With summer having finally hit Toronto, we are taking full advantage of every opportunity to spend time outdoors. Sometimes it’s in the form of a leisurely stroll through a park but when we crave the languor of a sunny afternoon on a patio (whilst sipping cocktails and feasting on gourmet nibbly bits, no less), we find ourselves hard pressed to find a spot or secure a much-coveted reservation these days! So while we wait for things to settle down and for restaurant capacities to return to normal, we’re thinking about the ways in which we can maximize our outdoor space at home. Whether you’re in a condo with a balcony or terrace or a home with a backyard, here are five outdoor essentials you ought to consider…
1. Define Your Space
Regardless of whether we are designing a balcony or backyard, we love an outdoor area rug. With a variety of textures, patterns and colours to choose from, an outdoor rug will help ground and define the space but also create warmth and comfort. The other thing to consider is that there is a very broad spectrum when it comes to price. There are incredibly affordable options at Home Depot, mid-range rugs at Crate & Barrel and on the high-end, Restoration Hardware has a stunning selection, just to name a few. It’s just a matter of determining the look you want and how much you wish to spend.
2. Select Appropriate Seating
It goes without saying that comfortable seating is a must in order to make the most of your outdoor space. Beyond comfort though, it’s important to consider a couple of factors before rushing out to buy an outdoor set. First, think about how you wish to use the space. Are you looking to wine and dine? Or is it going to be an area for lounging and perhaps enjoying the odd cocktail and hors d’oeuvres? This can be the difference between an outdoor dining table and chairs versus an outdoor sectional with a coffee table and ottoman. Next, how much space do you have? A flag-stone paved area and a standard-size condo balcony are two completely different animals. If it’s a small balcony that you’re looking to furnish, you may want to consider a bistro set for dining and drinks or two armchairs with a narrow base and small side table for lounging. As tempting as the luxe, large pieces may be, you won’t enjoy your balcony if it’s crowded. Conversely, if you select itty bitty furniture that is too small for your yard, it will look… well, silly!
3. Add in Multi-Purpose Poufs
If you have the space, a great way to accessorize in a way that is functional but also aesthetically appealing is to add in a couple of poufs. Whether they are used as tables, foot-rests or seats, these three-in-one pieces serve as the contemporary bean bag and are the perfect plush add-on for any outdoor space.
4. Let There be Light
If you read our recent post on the importance of fabulous lighting last week, you won’t be the least bit surprised to see that lighting has also made it onto our list of outdoor essentials! Aesthetically speaking, there are endless options. If the space allows, hanging rattan pendant lights can give the area a Mediterranean vibe, while a string of Edison bulbs creates a more laid-back feel. For lantern-style lighting, there are solar-powered, chargeable or battery-operated options of all kinds to give you the look and feel you desire. Regardless of the aesthetic you’re going for, we can assure you that lighting is an absolute must to create the right ambience for evening dining and lounging under the moon.
5. Place Your Planters
Whether it’s a succulent on your bistro table or several planters around your patio that are overflowing with vibrant red geraniums and trailing petunias, be sure to plant or buy some pre-done planters. You’re outdoors after all so it only makes sense to accessorize with plants. Even if you choose to keep things simple with just a few leafy ferns or a couple of cacti, you can still play with different types of planters. For a clean and contemporary look for example, we love these Galvanized Charcoal Planters from CB2.