With family headed into town and season just around the corner, getting our homes entertainment-ready is on top of mind for many. One of the greatest things about living in Florida is the ability to entertain well in our outdoor spaces all through the winter. However, something that hurricane Irma made clear to many was that our outdoor spaces are left with much to be desired.
Winter in Florida is much like spring in more northern states. We begin fussing about in our yards and our homes, refreshing things here and there as well as cleaning out what we realize we’ve unnecessarily accumulated.
Our outdoor living spaces are a great place to start spending time refreshing, as it will, if done well, become the most popular “room” in the house. It also is the most simple space to make the biggest difference with. Here are a few basics to get you started.
- Be picky about the furniture.
Pick an outdoor seating set that is simple, with clean lines and in neutral solid colors. European design, like Suns outdoor furniture, lends itself to this, which is why we are more often drawn to it. This serves multiple purposes, it is exponentially more cost effective in the long run as you can create and change color and pattern themes with accessories like pillows, blankets, candles and umbrellas fairly inexpensively while not having to replace the furniture and you are also much less likely to get bored with it.
- Make it really comfortable.
This may mean installing a privacy screen to block out neighbors, or installing umbrellas or other sunshades so you aren’t baking whilst trying to relax. Select blankets that are washable and soft, make sure there are several convenient flat surfaces for drinks, magazines, food to be set down.
- Use plants, a lot of them.
Potted plants are really an amazing and inexpensive way to completely recreate the spirit of a space. They are also wonderful ways to provide your home cooked meals with that little touch of magic by having several of your pots growing herbs, peppers, lemons, etc. Potted Meyer lemon tree (or other citrus) is a wonderful choice as it offers an intoxicating bloom fragrance and extraordinary fruit. Create several heights/layers with potted trees, hanging options and tabletop editions.
- Create atmosphere
Enjoy wonderful mood lighting with lamps, string lights, lanterns, candles or sconce-style lights, but avoid garish overhead lights. Install some sort of outdoor speaker system. Make sure you are considering all of the relevant surfaces including the floors (throw rugs, potted plants) walls (lighting, shelving for plants), ceiling (hanging lanterns, sunshades, hanging plants). You can even create a new floor with IKEA clip together squares to make a more defined space if needed.
- Pièce de résistance
Give your living space beautiful fire and water elements, they are wonderful and significant elemental additions to any outdoor space. They are a focal point, mood creator, experience supports and never fail to impress. Balance a fire pit that will provide warmth and marshmallow roasting or a more modern elegant edition (this ones almost 50% off!) with a lovely water fountain or bubbler that will offer soothing background sounds that will compliment every experience.
After the room is in place you can look into serving pieces safe for outdoor areas, and all the other little fun bits like napkins and trays, etc. We just need to get the foundation in place first.
Spending real quality time with family is becoming a rare occurrence. However creating a space that discourages the use of technology because being present while in this space is so easily doable. These few, simple guidelines offer easy ways to help us start thinking about how to get our outdoor living spaces styled in a way to make us crave time in them. To enjoy reading books, coffee and tea, breakfast, family, girls night, romantic dinners and solving the world’s problems over a bottle of wine.
Looking for more ideas? Head over to Suns Brand Store in Mercato in North Naples. They have an extensive line of award-winning European designed and very high quality outdoor furniture that would provide the perfect foundation of any outdoor space. Couches, chairs, tables, sun shades, and more and with family on their way… now’s the time!
Have ideas you’d like to add? Need more suggestions? Let me know!
Julie Koester is CEO of Life with Moxie, a Lifestyle Revolution Company www.lifewithmoxie.com, CEO of Moxie Creed www.moxiecreed.com, skincare beyond chemistry and Host of Life with Moxie Radio, Saturday’s at 1pm on 98.9 WGUF in Southwest Florida. You can reach her at Julie@lifewithmoxie.com
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