October 2013

SPRUCE UP YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE

Author: Rebecca Edwards

HEAT THINGS UP. An outdoor fireplace, fire pit, or fire bowl will keep you cozy in the cold months and add ambiance to your evenings.

THINK LIKE A GARDENER (OR CONSULT ONE). When selecting plants, consider scale, texture, color, sun exposure and blooming season, as well as deer deterrents.

DON’T FEAR THE YARD ART. Whether it is funny ceramic figures, funky mixed-medium sculptures, elegant topiaries, or found objects like driftwood or thrift store must haves—accessorize your space with things that speak to or of you.

MOVE THE INDOORS OUTDOORS. Outdoor showers are refreshing after exercising, can be designed to help with watering plants and can eliminate indoor messes. Outdoor kitchens cook up family fun and laid back dinner parties, so find the grill, seating options, and bar top that suit your spatial and design needs. And hammocks make great reading nooks.

CARVE OUT A SPACE JUST FOR YOU. Enclose a space with roll down shades or tall plants for privacy and Zen out with a serene fountain or reflective goldfish or koi pond.

CREATE A SPACE THAT SAYS, “COME ON IN.” Line your entranceway with homey smelling plants such as rosemary or decorative steppingstones, get a personalized welcome mat, or place a swing or outdoor loveseat on the front porch.

LIVEN IT UP. Install an easy-to-mount and un-mount flat screen TV for game days or an outdoor stereo system for pool parties. An array of lighting options are available, from soft white twinkle lights (plug in or solar powered), to battery operated candles (in natural wax finish or plastic), or colorful Chinese lanterns.

AUTOMATE YOUR IRRIGATION. With a timer-run irrigation system, your to-do list just got shorter.

DE-BUG YOUR YARD. Consult your exterminator about bug repellent options, plant citronella in a window box or pot, install ceiling-mounted fans, or invite birds (which eat bugs) with bird feeders and birdbaths.

BE YOUTHFUL. Make sure to incorporate a space for children to grow their imaginations—a wooden playhouse, edible garden, mini ropes-course or sandbox.

Thanks to Gary Moews of The Greenery, Tim Niemeic of American Paving Design and Mary Anne Bruno of Bruno Landscaping for their outdoor input.

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