Outdoor Design: Al Fresco Livingroom

Creating a great outdoor design doesn’t have to break the bank. Innovative designs that are common to resorts are now being marketed to home owners.  When creating a unique outdoor design for your patio, consider finishes other than wood or wrought iron and look for interesting solutions for materials, construction and lighting.

The roof structure can be free form. Shade Sails (starting at $160) of different shapes, sizes and colors can be overlapped to create interesting patterns and shadows. Cover a dated concrete slab with a little ground prep. Eco Decks™ ($120 10 sq. ft.) offers furniture grade outdoor wood deck tiles that easily snap together to create beautiful flooring for patios, decks or any hard surface. Barriers are important in outdoor design; whether to define a space, mask a not-so-great view or to create privacy. Matching pots (starting at $30) planted with ornamental grass lend drama and, with dozens of varieties, offer a natural and customizable solution. Many ornamental grasses are drought tolerant with variety of colors, textures, and growth habits. Maintenance needs are low, as are pest and disease problems. Your Al Fresco outdoor design comes together with an art inspired canopy, a handsome teak inspired deck and infused with natural barriers. The furnishings should impress on first sight.

Many box store retailers offer affordable knock offs of expensive designer furnishings. This contemporary “all-weather” wicker suite ($499) is very trendy. Reinventing wicker out of recycled plastic is not only green, but resilient to water and sun damage. Cushions are made with Chevron fabric inspired by the French Riviera. This solution-dyed acrylic fabric has warranties for light-fastness, chlorine / mildew resistance, and stain repellency, creating perfect options for an exterior living room. The next layer, and often most overlooked, is lighting. When the sun sets there is a great opportunity to create drama with innovative and fun lighting.

Brighten up your party or bring a soft and romantic atmosphere anywhere with these rechargeable, color changing LED cubes ($150). They come with a remote and are made from an unbreakable, milky white, ploy housing. Placed between chairs, use as a table or move around for additional seating. EGLO’s outdoor floor lamp ($230) is beautiful during the day as a piece of sculpture and at night, it casts shards of light through the grass-like strands of steel. A great outdoor design has both style and comfort; seeing to the needs of your guests is paramount for a outdoor gathering or entertainment space.

Keep your guests refreshed in farmhouse style. This substantial party bucket ($60) is crafted from durable galvanized steel with solid wood handles and a bottle opener affixed to the side. Keep the party pest free  with this 1/2 Acre Natural Attractant Mosquito Trap ($150). The trap emits odorless carbon the mosquitoes are drawn inside the device. An integrated fan traps the insects and sends them to a removable compartment.

The perfect special sauce for a great outdoor design: style, comfort and community.


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