Easy steps to creating a beautiful patio – perfect for outdoor enjoyment

The weather forecast for this weekend is sun, sun, sun (well, in Vancouver at any rate!). With the garden slowly waking up, our thoughts turn to creating beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy for the next few months (until the rains come again).

Here’s a great article that I found on GalTime.com by Kathy Woodard, Home Decor Stylist, who shares tips on designing a warm and welcoming outdoor patio space as inviting as any interior room.

Patios allow you to enjoy the outdoors in comfort, and outdoor living has never been more a part of our everyday living. Even if your budget is tight and your space small, you can carve out a little oasis to whisk you away from the hustle of daily life for you and your loved ones.

The first step in creating a stylish patio or outdoor room is to locate the right place for it. If you have a built-in covered porch or patio, you have a natural area. However, sometimes it’s nice to create a space farther away from buildings and the commotion of others, so feel free to look for unused spots under a tree in the garden or in a private side yard to create an unattached patio.

Once you have your chosen spot for your sanctuary, you need only follow a few easy steps to create a patio “room” that anyone would enjoy relaxing in after a long day.

Step One: Give Your Patio Room Floors, Walls and Ceilings

No, I’m not talking hiring a contractor here; there are easy ways to add the sense of boundaries and privacy without spending big bucks. Use inexpensive fabric panels or hanging planters to create a private wall on a porch, or trellising, evergreens in planters or hedging out in the garden. Trees, vine covered arbors, or the brilliant blue sky all make an excellent ceiling. Flooring can consist of grass, gravel, paving or decking. My favorite technique to dress up a plain concrete floor is to paint on a faux area rug. Clean the concrete first, paint and stencil your rug using masking tape and house paint, then seal with an exterior grade polyurethane.

Step Two: Add Furniture and Accessories

Even a simple chair tucked in a quiet corner can make your oasis special. Consider resin or aluminum furniture to keep costs down. Plastic or resin chairs can be spray painted with specialty paints to give them a more upscale look. Add a table for those glasses of lemonade! Don’t be afraid to bring traditional decorating items into your rooms. Pillows, throws and candles all make charming and useful additions, and add comfort to your space. If your room is open to the elements, you can either purchase weather resistant fabrics, or bring your fabric items indoors during bad weather. Remember you are in an outdoor room, so decorate with nature. Planters of flowers, garden signs, and even old tools, birdhouses and watering cans are at home in an outdoor room.

Step Three: Light Up the Night Sky

To make your special spot really magical, add lighting to create a nighttime glow. Strings of inexpensive white holiday lights can be wrapped around tree branches or decking, tiki torches and candles add a festive flair, and solar lights can accent the pathway or steps.

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