As of this writing, it is finally safe to say that spring has arrived and not a moment too soon for those of us who were just about done with winter’s wrath! With Spring comes the urge to move outside, extend our living space into the great outdoors and with that in mind, today we are talking porches, decks, patios and gazebos.

What’s on trend this year for the great outdoors? With a veritable explosion of new designs, materials and styles in the garden furniture market, almost anything is on trend. What that really means though, is a trend toward extending our living space by creating outdoor rooms. No longer just a waterproof sun lounger made out of vinyl that was so hot you ended up with a burn, now outdoor furniture means sofas, loungers, armchairs, rockers and more, made out of everything from wicker, teak, pine and rattan, to sturdy and weatherproof resin wicker.

Cushions come in a variety of colours and textures and designs that most homeowners will find they can easily extend their indoors outside by finding complementary colour schemes to what they’ve already achieved inside the home. Blues, grays and “greige” are very much on trend this season, mixed in with the occasional pop of colour in the form of a floral or patterned pillow. Weather-proofing has come a long way so there is no need to worry about cushions fading or getting wet and that’s a bonus in our sometimes unpredictable climate.

An outdoor fire pit makes a great addition to any space, providing a focal point and a gathering place for when the sun goes down. Check your local fire regulations but if it’s allowed, fire pits come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes and will really add ambiance to your space while also extending the season. With warmth nearby, there is no reason you can’t sit out in early spring and right through into late fall. Patio heaters are also something that’s become pretty affordable in the last few years so if you want to maximize the time you and your family spend outdoors, this might make sense in terms of wise investments.

Shop local farmers markets for unique finds and treat your fencing or even the brick wall of your home as another design element. There’s no reason you can’t hang some great outdoor wall art, a timely timepiece or a quirky wrought iron “find” to help augment the scenery that nature has already provided. Don’t overdo it but one or two carefully curated pieces might be just enough to start a conversation amongst your friends. Coolers that double as a table, fairy lights strung around your patio umbrella or under the gazebo and as many fresh flowers (hanging or in planters) as you can afford will also help spruce up your outdoor space.

Concerned about the rain or alternatively, too much sun? Invest in some kind of shade covering. Gazebos that are both soft or hard roofed come in a variety of colours and sizes, as do massive, swing-arm umbrellas that will provide a great deal of area coverage. Sun-shades that roll out from the house and can retract when not needed provide maximum coverage while having the ability to retreat when shade is not needed.  They really are the best of both worlds and many start at quite an affordable price so there is no reason not to explore this option. Again, colours are all hues of the rainbow so you are sure to find something that matches your overall colour scheme.

Can’t you just picture it now? A beverage in hand, a comfy seat, the beautiful sun and then, as day turns to night, the flick of a switch or the spark of a match to wood and you are flooded with warmth from your outdoor fireplace and gazing up at the stars. Ahh summer!!! Take indoor living outdoors, in style!

Home Dream Designs
“Smart, sophisticated home styling and staging services for the design savvy homeowner.”

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