up the heat on a chilly night adding a chiminea or a budget-friendly fire pit. Consider adding a home-center fire-pit and dry-stacking blocks or fieldstones around the base to give the appearance of built-in character. Fire-pits bring a sense of the campfire to the patio: they are great for toasting marshmallows!

Bring the calming sounds of running water by adding a small waterfall or plugging in a fountain. Fountains mask the road noise and bring wildlife into the yard. Check home centers for easy-to-install water features and solar-power fountains that don't require electric outlet.

Replace plastic table clothes and paper plates with fun and funky runners, place mats and glassware. Visit discount stores' for deals on summer lines, pitchers and vases.

Add accents to the patio furniture using pillows, slipcovers and throws made of outdoor fabrics. Define the space and add shade by installing an umbrella or canopy-style structure. Or create a side table by adding cut-to-fit glass to the top of a birdbath or a garden urn.

Last but not least is furniture. Add dual-purpose pieces such as benches, deck boxes and ottomans that provide seating and storage. Shop at home centers and discount stores for patio sets. also, check garage sales for bargain-prices furniture and garden pieces that can fit into your decor.

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