With temperatures climbing, it's time to think about getting your outdoor living room ready for summer.
The design experts at Country Door, a lifestyle and home decor store, have some ideas to inspire you, and help make the "great outdoors" even greater.
Think outside the house
Reading, eating, visiting - however you use your outdoor living room, be sure to punch it up with plenty of style. Choose comfy furniture that's weather-resistant and sturdy, but don't worry about having everything match.
Tip No. 1: An eclectic room is more inviting than one that's too formal. The nostalgic Vintage-style Lawn Furniture from Country Door can look chic and "today" paired with the right accessories. Place it with a rustic plant ladder, vibrant canvas prints and a cozy sisal rug to anchor the space.
Accessories make the space
A few affordable accessories are all you need to turn a basic porch into the envy of the neighborhood.
Tip No. 2: Be sure to pick items that can stand up to the elements. Here are a few ideas: Outdoor curtains offer privacy and shelter from the sun, along with a dash of style. Remember to mix in lots of weather-resistant cushions, throw pillows and potted plants. They'll help liven up the space with comfort and color. And to keep the party going after dark, be sure to set out candle lanterns and/or solar lights. Remember, it's up to you to set the mood.
Get away from it all - at home
Carve out an outdoor retreat by placing a bench and side table under a shady tree, and then settle down for a lazy afternoon of rest and relaxation. No stately elm nearby? Create a lovely stand-in with an arbor and your favorite climbing plants.
Tip No. 3: It doesn't matter what size yard or how many trees you have, it's what you do with what you've got. With a structure to grow on, plants can form living walls that offer peace and seclusion. Place a water fountain and a few decorative bird feeders nearby (and comfy seating, of course), and you've got the ideal escape.
There's something therapeutic about getting one-on-one with your plants. Sure, gardening involves work, and you'll probably get dirty, but you'll be rewarded with colorful flowers or fresh vegetables. The Country Door has put together a variety of tools and accessories to help make gardening chores easier - and to help you create the yard of your dreams. From planters to shovels to bird feeders, you'll find it all at www.countrydoor.com.
Tip No. 4: Annuals, perennials, native or hybrid - check with your local greenhouse to find out which plants will best suit your needs. Better Homes and Gardens has some great information about gardening by region.