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Saturday, October 01, 2022
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Spring is upon us so now is the time to think about how to expand your living space to the outdoors. Whether you have a patio, deck or simply a grassy area you would like to utilize there are many ways to create an inviting and useful outdoor living space.

Seating areas can be created on a variety of surfaces. A patio or deck is the most common but if you don’t have one, don’t let that stop you. Outdoor living areas can be created even on a grass surface if you utilize your furniture and accessories to define the space. Start by using a corner of your property or a focal point in the yard such as a tree or flower bed to help define the space. Then set furniture and planters within the parameters you set in order to define the total living area. If you want to keep the surface grass but have some money in your budget for the architecture of the space consider adding a homemade or store bought pergola. This can add both beauty and welcome shade.

Furniture is available in a large range of style and price starting from a basic set of chairs which can be purchased at your local home and garden center to a fully custom patio with built in seating. Garden centers, furniture stores, even warehouse stores such as Costco offer a wide variety of seating choices for outdoor use. To make the most of your space you should include an eating area as well as a living/lounging area. Make sure your eating area includes seating for at least your immediate family members. When throwing an outdoor barbecue or party you will likely need to break out the folding chairs for some additional seating. An umbrella either in the center of the table or placed between lounge chairs is a good idea if your yard is very sunny. In order to maximize the flexibility of your seating, keep your lounging area open to your eating area. That way you can use both for spillover seating before or after the meal.

All weather furniture ranges in size, shape and configuration as much as your indoor furniture. If you have a small space try creating an intimate area with individual chairs around a fire pit. On a larger deck or patio a sectional sofa wrapping around a corner can offer a lot of seating while keeping space in the center open for additional chairs or a playing area for children. All weather rugs are available in many sizes and colors to complement and further define the space.

A ready made or custom built deck box is great for storing cushions when bad weather is coming and when closed the top can serve as a bench with a decorative cushion or pillows on top. If you want to offer more seating options in your yard then a hammock or hammock chair is a great addition. This can be set out away from the main seating area to offer a quiet space to nap or relax. Maybe you have a tree (or two) in an unused corner of your yard? Hang a hammock or hammock swing and you’ve created my favorite spot in the yard!

After a long and hard winter I think we are ready to enjoy some time in the great outdoors. Make use of the outdoor space you have to create a beautiful and functional area for both relaxing and entertaining. Creating additional living space outdoors is a great way to live large and maximize the enjoyment and usefulness of your home.

By Shoshana Halpert

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