Contributed by Kathy Flaxman, Photo courtesy of Weenen General Contracting. It’s Spring! Time to peel off our down jackets and enjoy the outdoors – right at home. We may live in an unpredictable climate but there are ways we can expand our activities, blending outdoors with indoors and maximizing our pleasure.
Stepping through a sliding glass door or a French door expands the options. These not only provide access, they give us a view from the indoors of plants, flowers and grass. Which type of door depends on space, desire for a screen and personal taste. Often these lead directly onto a spacious patio or deck with seating for dining under the stars with subtle lighting and music too. Plants and flowers complete the ambience.
While some fascinating outdoor elements such as the creation of a pergola or sheltered structure aren’t options for this year due to the need for planning and permits, there are still ways to make the outdoors a seamless part of warm weather home life. One example is furniture: outdoor furnishings can look like indoor pieces, but be smaller if necessary and have upholstery that’s going to stand up to outdoor conditions. Finding it chilly on some occasions? Heaters, from electric ones to a fire pit can help. The right lighting can create an effect that works, whether the desired mood is festive, romantic or just bright enough to prevent stumbles!
And don’t forget, spring is a great time to have any outdoor painting, staining or repairs taken care of, before you’re fully into your blended indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Think outside the box here, if you dare. A bold bright colour for a fence can be an amazing back drop to plants, and who says you can’t incorporate art? An old window frame painted and hanging by a chain can add style. Now is a great time to start planning for next year too. Dreaming of a swimming pool and tennis courts might be too ambitious, but painting the fence can be a fine and beautifying start!