Monday, May 10, 2010

Creating an outdoor living room

(ARA) - For leisurely entertaining this summer, take full advantage of the great outdoors and extend your living space by creating an outdoor room. Why not have an outdoor living room with comfortable seating for all or your friends, or a space where you could fire up the grill and dine out under the stars?  Adding a level, low maintenance surface, like a patio, will give you not only the pleasure of living in your outdoor space, but of loving it too.

A great way to create this space is by installing pavers, bricks, or stone to create beautiful patios and paths. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, it can be as easy as installing a winding path to connect your home to your garden or creating a space for a cozy bench to watch the birds splashing in the bird bath.

Pavers come in many different shapes, sizes and colors, offering you ways to customize your ideas to match your house and landscaping. Once you have your patio or walkways installed, you can make your backyard inviting and appealing all summer long. Here are a couple of fun, easy tips:

*Find sturdy, comfortable seating that will withstand the elements for years to come.  Try wrought iron, wood, or even resin (often made from post-consumer bottle waste such as milk containers) for low-maintenance options. These are readily available in your local garden or specialty stores.

*Seating is even more comfortable with the quick addition of colorful cushions and throw pillows.  Swap these out for a change of scenery and store pillows in a clean, dry space (like a garage or storage bench) when not in use to extend their lives.

*Plant flowers, herbs, and vegetables in containers to add a pop of color to your outdoor living spaces.  Keep these lush and lively all summer by planting seedlings in a good quality potting mix like Miracle-Gro Potting Mix with Moisture Control.

*Keep unwanted grass and weeds from popping up between the pavers by using Ortho GroundClear. This weed control can be used early in the season between the pavers to kill the weeds you see popping up, and will keep new weeds from growing for up to one year. What a great way to spend less time working and more time enjoying your yard!

* Use an edger to trim the grass around the walkways and the edge of your patio for a more finished appearance.

*String some twinkle lights for a festive party atmosphere and use inexpensive, solar powered yard lights to illuminate your outdoor spaces.  These usually require little or no installation; just stake in the ground along paths or in pots for added interest.

With the addition of patios or paths and a trimmed, designer look in your backyard, you'll be able to enjoy spending time in your outdoor living space, and not have to worry about a lot of maintenance to keep it looking beautiful.  Start living in the outdoors and loving it.

Courtesy of ARAcontent