The summer season is short, so why would you want to spend it indoors? Your outdoor living space is an extension of your home, therefore it’s important to furnish it as you would furnish your house. Before you consult our furnishing and home accessories directory for places to visit, interior designer Evelyn Eshun gives us tips on how to decorate your outdoor space.
There’s no denying it: Canadians fiercely enjoy their relationship with the outdoors, especially in the summer. After hibernating most of the year indoors, with short days and cold temperatures, the value of well-executed backyards (thanks landscaping professionals for your help!) is truly appreciated.
As a designer who typically works on beautifying the interior space of my clients’ homes, it is a pleasure to be asked to create a living space outside. We apply the principles of interior design and decorating to an outdoor space in much the same way as we do indoors. Designing and decorating your outdoor living space is an extension of the indoors of your home; you can express your personality with texture and colour, using fabrics, plants, and various materials.
Why you need a furnished outdoor space
What does seem evident is that outdoor spaces are becoming more luxurious and glamorous at all levels of the budgetary scale. Creating a beautiful and usable outdoor space will undeniably impact the value of your property. As a general rule, 10% of your home’s value should be spent on landscaping, however, this number can very quickly be surpassed with all the fantastic products available, including the following features you may want to build into your plan:
- Stone surfaces;
- Outdoor kitchen.
Proper planting for privacy adds functional square footage to your home.
Start designing your new space in a budget-friendly manner
Decorating your outdoor space can be quite costly, so keeping in mind a few things when planning is the key to allocating dollars where they count the most. Here are a few tips to help you begin planning your outdoor ‘room’:
- Know the style you are aiming for. What is the feeling you want? Are you seeking a traditional and curvy look, a charming rustic cabin look, or a sleek penthouse urban look?
- Measure your space. You don’t have the benefit of walls and ceilings to create boundaries. Having the size requirements of your seating or dining areas will narrow down your search for items which are appropriate.
- How will you use your space? Will you be entertaining adults, children, both?
- Consider finishes and how much maintenance they require. Not all materials are meant to be left outdoors in all weather situations. Make sure you ask the supplier how to care for the items you’ve invest in.
- Consider a lighting plan. After a long day’s work, you want to be able to extend the enjoyment of your space into the evening hours. Consult our directory of electrical contractors for advice!
What’s trending in backyard furniture
I was recently asked by Bleu Venue Events to participate as one of the six designers decorating and setting the stage for entertainment in the beautiful and luxurious backyards of a handful of chosen homes in Mississauga. The tour is a VIP access to 6 stunning backyards professionally styled with a portion of the proceeds going to support local charities. I instantly agreed knowing that I would have fun playing ‘house’ with some wonderful products from local suppliers and stores. After visiting my dream backyard, my first action was to go window shopping for items which would allow me to express a glamorous and luxurious lifestyle. The goal is to create an environment which will inspire those who buy tickets for the opportunity to view these settings, to have them to create their own outdoor oasis at home.
What I found was a tremendous array of furnishing and accessories in materials which mimic those used indoors, but meant for hardy survival outdoors.
- Blankets made with natural fibers to keep warm on a cool evening;
- Fire pits with wood or stone inside;
- An array of fabrics from which to choose from;
- Accessories which are fun and whimsical.
My goal is to create a space which will inspire, invoke thought and make a lasting memory for those who visit the Mississauga Backyard Glam Tour, happening on Friday, July 3 from 8pm to 10 pm and Saturday, July 4 from 10am to 4pm.
Is your backyard ready for summer entertaining? We can put you in touch with the experts that can get it ready pronto! Contact an interior design and decor specialist to help you pick out great pieces. You should also check out one of our furniture stores – find one in your neighbourhood!