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10 tips to get your patio or deck ready for summer


It’s where we live — in summer. The deck or patio is the other living area, so a few steps can make this a comfortable and stylish place to hang out, barbecue and spend time with friends and family.

1. Focal point

Fire pits , gas-fuelled fireplaces or bowls are the terrific way to create the focus in the outdoor area. Reasonably priced fire bowls and linear pits can transform the space to a cosy area to entertain. Solus , a New Westminster company, has some gorgeous options to suit any need.

Another option is a water feature, which Solus also carries, from small, quaint and contemporary designs to larger, waterfall features that deliver a soothing sound and a calming decor focus.

2. Breakfast area

We live our lives larger than previous decades, so we take the time to sip coffee at a French bistro set in our patio or garden. Options include wrought iron, but mostly powder-coated aluminum. Don’t rule out your own unique ideas to pair a wrought iron table with wicker or teak chairs. Ikea has an economical set made rom acacia wood with an expandable table.

3. Wood elements

Pieces made of wood lend a luxurious and earthy touch to the patio world of metal and plastic. A large wooden table is not only versatile, but beautiful. The intrepid designer can even paint or stain an old table to bring new life to the outdoor space. Wooden tables are economical because they last longer than cheaper, metal versions. Lowe’s has several models, including a practical folding table made from eucalyptus wood.

4. Lighting

From string lights to lanterns and candles, lighting for outdoor spaces has taken centre stage in the past few years. You can use sconces and overhead chandeliers to create the mood of the outdoor space — and lanterns for casting light in unusual areas. The most coveted are those at Restoration Hardware. These are not just vessels for light, some of them are like works of art.

5. Rugs

Decades ago, an outdoor rug would have been unthinkable for a patio, but they now are designed to be durable to be swept and hosed down to keep them looking bright and clean. Options include UV-resistant, and reversible versions so you can switch up the look. They are available in a variety of sizes and price ranges. Pier1 has numerous options.

6. Elegant look

Tonal applications work beautifully for the patio to lend elegance to an outdoor space. Maintaining the look of clean lines with furniture, cushions and pillows makes the space look much larger and can be accomplished with white and a maximum of two other colours. Think soft grey shades, or classic black and white in throw cushions when paired with a black metal furniture set. Restoration Hardware shows you how it can be done here.

7. Umbrellas

You can get an inexpensive umbrellas for your patio ore deck, but chances are you’ll be replacing it within a few years. Think of the umbrella as an investment that you’ll use almost every day for a good portion of the year, so buying a quality umbrella makes sense. We can’t resist the collection at Restoration Hardware. Prices start at $1,181 for durable umbrellas with four-way pulley systems. And they look like a million bucks.

8. Pops of colour

Whether you inject colour with cushions, pillows or dishes, colour matches the season of blossoms and greenery. Try floral or geometric dish sets to set off the dining table. Lots of choices at Wayfair.

9. Luxe cushions

Unless you leave all your patio cushions outside in the rain, you can use pillows with rich fabrics and textures to play up the outdoor space. You can have several sets, depending on the mood and the season. Ikea has many economical choices, plus individual covers that can easily be swapped out.

10. Blooms, plants and more blooms

Trees, shrubs, hanging baskets and container gardening is limitless. Group containers in for a shock of colour, use theme colours for a tonal look, or go wild with perennials, annuals and climbing vines. Gardenworks can help with its plant database so you can choose the right plant for the perfect spot on your patio.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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