Freshening Up Outdoor Entertaining
While summer may still be more than a month away, this weekend could be the opportune time to soak up the sun on your patio. Not too hot, not too cold.
Patios, decks, verandas, and porches have become more than a place to picnic and barbeque. These spaces are lively extensions of the home – becoming yet another hub of activity and entertaining during the warmer months.
The fact that it’s a seasonal setting (though most Sacramentans can get away with outdoor entertaining most all year long) makes it easier to redesign and spruce up every year. Here are a few fresh ideas designers and shops are touting this year.
Functional Sets – You can get the most out of your space and furniture with pieces that do double duty. Seating (ranging from sectionals and lounges to basic chairs and benches) can also offer storage while ottomans can easily be used as tables.
Fire Pits – These will never go out of style but the word “pit” does these year-round outdoor staples no justice. They’re now seen more often as a sturdy centerpiece, sometimes anchoring a table (for s’more preparation and evening cocktails) or feature intricate and modern designs.
Lighting – String lights broke out from the holiday seasons years ago. While still popular for evening soirees, the versatile lights are giving way to lanterns. The variety of hanging, standing, or table lanterns ranging in styles from Moroccan to mason jar, is an easy way to change the look and atmosphere of the space.
Wicker/Natural Materials– Wicker seems to be making a comeback. Today’s designs, however, offer a more modern flair and feel. Mix wicker pieces with others also made of natural materials (teak, wood, copper, or faux versions thereof) to create a contemporary outdoor living area.
Covers, Structures & Shade – If you have the room, pagodas and gazebos can take the space to a whole new level. Strategically place some potted plants (varying size and colors) for added impact and warmth. To ward off some of the sun, look into shade sails. Once common only in schools and playgrounds, many home improvement and specialty stores now offer these innovative and aesthetic solutions for backyard settings.