Dreaming of an Outdoor Oasis

         With summer right around the corner, I can’t stop thinking about slowing down to enjoy the great outdoors.  With all those winter snow and ice storms in the rear view mirror, I am dreaming about the perfect patio accents to bring nature’s beauty out of the wild and on to the porch. I am hoping to spice up my outdoor space this spring with window boxes, container gardens of outdoor plants and some outdoor patio furniture with fun pops of color using throw pillows. I am also thinking about solar lights to add evening ambiance with twinkly cafe lights, or dialing up the fun with paper lantern lights in a variety of colors. By layering the space with some woven or seagrass rugs, I am hoping to make my porch feel warm and inviting.

         Did you know that more than 70% of U.S. households have outdoor living space, and nearly 70% of those households use their outdoor space at least once a week in season? These outdoor spaces have become increasingly popular because they provide a retreat right in your own yard, offering a tranquil environment as a refuge from today’s busy world. Especially over the last year, with so many in lockdown, homeowners with backyard spaces have used them now more than ever. Firepits and outdoor heaters have allowed many to gather in small groups during the pandemic. From stone firepits to propane gas options, adding a heat source to your patio opens up all kinds of opportunities to relax or entertain. 

         Other accessories to the porch and patio like the simple addition of a ceiling fan and hanging seating option allow an outdoor space to offer endless possibilities from curling up with a good book to hosting a summer party.  Adding comfortable seating in the form of a chaise or lounge chair tops the list for homeowners hoping to utilize outdoor spaces as true “rooms” in the home.  A simple Adirondack chair can add a dash of style and nostalgia to a porch, while a dining table and chairs can bring functionality to the exterior space.    

Porches, patios, and decks are accessories for your home; adding value, enjoyment, and curb appeal.  Not only is a beautiful porch inviting to homeowners who might fancy themselves relaxing on a porch swing, but they also serve as eye candy for your overall curb appeal.  Take for example the trend of adding porch swings that also serve as bed hammocks. They offer a soft place to land in addition to providing visual interest to your outdoor space or front porch. These porch swings make me long for a Southern style front porch!

     When designing your home, it’s important to consider how you use outdoor space.  Whether you’re a year round front porch rocker, or a summer grill master by the backyard deck, don’t forget to consider outdoor living space.  And when you are ready to accent the space, consider punctuating it with some floral color like window boxes or container gardens.

There is nothing like a well placed window box to put the bling in your curb appeal game. I like to think of them as the jewelry to your landscape, with endless opportunities to add color and pizzaz to your home’s exterior. They make window boxes that are self-watering and in low maintenance material, allowing you the fun of imagining how to “dress” them each season while not adding much to your chore list in terms of maintaining them. In the same vein as window boxes are planters/container gardens. When a friend opened her own business a few years ago designing “contained creations” I was surprised there was a market for this; however, after seeing her stunning work, I am a true believer in the impact of a creatively designed container garden. (I am eagerly awaiting my own new window boxes that she is installing for me soon!)

Well there you have it, my own porch goals for 2021. Keep in mind creating your very own outdoor oasis not only brings you peace and tranquility, but it also adds to your home’s value by increasing curb appeal. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t want a beautiful outdoor space to call their own?

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