Transform your Erie-area outdoor space into a getaway

Transform your Erie-area outdoor space into a getaway

play

Backyard living spaces are big right now. Homeowners are adding ways not only to relax, but also to entertain, cook, eat and even watch movies outside.

No matter your style or budget, there are ways to turn your yard into a getaway spot that suits your family. Here are a few ideas:

Add a fire table

Fire pits were popular several years ago and many people still love to gather around a wood fire. But for those who don’t enjoy the smoke or mess of a real fire, there’s the fire table. These are typically propane-fueled, but natural gas versions also are available. Fire tables offer the warmth and ambiance of a wood fire with a push of the button and none of the eye-watering smoke. You can find fire tables for as little as $150 and as much at $3,000 in every size and shape.

A few tips for buying a fire table:

• See it in action if possible or read reviews to be sure that it throws the level of heat you want. Some fire tables are more for aesthetics than heat.

• Keep it covered. You do not want water to continually collect in your table. Often the cover that comes with the table is lightweight and thin. You can buy heavy-duty covers that are worth the investment.

• Use caution. The flames are real. Be sure children understand the danger and keep the table away from your home’s siding or anything else that can catch fire.

More: Dreaming of a better work-from-home space? Try a tiny backyard office

Throw some shade

DIY pergolas and patio gazebos are popping up all over. These are not the gazebos of yore, those wooden octagonal covered structures, but permanent square or rectangular structures with a roof and open sides. Pergolas have a slatted wood roof and gazebos usually have a canvas or metal roof that provides shelter from the weather and a safe space under which to spread out some comfy outdoor furniture.

• Try to see one set up in the store. If not the exact one you’re going to purchase, at least stand under one that is the same size as the one you’re going to purchase. What might seem plenty big enough could seem too small when you see it in the store with furniture under it.

• Add a little elegance with a chandelier or another piece of statement lighting hung in the center. Just be sure whatever you buy is made for outdoor use.

• These need to be anchored to the ground so they can withstand extreme weather. Permanent gazebos should be built on a flat surface, such as an existing patio, pavers or a concrete pad. To avoid standing water – which leads to rot – make sure the structure is placed in an area that has adequate drainage.

Take a (cushy) seat

Things have gotten much comfier in the outdoor furniture market, with padded weather-hardy sectional furniture taking center stage in most backyards. These outdoor sets are often made of some sort of wicker or wood covered with couch-like cushions for maximum comfort. The fabric is somewhat weather-proof, though may eventually fade, fray or mold if not sheltered from the rain (enter the gazebo). These furniture sets are available in almost any color, size and arrangement you can imagine and prices range from a few hundred dollars for a five-piece set (couch, two chairs, and a coffee table) to thousands of dollars for high-end sets with as many as a dozen pieces.

A few tips on outdoor furniture:

• Quality matters. The old adage “you get what you pay for” often holds true with furniture. This doesn’t mean that inexpensive, trendy items wouldn’t be perfect for your yard, just know that they won’t last as long as higher-end items.

• Consider color carefully. White/cream is beautiful, but if your yard has trees that drop seeds/fruit/pollen or you have pets or the furniture will regularly be in the rain, opt for a darker fabric. That said, almost every fabric will eventually fade, especially if it’s in full sun.

• Measure before you buy. Before you buy a set, get the measurements and use some masking tape or sticks to lay it out in the space you have planned for it. It’s hard to visualize what items in the store will look like in your space.

Let there be light

One of the quickest and cheapest ways to add elegance to your backyard is with outdoor lighting. From dainty strings to chunky globe lights to fence post lights or garden lights lining a walkway, you’d be surprised how they can brighten up your backyard oasis. Again, you can find lights in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and price points.

A few tips on outdoor lighting:

• Opt for solar. If it makes sense, let the sun pay the electric bill. Garden lights, fence post toppers, stair lights and subtle spotlights can all be found in solar versions.

• Buy the right lights. Make sure the lights are made for outdoor use and can stand up to the weather.

• Add string light planters. “Add ambiance to a patio or any outdoor area with your own string light planters,” said Chris Donahue, store manager at the Summit Township Lowe’s. “They can be done over the weekend and adapted to fit any layout.”

Put in some pavers

Few things can class up an outdoor area like some attractively placed pavers that not only look nice but also extend your living space by reclaiming a little lawn. It might look like a job for pros, and you can surely find pros to do it for you, but it’s easier than you might think to handle your own paver project (hello, YouTube!) and there’s a new product on the market that makes it even easier, according to Maria Brooks, store manager at Afton Landscape Supply in Greene Township.

“We now sell Gator Base panels that make it a lot easier to put in pavers,” Brooks said. “It’s a high density polyfoam that serves as a base for the pavers, so you don’t have to excavate as far down as you normally would. Digging it out is the hard part, and this makes it easier as you only need a few inches dug out for an inch of sand and the board, then you put in the pavers.”

Another trend Brooks has noticed: natural stone pavers. “We’re seeing a big increase in people creating garden paths or stepping stones in their yard with natural stone pavers,” she said. “You only have to dig out a little sod and set them in.”

A few tips on stonework:

• Hit the internet. You can find not only design ideas, but also lots of how-to videos on pavers and other outdoor stonework at both Pinterest and YouTube. Some people are even building their own outdoor brick fireplaces for a couple hundred dollars.

• Go gray. “Seems gray is the hot new color for brick,” Brooks said. “It’s a nice neutral that complements nearly any color.”

• Prepare to pay. Pavers are not a cheap project no matter where you buy bricks. But, put in properly, they last for years. If you can’t afford to go big, consider doing your project in phases; just take care when planning that you don’t need perfectly matching bricks for future phases as the weather will affect the color of pavers and no two lots of pavers are exactly alike.

Add a fresh coat

You can freshen up anything outdoors with a new coat of paint. Look around; what can you add some color to or what is faded? Your front door, your shutters, your front steps, old plastic furniture, wooden rockers or wicker furniture? They can all be painted. In many cases, they can be spray-painted, making it particularly easy to do. By the way, resin lawn chairs are easily made like-new with plastic-specific spray paint and they look great when they are done.

A few notes on paint:

• Spray paint doesn’t go far. A wooden rocking chair might take as many as five cans to cover adequately. Two coats are necessary on most items. Semi-gloss is usually a good middle-of-the-road option, but consider high gloss or matte, depending on what you’re doing. Cover your work surface, wear gloves and old clothes and avoid painting on windy days; not only will the paint fly, but blown dirt and leaves can stick to newly-painted surfaces.

• Paint your front door an eye-catching color. Eggshell blue, hot pink and deep plum are all trendy door colors now. Ditto for your plastic patio furniture or ceramic flowerpots. Go wild and have fun with some bright colors that are easily painted over when you tire of them.

• Splurge on good brushes and paint. Higher-quality paint supplies really do make a difference as they will coat better and leave less streaking.

Stream and chill, outside

One of the hottest trends in outdoor living is creating an outdoor theater space. This is as easy as investing in a mini-movie projector that connects to a laptop or phone, connecting to your favorite streaming service and projecting the show on a light-colored swath of fence or siding. You can pick up a decent projector for as little as $50 to $100. Add a USB soundbar for theater-quality sound.

A few tips on an outdoor home projector:

• Adapter usually not included. Most projectors have everything you need to stream from a laptop, but if you want to stream from a cell phone, you’ll probably need to purchase an additional adapter.

• When buying a projector for outdoor use, pay attention to the lumens, which describes how much light a projector can create. This determines how bright the image is and how big you can make it.

• “You can make your own movie screen by inserting cedar posts into wooden barrel planters as a frame and using a drop cloth as the screen,” Donahue said.

Other great outdoor ideas

• Decks (wood or vinyl) and sunrooms have never gone out of style. You can also never go wrong with additional covered porch space. If you have a little more to spend and love to cook or entertain, you can put in an outdoor kitchen.

• Textiles are a fairly inexpensive way to really jazz up your outdoor game. Buy a bunch of colorful outdoor throw pillows, invest in some roll-up sunshades for your porch, toss down a beautiful outdoor rug, or have your outdoor furniture reupholstered in a pretty new print.

• Outdoor Bluetooth speakers let anyone with a cell phone connect and enjoy their favorite tunes outdoors.

• Hang a hammock. Is there anything more inviting than a hammock strung between trees? You can buy a high-end model, a canvas one on a steel frame, or spend $30 on a portable parachute-material camping hammock.

• Just add flowers. Of course, it’s too soon to plant in Erie, but when the time is right (early June), $30 in colorful annuals, such as reliable petunias or marigolds, can bring you months of colorful spots in your yard.

Pantone color(s) of the year

Every year, design experts at Pantone Color Institute look for new color influences and examine trends to come up with a Color of the Year. For 2021, they have chosen Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (a bright yellow), two independent colors that “highlight how different elements come together to support one another: Practical and rock-solid, but at the same time warm and optimistic.” According to Pantone, the color combination is “a message of happiness supported by fortitude that is aspirational and gives us hope.”

Source: www.pantone.com


Source link Coffee Tips

Coffee Shop Millionaire

Author Bio

About "Transform your Erie-area outdoor space into a getaway"

Reviewed By This Is Article About Transform your Erie-area outdoor space into a getaway was posted on have 5 stars rating.

Comment Area