Summer in Canada has almost come and in Calgary the season can be a short one. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have beautiful, elegant and usable outdoor space to make the most of the sunny summer days and nights.
Whether you have a large yard, wood deck, stone patio or balcony, consider what you really want to be doing in that space. Is it for entertaining, playtime with the kids, feet up with book in hand or all of the above.
Gone are the days of the simple white plastic lawn chair. Today’s choices for outdoor dining and seating are limitless. From wood to fabric, consider your needs and how much maintenance you are willing to put into your purchase.
Any type of patio furniture will last longer with routine care. During cold weather seasons, when the patio is no longer in use, store your patio furniture in a garage, basement or garden shed. If you don’t have a place to store your patio furniture over the winter use a cover or tarp. It will make it last longer as the elements will damage it over time. Calgary winters will not be kind to furniture left to the elements.
During warm weather, wash seat cushions once a month with one part bleach to 10 parts warm water. And a few drops of dish detergent to the mix and let sun dry if possible. If you have wrought iron, wash and wax it a few times a year. For wood, use a gentle solution like Murphy’s Wood Soap to keep clean then oil if necessary.
If you plan on buying cushions for your outdoor furniture set also make sure that they have a high UV rating and ventilation slits to avoid sun and moisture damage. Mildew-resistant acrylic fabric is long-lasting.
The backyard barbeque that your Dad used to grill bratwurst and steak has had a major upgrade. Old black charcoal blocks have been replaced with clean lines, sleek looks and superior aesthetics.
Barbeques are no longer just for cooking. Just as kitchen appliances are now more than utilitarian devices, the barbeque can add a great deal to the look and aesthetics of you outdoor space. So, with the seemingly endless options for grills don’t forget to incorporate one early on in your backyard planning.
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And just because it’s the great outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t add beautiful accents and art to make your space even more beautiful. Hang some art. Add some decorative touches. There doesn’t need to be a distinction between inside and outside elegance.
Ana Cummings, of ANA Interiors is the only IDRC and CDECA multiple award winning show home designer in Calgary. Her work is internationally published and her studio offers full service interior design and decorating that specializes in original unable-to-leave spaces. Ana is a graduate of Mount Royal University, a member of the Calgary Design Group (CDG), Interior Décor Resources Canada (IDRC), and interim President of the Canadian Decorators’ Association Alberta Chapter (CDECA).
Feature image source: Belderbos.co.uk