Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space

With the 4th of July behind us, summer is now in full swing. Wanting to make the most of the short summer months (especially in a northeastern city like Buffalo) calls for a great outdoor living space. Summer evenings eating out on your porch or patio or early Sunday mornings reading the paper, what better way to enjoy the weather. Your outdoor space may be feeling a little unloved after the tough winter though, time for some sprucing up!

1. Create some shade! If your backyard looks like mine (pretty sparse), a lack of shade may make your outdoor space a little too toasty. Without a tree in site, the house or garage may provide temporary shade depending on the time of day which can limit your outdoor time. Planting trees or bushes can provide a natural form of sun block but may also take longer to fill out even if you buy some with a good amount of growth already. A more permanent solution would be the installation of an awning; there are many options for styles and materials. Or for a more temporary solution they now have great “pop up” canopies to help you turn your backyard into a shaded oasis you can enjoy.

2. Get comfortable seating! What’s more important than being comfortable? Now that you created some shady space when you need to take a break from your sunbathing (or anytime for us fair skinned folks), you need somewhere to sit. What are you going to be using your outdoor space for? You can purchase complete dining or lounge sets or if you want a more flexible space, or purchase individual pieces or partial sets to create a combination space. Multi-functional pieces that can be used for everyday or entertaining will also take up less space in storage during the winter months!

3. Give it some personality! Just because your outdoor furniture may be limited to weather friendly finishes doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it. Add some color and pattern with throw pillows or a textured tablecloth. Purchase accent chairs in a vibrant solid or mix it up with a more creative piece- tree stump end tables perhaps.

4. Accessorize! It doesn’t have to be your good china when entertaining, purchase some funky place settings to add some spunk to your next summer dinner party. Mix it up with a combination of patterned and solid serving ware to really liven up the party. How about adding a little ambiance, set up some tiki-torches or a portable fire pit for those cooler evenings!

5. Create a view! If you are living in the city you may not have the best of views, even the suburbs leave a little (or a lot) to be desired. Add your own scenery with some greenery! If you have a green thumb you may already have this one covered. Personally I do much better with pets than plants! However, there are many plants varieties that require very little upkeep. Doing just a little bit of research to determine if perennials or annuals are more your style and whether or not your new greenery requires more shade or sun will get you started towards a successful garden. If starting a full garden seems like just a little too much commitment, hanging baskets or a variety of planters can make a beautiful statement without all the work. Some planters may also do well indoors during the off season and will liven up your interior space on those dreary winter days!

With just a little work and creativity you can have the perfect outdoor space for every day or entertaining. Whether your oasis is a zen garden for yoga or reading or a lively party patio, this extra square footage will have you enjoying the fresh air and warm rays for the coming months!

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