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Entries in living (2)

Wednesday
May162012

setting small outdoor scenes

Think of an urban balcony as a small corner of a larger—outdoor!—room by using one or two big-scale furniture pieces to define its use. Outdoor living is relaxed and leisurely and how better to express that, and use it as such, than with bold playa. The white woven base is visually airy while the wide, platform seating is inviting for long summer reads in sun or shade.

And if floor space is too tight to plant greenery—go up! with titan, pony, or shore polyterrazo planters.

Wednesday
May192010

10 steps: outdoor rooms

Whether your outdoor space is small or large, take the comforts of indoor spaces out into fresh air—which can be much more relaxed and casual, perfect for long lazy summer days that lie ahead.

Plan a weekend to “move in” much like you would rearrange or redecorate a living room or dining room.

 1. Do some research. Tear photos out of magazines and catalogs for inspiration. But act quick, planting season is fast approaching and outdoor items may have limited availability.

2. Measure the space so you know what will fit and where. Create a floor plan if necessary. Take care of the big stuff first—lounge or dining furniture, umbrellas for shade, lighting—everything else will follow.

3. For daytime lighting, a mainsail umbrella casts a large shadow for UV protection but still allows sunlight to flood the setting.

4. Define spaces and add color with a pegboard reversible outdoor rug.

5. Think about accent tables—coffee, side and console. All are useful for cocktails, appetizers and serving. They also complete an indoor look.

6. As artful as nature is, sometimes it can use embellishments. A 3-D sculpture adds another layer of texture and interest. A vertical garden can also add greenery to small spaces that lack ground cover.

7. Adding accessories is the personal touch that speaks to your personality. For evening entertaining, lots of pillows and candlelight set an inviting mood. We love the natural beauty of the outdoors but smart candle technology is ideal since they won’t blow out in strong winds—and clean up’s a breeze.

8. When choosing dining furniture, take into consideration how much space you have for a dining area and how many guests can fit comfortably. Do you prefer a round or rectangular table for long, casual conversations? As for chairs, comfort is key since you could be lingering for hours. And do they stack or disassemble for storage?

9. Dinnerware can be either melamine if you’re concerned about potential breakage, or porcelain from the kitchen to contrast with a weathered wood tabletop.

10. Gift guests with seasonal blossoms at each placesetting in joyce bud vases. Their wider base adds stability and reduces the risk of tipping.