Put down the folding chairs and red plastic cups – this summer, it’s all about bringing indoor fixtures from your home outside. “The backyard should be an extension of the look and feel of the rest of the house,” says Janice Funston, an interior decorator at Henry’s Purveyor of Fine Things. “One of the biggest trends this year is entertaining at home,” says Wendy Foxcroft, the general manager of Chintz & Company. “People are really focusing on spending time with friends and family, and want to make the spaces where they entertain special,” adds Barbara Bairstow of Chintz & Company. “Edmonton summers are short and people want to capitalize on that time and enjoy it.” Dominique Berryman, a buyer for Simons’ Maison department, adds that the popular indoor/outdoor decor trend was translated into an entire collection for their stores this season. So whether it’s fine china or a chandelier that’s adding some pizzazz to your patio, it’s time to bring what’s inside your home outside.
Use large outdoor statement pieces, such as sculptures and artwork, to make the space seem bigger and create focal points in your yard.
Use furnishings you would use indoors, such as plates, pillows and placemats, in outdoor-friendly materials, such as water-repellent and UV protective fabric – but don’t be afraid to take out the china!
Invest in a good quality rug and pick the correct size that suits the size of your patio and the furniture placement. Avoid rubber-back rugs, as this just soaks in the moisture and causes mildew.
Divide your yard into “rooms,” no matter how small it is, with trellises, screens or big pots, instead of just stuffing everything into the open.
Start off with smaller items, like a lantern, and then slowly add in larger items like rugs and furniture to build the look.
Work with the architecture of your home and the size of your yard; if your home has a modern look, then also make your patio look modern.
Invest in mirrors, draperies, topiaries, florals and statuary that can be moved between outdoors and indoors.
Keep furniture to one defined area, don’t scatter it across the space. If you have furniture in more than one area, make sure each section is coordinated and themed.
Don’t just buy one-off pieces and place them randomly; think about how everything will work together to create a space.
Have a pile of cozy, thick blankets to keep the outdoor party going even when the sun goes down and things cool off.
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