Outdoor Living Areas
Add Value To Your Home

Outdoor living is a big industry. From patio sets to pavers, manufacturers are always trying to come up with the next best thing for home owners who crave these spaces. As much as I'm eager to see new, interior home decor and furnishings each year, I'm equally eager to see new outdoor products.

Creating an outdoor living area does not have to cost a fortune. Sure, elaborate, hardscape patio projects with built-in grills and custom pergolas or water-features can cost upwards of $75,000 but we are not going that grandiose here. Simple solutions and ideas can create spaces just as relaxing and unique as those high dollar projects.

An easy way to get started is to determine the best location for your outdoor spot. An unused deck or brick patio off your home naturally makes sense as a good place to begin. The quickest way to define this area is with some outdoor patio furniture. Whether a dining set for entertaining and meals or a small seating area for relaxing conversation or personal contemplation, choose a set that suits your style.

Tuberous Begonia

Outdoor areas need a bit of character and color too. Decorative throw pillows can give a dated patio set a new look by introducing trendy colors, but container gardening speaks volumes when it comes to color. Add them to your outdoor seating areas to create a more inviting and interesting space. Large, planter palm trees add a tropical twist. Think of this flora as an extension of your outdoor decor. They help finish the "room".

Add additional character to your space with outdoor lighting and decor. Repurpose items for your decor and develop creative solutions such as this birdbath planter pedestal. Introduce more, bright color with some new, outdoor dishware. Of course dishware is no good without grilled food, so don't forget to add a grill to a key area. It will make Summertime (and even year-round) dinners a snap and help conserve energy which saves you money!

Do you like the soothing sound of trickling water? Add an easy water feature to your new space. Create one by placing a small water pump into a large decorative, water-proof planter or pot without a bottom drain hole. Glazed, pottery types look nice and can add another color element to your space. Place a brick in the pot to set the pump on. Simply run the cord over the backside of the pot and hide it by adding water plants (pond plants) to your new feature. Simple, peaceful, soothing.

Small Goldfish Pond

If you want to go bigger, consider a waterfall and pond. Add some pond fish for an even more interactive, outdoor living environment. They do require regular maintenance, responsibility and care but are great focal features for you and your guests.

By initiating a few of these ideas, you can easily create a welcoming outdoor living retreat that may very well become the favorite spot of your home.

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