Let the sun shine in…

By Edilka Anderson

With summer around the corner, now is definitely the right time to take a look at your outdoor spaces and find new ways to make the most of them. It does not matter how large or small the area is that you have to work with, there are plenty of ways to create comfortable, cozy and inviting spaces bringing you closer to nature.

For some of us with extra garden space, exploring the idea of building a custom gazebo or pergola for a relaxing spot and precious shade on sunny days might be fun. But simpler options can also serve that purpose and create a wonderfully, stylish outdoor living area. Add and embellish with seating, puffs, colourful carpets, throws and bright cushions, and decorating with outdoor lighting for those summer nights. Yes, without much fuss you can have a rejuvenating place to hide-away with a book, relax with friends and family on a summer afternoon or have a little nap in peace and quiet. Dining alfresco or sitting outside for breakfast or cocktails takes on a whole new chapter and verse in a pretty garden paradise.

You may also want to consider building an arch, trellis or doorway leading to your outdoor room. This structure can offer the distinct feeling of entering a new space, and you can add interest to your design with climbing plants, a screen or artwork.

Fencing is another great way to frame an outdoor room. Latticework, bamboo, weathered barn wood or even shrubs can create stylish boundaries for increased privacy and, once you have your “walls” in place, you can explore decorating with pieces that’ll stand up to the elements.

Awnings in eye-popping colours or matching umbrellas can offer a shady envelope as well as rain protection. Don’t be afraid to get funky, fun and fabulous with conversation-starting accent pieces or traditional indoor furnishings. Think stylish and sturdy at the same time with options for one and two-seater chairs, a chaise lounge or two and even a day bed if you got the square footage. Add extra puffs for seating or little square and round side tables to hold beverages and personal effects. Fear not, same concept can work on balconies and smaller patio areas—choose smaller pieces and adopt a “less is more” approach so as not to overcrowd. A thoughtful statement piece that makes you smile each time you see it can also be an added attraction.

And last, but not least, don’t forget to go floral. Whether you choose romantic Italian lemon trees, traditional tropics or lush flowering hanging baskets, the introduction of greenery and blooms is a tasteful design element and a proven boost to the spirit. kare-design.ca

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