Simple. Summer. Chic! When creating a space outside this summer for relaxation, conversation, or rest, consider these 10 inspiring tips for stylish outdoor living.
Nature is so full of different textures — add some to your backyard retreat in the form of moisture-treated woven rattan or banana leaf patio or lounge chairs. A repeat trend this year is to go darker in colour, so don’t be afraid to bring home something in espresso or black tones.
Perfect for those of you that entertain in the summer, a tea trolley is a stylish way to transport goodies to-and-from your kitchen or barbeque. Teak trolleys can stay outdoors year round, and add a modern edge to your patio spaces.
Look for coolware acrylics in bright and lively colours this summer. Glass can shatter and is hazardous with children outdoors, acrylics offer style and safety where it's most needed. Look for funky martini glasses and tumblers in an array of colours and textures as a savvy way of serving your guests.
I think nearly every outdoor space needs a bit of an eclectic edge for visual interest. Chair cushions done in summery Batik patterns will definitely add a Tropicana touch. If you’re confidant with your sewing skills, why not pick up some Batik and sea grass material, and combine the two; one side Batik, the other a woven sea grass or jute.
Just like indoors, a great little area rug can really ground the look of your space, not to mention keep your toes cool and clean. Stick to sisal or jute for this one though, as both are easy to clean and replace if necessary.
Do away with twinkle lights this year and instead opt for a more whimsical approach to outdoor lighting. Paper, rattan, and cane lanterns are fun and playful when grouped together in trees or nestled about on a side bench or patio table. Battery operated globes are a great way to create mood lighting without the fire hazard but be sure to pick up factory waxed lanterns or you’ll have to bring them inside during summer showers.
Nothing speaks of summer more to me than the bright and splashy mark of the stripe. Table runners, linens, even a cloth market umbrella can look fabulous in a wild stripe pattern. A playful addition, include acrylic cutlery, door mats, and lanterns to really set off your stripey theme.
Have a trendy storage bench on hand not only to keep your space tidy and neat, but for extra seating as well. A trunk in a basket weave finish with a colourful cushion on top will blend in with the rest of your outdoor décor.
If you can’t make it to the lake this summer, a water feature is a great way to kick back, relax, and bring the lake to you. It doesn’t have to be huge, even a little table fountain will do the trick. If you’re feeling crafty, you can buy the materials needed to make your own, decorating your fountain however you so choose.
Turn old gardening tools into works of art by re-using them in the form of unique gate or shed door handles. A light sanding and fresh coat of acrylic spray paint might be all they need to really help make your outdoor space a stylish and inspiring place to unwind this summer.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 12, 2012