Tag

garden

 

Designing a beautiful outdoor space is just as important as creating an appealing interior design. The best proof of that is that landscaping can add significant value to a property that is listed on the market. In fact, it is the curb appeal that contributes to 28% of the house’s overall value, because the home buyers are immediately astonished by the first impression. However, not all landscape and outdoor construction projects are the same when it comes to value, appearance, and functionality. In this article, we’ll share some valuable insights into the outdoor projects with the biggest potential, so that you have a clear image of all the things your front and backyard can benefit from.

Planting a lawn

Many people look at planting the lawn as designing a flat square green surface, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The best lawns are central access points to other features. A swath of grass should connect pathways and bush and flower areas. It should also be integral to creating harmony between different shapes and colors, and lead the eye to a focal point, such as a fountain or a flowerbed. For a formal look, you can go with the symmetrical design. This is also a good choice for easy maintenance because it makes mowing a breeze. Gentle curves bring slightly more maintenance, but they have a more organic feel.

Creating natural shade

Before we move on to various outdoor installations which can provide you with shade, it is vital to mention that natural shade is the best one you can get. A mature tree can add from $1,000 to $10,000 to a property while creating a fairytale-like ambiance in the back and front yard. The choice of the tree depends on the local climate and the amount of sunlight and rain the outdoor space is receiving. Another way to create cover from the sun is to add a vine arch or a pergola.

A roof over your head

Outdoor entertaining has always been popular, but sometimes it is impossible due to harsh sun or mild rain, that is unless you have some type of roof over your head. This shelter can come in the form of a wooden pergola, a simple shade sail, or an awning. This setting can be installed on the back side of your house, or it can stand alone as a backyard focal point.

Something to stand on

A seamless connection between the interior and the exterior is one of the biggest trends right now, and for that, you won’t be able to stand on your lawn. Wooden decks are believed to bring the most significant return on investment, but if you are looking for endurance and high-end appearance, you can also go with limestone paving patio slabs, which are durable, roughly-finished, textured, and compliment every outdoor space. Some other popular options are concrete, gravel, and bricks.

Indoor features

As mentioned, indoors and outdoors can coexist in a happy marriage. What better proof could you ask for than the existence of outdoor kitchens and dining areas? All the things that will make the exterior feel almost like the interior are welcome, as long as they are in coherence with natural surroundings. Excellent additions, for example, would be a stone oven, fire pit, wooden dining table, etc.

A place to sit

Since you already have a place to prepare food and hide from the sun, you should also have a seating arrangement worthy of these updates. Outdoor furniture should have the feel of the indoor comfort but with the added endurance and weather-resistance provided by materials like plastic, aluminum, steel, wrought iron, wicker, eucalyptus, and teak. 

The final stamp

Finally, every backyard should be a reflection of the homeowner. Depending on the landscape designer and the homeowners, the personal stamp can come in the form of mystical pathways made of stone, brick, or planks, a central fountain, a natural lake, a swimming pool, an outdoor spa pool, a vegetable garden, string lights, lanterns, solar torches, or anything else that results in an outdoor space you’ve always wanted to have.

A home is not only what’s inside the interior walls. A home starts with the entrance to the front yard and ends with the furthest point of the backyard. This is why investing time and money in landscaping and hardscaping makes sense, regardless of whether you want to live in that house for years or you want to sell it.

Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s high time to prepare your home for the upcoming festivities. Since your front yard is the first thing everyone will notice when they come to visit, it can serve you as the ideal spot to show off your décor skills and inspire everyone to get into the Christmas spirit. In order to help you make your front yard absolutely festive in no time, we have singled out our top garden decoration tips for you to try out. Let’s spread the holiday cheer.

Fairytale vibes with Christmas lights

First things first, Christmas lights represent a great and easy way to add a magical touch to your outdoor décor. You can start by illuminating the walkway to the front door with multicoloured floodlights. Additionally, if you want to achieve the wow effect, you can hang solar-powered led Christmas lights on your trees which accumulate power during the day to create a romantic holiday atmosphere in the evening. On top of that, if you want your home to become the talk of the town, you can invest in remote-controlled laser lights which could enhance the look of your entire outdoor decor arrangement with a soothing ambient flare.

Have fun with front door ornaments

This Christmas you should try to express your creative side with front door ornaments. For example, instead of simply hanging your usual decoration, you can opt for a special faux wreath, add tiny pines to it and sprinkle it with fake snow for a beautiful statement piece. Alternatively, you can take a different route and design a nice garland by combining Holly, Spruce, Eucalyptus, various foliage and tie it all together with a red and green ribbon. Another easy way to style up your front entrance and brighten up everyone’s day is to switch your boring welcoming matt with one that has a funny Christmassy motif on it. Don’t forget to add a personal touch to the decor by hanging a classy banner over the door frame with your family’s name on it.

A luxurious Christmas tree

Planting a fir tree in your front yard is a great idea since you can use it as a nice decor piece for many years to come. In order to make the tree more visible, you should go for fabulous electric candles that can shine in different patterns and colours. What’s best, they are usually controlled via an App. Furthermore, when one fir is not enough, you can find a couple of gorgeous pots and plant a few trees inside for an evergreen front yard look. As far as Christmas tree ornaments are concerned, feel free to experiment and hang small plush toys, candy, pinecones or even framed family photographs. Lastly, if you are bored of your regular star tree topper, go for an unexpected item like the Harry Potter sorting hat, or something geeky like a Death Star replica.

Create your very own Christmas theme

Last but not least, it’s time to transform your front yard into an enchanting scene with Christmas theme ideas. If you’re more into a traditional style, you can build a couple of snowmen, place plaques on them with heartfelt messages and cover the space around them with large gift boxes. However, if you want to express your humoristic side, you can place sitting rattan reindeer next to Santa’s sleigh and hang an “Out of Order” sign on it for a funny sketch. Finally, you can even get a light-up polar bear set to complete your Christmas theme and warm up everyone’s hearts with this magical decor idea.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much effort to create a winter wonderland in your front yard for the upcoming holidays. All you need to do is to follow your decor checklist, don’t be afraid to express your creative side and add your personal touch to the design. We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Your garden can be your retreat spot after a long day of work, but, to make it into the sanctuary you can really enjoy, you will have to add a number of features to make it stand out. Garden pathways might seem like a waste at first, though, they can bring the whole garden together and give it the look you always wanted it to have.

Image source: ognature.com

Go with Simple Gravel

Perhaps the simplest of materials to use for a garden pathway will be gravel. If you look into how you can use it to spruce up your garden, it will be a feature that you will greatly appreciate. Do not think that cheap material cannot add class to your well-organized garden as you will be able to create marvellous designs, once you get the hang of it.

Image source: kibin.biz

Make Use of the Old

You do not have to assume that your next garden pathway will be pricey, especially if you want to get creative. Keep in mind that you can recycle old wooden pallets and give them a new purpose. Furthermore, they will give your garden a unique look that not many will have. On the other hand, it is a great DIY project which will give your garden, even more, value. Nevertheless, understand that natural materials like wood will start to decompose after a while so a change will be in order.

Image source: humideas.com

Get Creative with Your Pathway

Most of the people will usually go with stone or stone-like material to have for their pathway, in the long run, it can be an easier solution maintenance-wise. However, using wooden logs  can be tricky at first, though, when you plan it out, you can end up with a magnificent pathway that will tie the whole ambient together nicely. Be sure to get good tools when working on this design as you will have to do a lot of digging.

Image source: sunset.com

Stick to the Good Ol’ Look

Depending on your garden’s landscape, the polished stone look can be the best solution for your pathway. Be wary that there are many concrete and stone materials to choose from, and depending on their strength, maintenance can be a nightmare. Using designs which come in many colours and shapes, you can create a truly exceptional pathway which will give your garden the boost it needs to look amazing. Once set, your pathways will be built to last with minimal effort to keep them in good condition.

Image source: greendesigns.eu

Make a Brick Pathway

Bricks can be used in more ways than one when it comes to design. Even though it will take a bit of time and expertise to make the perfect design your garden deserves, a brick pathway can look amazing. Be sure to plan ahead, in order to avoid having to take the brick out every time you are not happy with its look.

Garden upkeep might be tricky for most people to deal with, and unless you are ready to sacrifice some of your time, you cannot really expect to have a place where you can relax. Pathways can be used to create unique designs and to take your landscaping to the next step as well. Always make a plan before you start creating your pathways, to avoid unnecessary digging and reorganization.

Soaking in a warm, bubbly hot tub after a long day might just be at the top of the list of little pleasures in life. And, if that hot tub is in the privacy of your home… it certainly takes the winning position! So, if you want to have a cool and relaxing hot tub in your garden, there are some factors you might consider before opting for the model of your dreams.

Consider the size

First things first, consider how many people you want to fit in your hot tub. Do you want to accommodate only you and your significant other, include your kids or even invite your friends over for a soak? When it comes to size, remember that portable models tend to be smaller (usually accommodate only two or three people). However, fixed models can be big enough for up to six adults, and some even have raised sets for children.

Find the right location

The most attractive feature of inflatable hot tubs is that they are suitable for both outdoor and indoor use, but they offer the best relaxing feeling when placed outside so that you can feel the fresh breeze and enjoy the stars while soaking. Luckily, you don’t have to have a huge garden to accommodate your hot tub. Small models can be only 6 feet wide (around 180 cm) and all you need for installation is a portion of flat lawn, deck or patio! Just be sure to take area measurements before picking the hot tub size. Additionally, inflatable hot tubs can be easily stored in the winter. Just drain, deflate, fold and put them in your garage!

Get the right jets

The next thing you should consider is the jets. It usually depends on the size of the tub and the manufacturer, so choose wisely. Most models come with bubble jets placed around the hot tub base that give a mild yet relaxing massage. The number of these little bubble air jets ranges from 100 to 200 and they provide a great hot tub experience. The more power your hot tub motor has, the stronger the jets can get. But, keep in mind that powerful motors consume more energy. Some users report a huge surge in their electricity bill when using the tub, so if you want to keep your utility bills as low as possible, opt for a less powerful motor. However, the motor that powers the air bubbles also inflates the tub, so if you want faster setup, get a better motor.

Heating options

Once you fill your tub with water, it can take anywhere from 12 hours to a whole day to reach a warm temperature. The time it takes to heat up depends on the weather outside, the amount of water, the size of the tub and the model. So, if you don’t want to turn your hot tub on one day in advance, make sure to get one with a better heater.

Get protection

Aside from these top four main concerns, there are other things you can consider. For instance, getting an inflatable hot tub with a cover will help you keep leaves, bugs and pets out and maintain water hygiene. If you chosen model comes without a cover, know that you’ll have to buy one separately which will push up the price. Also, some models have an additional filtration system that helps prevent (or minimize) the calcium deposit in your hot tub. However, even if you opt for a model with a feature like that, you still need to maintain the proper water chemistry to keep your tub running smoothly.

These are most elementary inflatable hot tub features you should keep an eye on when buying your own model. Make sure to buy one that fits your needs and your garden the best (even though it means spending more money) and you’ll enjoy a private spa pampering treatment whenever you want without even leaving your backyard!

Improving your backyard is one of the best ways to give your property a significant boost in resale value and at the same time, create your own personal oasis. While this is not necessarily an expensive project, it can definitely be a great addition to the overall appeal of your home and give it a much greater resale price. Still, it requires a lot of work, effort and maintenance and here are some tips on this topic

Lawn maintenance

Everyone wants a magnificent garden for themselves and they always seek for beautiful gardening ideas to spruce up their yards. However, the very basis for any good-looking yard is a well-maintained lawn. Unfortunately, a lot of people have no idea what exactly a well-maintained lawn entails. For starters, you need to get proper mowing gear and mow the lawn as often as necessary. This depends on the season, seeing how in summer you should do this at least three times a week, while in the autumn even once or twice per week may suffice. Aside from this, you also need to water the lawn on a regular basis and even feed it with some fertilizer if you deem necessary but keep it organic. All of this isn’t a lot of work, but it does require you to be diligent.
lawn maintenance

Construct a shed

In the introduction, we mentioned that you will have to purchase a lawn mower for your lawn, but you will also need a few more basic tools like a rake, a hoe and a hose. Still, in order to keep all of these tools in good shape, you need to have a place where you can safely store them, which is why it might be a good idea to construct a shed. Seeing how this means adding an additional structure to your property, such a project would also add to the resale value of your property. Furthermore, it should also add to the overall visual appeal of your backyard instead of simply serving its function.
garden shed

Take care of your plants

One of the most important things you need to know about the maintenance of your plants is that this process starts long before you actually start planting. The right selection of companion plants and knowing which plants don’t go together well can make your job a lot easier. For instance, while onions go with beets and carrots, they should never be planted alongside beans and peas. There are similar combinations for flowers as well, should you decide to make a flower-garden. Furthermore, by learning how to prepare a great homemade compost, you can make your garden a lot more lavish, while at the same time getting rid of most of your food leftovers.

Caring for your patio furniture

Finally, one of the most difficult issues in every yard is caring about the outdoor furniture. Sure, during the colder part of the year, it would be best to store all the fabrics and cushions inside while you can cover the rest of your outdoor furniture in order to protect it from the elements. So, say you have a beautiful bench with iron details, it needs special maintenance and a good protection from the rain and harsh sun
patio furniture

When it comes to washing the cushions, what you need is a mild soap solution which you will apply as gently as possible. Keep in mind, however, that there are some cushion types that are mildew-resistant, which can make your life significantly easier. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that they are 100 percent mildew-proof. One last thing, when it comes to the rest of your furniture, the maintenance mostly depends on the material, seeing how plastic, metal and wood all require different approaches.

As you can see, with these several simple tips, you can keep your backyard in top shape. Still, remember that there is always a price to be paid for beauty. This being said, if you want to add a pool or plant several shrubs, you will add more work to your weekly maintenance schedule. The best thing about this is the fact that most people find gardening to be quite relaxing and therefore observe it more as a hobby than an actual chore.

Autumn is actually a great time for the growth of lawn. In the condition of remaining summer warmth and higher rainfall, it will be a perfect chance for your lawns to be well again after experiencing the extreme hot of the summer. Previous brown lawns start to grow again and turn into its original green. Therefore, this time is really appropriate for you to prepare and keep your lawn from the extreme weather of the next season-winter.
If you intend to do this in the coming autumn, let consider our following tips. They will be certainly useful for you.

autumn

              Via: shutterstock.com

Watering

Paying attention to the irritation is one of the most important things when preparing your lawns for the coming autumn. Unlike in the summer, your lawn doesn’t need too much water in autumn time. Despite that, you should also not stop watering suddenly. It will be best to keep the irritation at a minimum level during the winter in case your area doesn’t get a minimum rainfall of 1 inch a week.

Mowing

mowing

Via: shutterstock.com

It is also crucial for you to mow your lawn frequently during the autumn. This will surely keep your lawn in good shape. Nonetheless, remember to adjust your blade height in order not to cut your lawn too short.
Then, in the late autumn, you should mow off the cool-season grasses at 2½ inches and about 1½ to 2 inches for the warm-season ones. It is also quite vital to remain your lawn in autumn.

Seed your lawn

Conventionally, the temperature of soil in autumn will reach around 550F. In fact, autumn and winter are a great time for turf roots thrive; it is really a good time to seed.
The inexpensive seed often has weed seeds, such as hollow husk annual rye-grass seed, which usually dies when the first frost comes. As a result, purchase the high price one will be a great choice because of its good resistance to drought, insects, and disease. After planting your seed, water it properly every day to help it grow.
The usual time for grass seed to grow is about 10-20 days.

Fertilize before the first frost

fertilize

Via: shutterstock.com

Fertilize the lawn is at the top of important things you should do in the autumn; however, avoid using the old fertilizer. You should use the type of mineral one which contains a high amount of phosphorous and potassium instead of the organic one.
There are two elements, which play important roles in your autumn lawn growth:
Phosphorus (P): stimulates the development of grass as well as increases its hardiness in the winter that helps your grass suffer from a stressful environment. With the support of phosphorus, it will minimize the chances of getting disease for the grass.
Potassium (K): reduces the process of transpiring from the blades; therefore, your grass does not need too much water if it gets enough potassium. This element can make the blades stronger helping to recover your grass after suffering from heavy foot. It also helps grass bear the very cold time in the winter.
Supply your lawns with needed nutrients will help them cope well with the frosty condition of winter and remain their green. They can also strongly fight against the usual fungal diseases.

Aerate

Aerate your lawns during the fall is another important thing. There are many kinds of aerator on the market, which include plug and punch varieties. No matter which one will you choose, just use it. The process of aerating can certainly help the lawn roots absorb enough water and air as well as fertilizer.

Keep leaves controlled

It is certain that the leaves from the trees around and in your yard shed down frequently during the autumn. They will fall and remain on the grassed unless you control. You may think that there’s no need to worry about this; however, this is a potential factor killing your grass. In which, mildew and foster mold growth can lead to many lawn diseases. Consequently, rake the fall leaves and keep them away from your grass.

Weed control

weed control

Via: shutterstock.com

It’s time for you to fight against broadleaf weeds such as dandelions if they nearly cover your lawn. Just like other plants, weed can absorb energy strongly throughout the fall. They take up anything coming their way, even weed killers. Let using herbicide now; then weeds will definitely not come back in the upcoming spring.
Before using, read the package label carefully. It’s suggested by most of the herbicide manufacturers that you should apply weed killer in the period of early to mid of autumn. This is the time when the temperature in the daytime remains above 600F.
————————-
Author Bio: Richard Clayton is an owner of a gardening blog. He loves gardening and lawn care. He can spend all of his free time taking care of his garden and discuss gardening experiences with his friends, who have the same hobby as he. His website (My Greenery Life) is a playground for people, where they can discuss everything about lawn care, DIY gardening and critter control topics.

When the time comes for you to choose a finished surface for a walkway, you will almost certainly opt for one that is cost-effective, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. Many homeowners in Toronto, Ontario, for instance, are seeking stamped concrete walkways because it can easily mimic high-end materials such as limestone, flagstone, and other types of stone patterns at a fraction of the cost.

Synergy of Walkways and Plants

Garden walkways beautiful additions to a luscious front lawn or backyard, but they also enable you to freely walk in the garden at any time of the year, without having to worry about tripping on uneven greenery or dirtying your shoes. A beautiful pathway can also boost the aesthetic value of your home, encouraging in a higher resale amount when or if you eventually choose to sell. In addition, they keep garden plants and grass safe, since movement in the yard is guided, protecting the vegetation from extensive foot damage.

Walkway

Ensuring the safety of you and your plants is a lot less complicated than you might assume. While installing stamped concrete driveways, patios, and walkways can seem quite challenging, with the proper preparation and guidance, what was once daunting can become an enlivening project bound to bring new life to your home. To be sure, this is a permanent and costly undertaking, which means that there can be no room for error.

Driveway

When proceeding with the project, the patterns must be properly laid down and installed; in this sense, it’s best to hire professionals who know what they are doing. Additionally, the process is relatively stress-free if you can find a single company with which to work for the entirety of the construction. If you’re living in or near a large metropolitan area, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of companies who will guarantee your satisfaction, but only a few will effectively and efficiently follow through every step of the way, such as Elite Concrete in Toronto  – notorious for their dedicated work ethic, they’ve become one of the city’s top architectural concrete specialists, and, no not only that, they can aid you every step of the way.

Walkway

Choosing The Right Material

Installing a walkway starts with subgrade preparation, something that needs to be properly compacted to prevent drainage and soil erosion. Reliable companies will likely use wood, metal, or plastic forms of preparation to contain the concrete within the desired area. Reinforcements should be made using welded wire mesh or steel bars to boost the capacity of the structure and its impact resistance, which helps prevent cracking. After stamping the walkway, give it time to dry up before having it sealed.

Walkway

If your home experiences extremely cold temperatures, as Toronto frequently does during the winter, you should also consider sealing the concrete to reduce freeze thaw damage. This condition is the main cause of surface flaking and cracks in walkways and driveways found in cold areas. It is brought about by the penetration, expansion, and freezing of water in the pavement, but sealers prevent the penetration of water and should be used on paths that have heavy human traffic. Normally patios, pavements, and walkways are subjected to conditions that may cause stains to form on the surface, but the use of sealers prevents these elements from penetrating the surface. Sealing new walkways – be it in the musky urban center or the sprawling surrounding suburbs – prevents the build-up of white powdery materials on the surface from the concrete.

Walkway

From aesthetics and wear-and-tear, all the way to the unpredictability of climate, there are a lot of factors to consider. One thing that is certain is the right company can and will provide the guidance and care required for such extensive work; all it takes, then, is a little bit of research and you’ll find yourself on the sturdy ground in no time at all.

If you’re among those individuals who are blessed with a lovely outdoor area, then you should do everything you can to bring its décor to perfection. This is the area where you can truly unwind, soak up the sunshine and retreat from the hustle and bustle of an urban city.

Use Fabrics to Accentuate

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image 1 source: summerclassics.com

When it comes to the most popular outdoor fabrics, get ready to embrace damask, jacquard and linen. If you want to create an atmosphere of elegance and glamour, then you should opt for jacquard – the intricate patterns in different shades of red will give an impression of royal refinement. Damask is a better option if you’re going for a monochromatic look with elaborate patterns. Another among fabrics that radiate luxury is linen that you should use to create a simple, but elegant ambient in your patio. Regardless of the fabric you choose, you should opt for colours that are calming and relaxing, for example, snorkel blue, fiesta, peach eco and limpet shell. The best thing is that these fabrics contribute to an overall tone and ambient; you can use them as accents by layering, hanging outdoor curtains and placing decorative pillows.

Avoid Cluttering Your Outdoor Haven

Don’t give in to clutter, but make sure to keep your outdoor area clean and organised. This is particularly important if you have a small patio, so you don’t need useless items that will take up a lot of space and make you feel cramped. Instead, try to merge style and functionality – you can obtain a lovely seat that has a storage compartment. This is a perfect place for putting aside your blankets and pillows when you go inside. Another practical solution is opting for a beautiful outdoor coffee table with drawers for storing magazines, or mosquito repellent.

Be Eco-Friendly

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image 2 source: decoist.com

Having a personal outdoor area is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature. By forming a connection with natural life, our awareness of the importance of preserving our environment increases and we’re a step closer to protecting it. There are small eco-friendly options for your outdoor area that can make significant changes. Instead of buying new furniture, be creative and reuse the old one. You can easily transform an old bench into a new piece by simply reassembling or painting it, but make sure to use UV-proof and solvent-free colours to minimise air pollution. If there’s a harbour in your vicinity, you can easily obtain old ship sails, recycle them and use them for outdoor furniture. Since the fabric is weather-resistant, you don’t have to worry about it when it rains.

Bring Indoors Out

The idea of bringing indoors out will make your outdoor area completely unique and stylish. You can start by opting for comfortable and luxurious indoor furniture that will reflect your interior design. By adding some accent elements, you can really make a décor statement; for example, you can use a beautiful rug as a focal point in your outdoor haven. You can blend indoors and outdoors by using the same fabrics, patterns and colour schemes or opting for the same theme.

Outdoor Furniture Options

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image 3 source: gardenfurnitureland.com

If outdoor furniture is more to your taste, you’ll be happy to hear that there are many different options that will create a relaxed atmosphere. The classic choice when it comes to material is wood that you can use in combination with iron, resin, teak and stainless steel. You shouldn’t forget to include a lovely wooden dining set, since there’s nothing better than having lunch with your family outside while enjoying a beautiful day. Principles that you should also consider when furnishing your outdoor area are multi-functionality and flexibility – opt for ottomans that can also be used as side tables for the former, and multiple seating options that you can separate or group as you wish for the latter.

The outdoor area deserves as much attention as the indoors, so transform yours by trying out some of these outdoor trends. Just don’t forget to be creative and eco-friendly!

During summer we spend most of our days outside, hanging out with people or just chilling by ourselves. This is also the time of summer parties and any way you look at it, patio is the perfect place for such events. To make the experience even more comfortable and enjoyable, we can upgrade our patio in many simple ways. When thinking about what you could do to improve the look of your patio, you should choose something that will look nice, be functional and safe, and preferably affordable and low-maintenance. Here are a few of our favourite ideas.

Plants

Although this one is rather obvious, getting plants for your patio should always be your number one task. If you don’t have space to make patio planter pockets, then the easiest way to bring plants in is in container gardens. These can range from small plants to real young trees, like lemon or orange tree, growing in a big flower pot. The best thing about them is that you can keep them indoors all year round and simply take them out to the patio when the weather is warm enough.
Patio plants

Floor cushions

Since you will spend a lot of time on your deck, you want it to be comfy and accommodate many people. In addition to getting soft cushions for your outdoors furniture, you can go a step further and get some floor cushions or even big floor cushion couches, in the Oriental style. Kids will love it and it is a perfect way to relax and chill out outside. Alternatively, you can get a thick rug and put some standard cushions on it, or get a few lazy bags.
Cusions

Hammocks

There probably isn’t a single person who dislikes hammocks. There is just something so inviting and special about them. You don’t need to go to a tropical beach in Thailand to enjoy all the pleasures of a hammock, you can set them up on your patio. There are many versions to choose from – from standard hammock, chair hammock for one person, to hanging chairs. There are even hanging tents if you plan on sleeping outside.
Hammock

Wreaths

Decorative wreaths are a great way to improve the esthetics of your deck. You can make them out of many different kinds of materials, but those made from flowers and branches will look most natural and fit into the outdoors setting perfectly. Luckily, flowers are abundant in summer, so you can use roses or flowers from shrubs like Dogwood, Hydrangeas, Lilacs, Ninebarks and Spireas. DIY wreaths can also be made from old clothes and rags woven into a nice decorative circle, from burlap, old bandanas and cardboard. They can be colored, wrapped in yarn and decorated with small toys and things like cocktail umbrellas.
Wreath

Stones

Arranging stones in decorative patterns on the ground can really create a beautiful setting. You can make various combinations and floor paintings with stones in different colours and sizes. If you don’t mind putting in some extra effort, you can come up with mosaic pathways that will simply look magical.

Stones

All of these simple ideas will transform your patio deck into the coolest place to be this summer, and all you need to add is some music and soft lighting and you are all set for your summer party season. Use it well!

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.

Outdoor living

Outdoor Furniture

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.

Outdoor living

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.

Outdoor living

Image source

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.

Outdoor Cooking

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.

And go from this:

Outdoor living

To this:

Outdoor living

Outdoor Accents

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.

Outdoor living

Outdoor living

Author bio:

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