With the arrival of spring, we are all feeling a need to be outdoors. One of the easiest ways to enjoy the great outdoors is to extend your living space beyond the walls of your home. It only takes a bit of inspiration to refresh your outdoor space for the warmer months to come.

Here are some recommendations to get the most out of outdoor living:

  • Install a heat lamp on each side of your living space. With the relatively mild climate in the DC metro area, heat lamps will allow you to extend the use of your outdoor space deep into autumn.
  • Invest in outdoor furniture that has clean, mesh seats & backs. Not having to drag cushions in & out of the weather will allow your space to be more enjoyable.
  • Build free-standing storage units for storing throw pillows, blankets, and rugs.
  • Add color by filling Zinc planters with perennials & evergreens. Place planters at each corner of the living space.
  • Chose materials that will wear and weather well. Aluminum, rod iron, and woven vinyl are excellent choices. Teak furniture is beautiful, but may require oiling every year.
  • For items made of fabric, such as throw pillows and rugs, we recommend using Perennial Fabrics. They make a wide selection of durable, easy-to-clean solution-dyed acrylic fabrics in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns. (See my recent article How to Care for Your Solution-Dyed Fabrics to learn more.)
  • Soft outdoor lighting is essential; use overhead lighting or wall sconces with soft-white 2700 Kelvin LEDs.
  • Make sure the materials used for your outdoor living space match the style of your home. For example, a stone or brick hardscape is perfect for a Colonial-style home while cedar wood is perfect for a modern home.

Your outdoor living space is an investment. Don’t be afraid to hire a professional landscaper and/or hardscaper to design the perfect outdoor living environment for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.