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Outdoor Living – Stylishly

As we cherish the months we can sit out and enjoy our outdoor spaces, it is so valuable to make our outdoor spaces functional, and beautiful.  Whether you have a large backyard or a small condo balcony, with a thoughtful layout and stylish and durable outdoor pieces you can achieve a wonderful outdoor space to enjoy and make the most of the nice weather.

As a designer I use the same principles when designing an outdoor space as I do an interior. I believe your outdoor space should be an extension of your home, it should reflect a similar design style and principles as you have in your interior although it is the perfect outlet to add more colour.   Creating zones with visual interest and defining your outdoor space is key.  Establish a dining area, seating area, and cooking zone.  It is also important to consider shade and sun areas as well as incorporating a water or fire feature.  Umbrellas either cantilevered or installed in a table are a great addition.  They offer shade while also visually delineating your various spaces in your backyard.

 When selecting outdoor furniture ensure it is durable and resistant to your climate.  Water, stain, mold & mildew resistant fabrics are essential for being outdoors.  Metal & resin furniture are most durable and maintenance free while wood patio furniture is beautiful but will require some maintenance.  Using covers for your upholstered pieces is wise as covers will keep your cushions clean and dry when not in use.  Alternatively outdoor storage boxes are handy to toss in your cushions until their next use.

When selecting your outdoor patio fabrics weather you keep the fabrics neutral or colourful combining 2-4 fabrics is often most successful.  I suggest using a subtle texture on the largest pieces, while introducing patterns and or stripes on the accent pillows and dining chair seats.  For your more costly pieces like umbrellas I suggest going for a solid colour either in a neutral or a bright shade that compliments your accent colours.   One great shop to get some design inspirations for this season is Southport Outdoor Furniture.

About the author: Kate Davidson is Designer, Principal of Kate + Co. Design inc. For more then a decade this design firm has focused on being a multi disciplinary interior design firm providing complete residential & commercial design services throughout Toronto, GTA. and North America.  Known and respected for envisioning and creating stylish adaptable livable spaces Instagram: kateandcodesigninc

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