With Canada Day just passed, the summer has kicked in gear. And if you, like most Canadians, plan on enjoying the great outdoors during the warm season it’s probably time to spruce up your patio. Here are six simple ways you can upgrade your outdoor space in time – and you’ll enjoy the benefits all year long.
1. Refresh your seating. This means hosing down your patio furniture and either replacing or re-covering your cushions. Be sure to choose hearty weather-proof fabrics in colors or patterns that will stand the test of time. We love a simple off-white or neutral color since it plays well with accessories and doesn’t get too hot after sitting in the sun. Since you’ve gone to all of this trouble be sure to protect your fresh new cushions from the elements. If you like our style (and you’re on our site, so we hope you do) we have a cushion box that coordinates beautifully with our furniture collections.
2. Add some shade. Umbrellas are the classic choice but they have a limited window of usefulness and can only protect a portion of your patio. Consider adding outdoor shades that roll up and out of the way when they’re not needed. Shades block the sun (including harmful UV rays) and can make a huge difference in the temperature of your patio. If you’ve never looked into shades before a good resource is www.blinds.com. Exterior roller shades can also be useful after dark or in cooler weather to hold the heat in on your patio, plus they give the added bonus of privacy.
3. Spruce up your tablescape. It is Canada Day after all so don’t be afraid to use lots of red and white. Instead of buying disposable decorations pick up some red cotton or linen napkins – they’re eco-friendly, don’t blow away like paper napkins, and can be reused for special occasions or everyday alike. Pillar candles can add ambiance, just make sure they are in candle holders or lanters that will protect the flame from breezes.
4. Graduate to grown up outdoor lighting. Put away the holiday twinkle lights in favor of a classy year-round solution. These string lights will be easy to put up and look good year round. Not only do they emit a soft glow, but they help define your event space by letting accent lighting (like those candles we talked about) shine.
5. Ditch the red solo cups. We know the red solo cup is a party classic (heck, even Toby Keith is on the bandwagon!) but there are more stylish alternatives. Upgrade to unbreakable clear polycarbonate glassware like this beer mug. You can get anything from wine glasses, to tumblers, and everything in between. They are more stylish and eco-friendly than disposable plastic, and a safer alternative to glass. Plus they’re great for traveling, the pool, tailgating, and so on.
6. Tune up your sound system. It’s time to stop balancing a boom box on the railing and integrate outdoor speakers into the mix. Get ready to enjoy your choice of BNL, Tragically Hip, Rush, Neil Young, Lowest of the Low, Bryan Adams, and any other Canadian Artist by making sure your sound system reaches the whole party. Bonus points if you can have the same music playing inside and out. Crutchfield has a good tutorial on choosing and installing outdoor speakers. You might not have the time to do a permanent installation now, but you should be able to get a temporary solution in place for the weekend. The last option, if you are willing to make the financial investment, is the incredible wireless modular music system from Sonos. Regardless of your choice, this will be a great time to figure out your long term outdoor sound needs!
by Brianne Mooney