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April 30th, 2012

Prep Your Patio

Spring is here and summer is around the corner, so now is the time to shop for outdoor furniture and prep your patio for long leisurely days of summer relaxation. To help you get your patio summer ready, I’ve put together a list of tips, easy updates and design ideas.


1. Give your outdoor space a good cleaning, rent a power washer, (clean side of house), clean-up debris. Pull out any dead plants.

2. Update your furniture… if it’s looking run down paint it out, a rustproof spray paint with primer works best. Hot colors for Spring/ summer 2012, lime green, classic black gloss and shabby chic white. For wood furniture if it’s looking a tad rustic embrace it, this look is very “in”, sand down any rough edges and top with new cushions and throw pillows. For 2012 opt for cushions with an either relaxes southwest feel or something more contemporary and “jet set” (like a Pucci print).

3. Shop for new furniture, and don’t delay. Now is the time to shop for the best selection in outdoor furniture. For 2012 the styles range from rustic cabin styles to sleek, modern and modular.

4. Repositioning your patio furniture. Move the outdoor sofa away from the wall and style it more like an indoor room. Ground your furniture arrangement with an outdoor rug, and place planters full of succulents and the corners of the room.

5. Bring on the accessories! From sculpture to outdoor mirrors (to expand the space) and artwork, indoor-inspired accessories will give a patio more wow and make it feel more eclectic.

6. Lighting… Hang a classic chandelier from a tree (using a rope) for rustic-glam whimsy and light with twinkle lights, group a cluster of Moroccan inspired lanterns above a table… Some times more is more, think about running three matching lights across the top of your patio… also don’t forget the outdoor sconce, it can really frame the entrance back into your home. Line the path to your patio with LED lanterns, the classic stick style always looks clean and fresh.

7. Define the space; give your patio the feel of coziness buy creating outdoor walls. For a more classic feel use drapery, for a modern look, wood slates constructed in a Japanese-inspired style gives a space a look that is still connected to the outdoors yet well defined.

8. Incorporate a lounging or napping area, from dining to relaxing… A hammock tucked in a corner with a side table (ready to hold that cocktail), low ottoman style seats can be placed throughout a patio, promoting casual rest spots.

9. Incorporate a grouping of large baskets in the corner of the patio, this will add an additional focal point and you can fill them with extra throws, cozy pillows ready for a chilly evening.

10. Still stuck? Revamping is easiest when you have a clear plan of design in your mind, if you are still stuck on ideas think about a favorite destination and bring a subtle theme to your patio (think Greece, Morocco, South of France)- use what furniture you already have bring in the them using accessories and select plants and flowers (that suit the region of your theme).

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Janette  Ewen

Janette Ewen has been one of Canada’s leading décor and lifestyle experts for more than a decade, passing on her passion for design and fashion to avid fans through magazines, newspapers and television.

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