Column: Decorating under the sun – try to imagine space as a room without windows



With the brutal winter just a bitter memory, the long, lazy days of summer are just a few calendar days away. This means it is officially time to maneuver the outdoor furniture to its righteous position of importance and start basking in this well-deserved change of weather.

Just the thought of spending time in the company of blue skies and the warmth of summer days provides the inspiration to plan an outdoor space that is a sensational extension of your home.

I think my favorite approach is to take a space and treat it as if it were a room without walls. A tall hedge or fencing can create a backdrop to this inviting retreat while an outdoor sectional or sofa will anchor it.

Fabrics for outdoor furnishings rival the couture fabrics once available only as interior fabric. “Environmental textile” collections now include woven fabrics with deep and rich colors that were formerly reserved for the great indoors and open an entirely different path for patio furnishings. While I am a fan of solids for large furnishings, there are fresh patterns that are indistinguishable from the interior counterpart. You can say goodbye to the slim choice of palm trees, wild tropical florals and boring sedate stripes. The outdoor room can now be a reflection of a sophisticated interior.

If you have any interior tables that are on their way out anyway, consider mixing them into your exterior décor! They will endure at least one summer season.

Outdoor lighting is now a focal feature and eons away from the simple brass fixture that has always hung next to the front door of a home. This element is probably the most exciting change in outdoor decor.

Chandeliers are now available for outdoor room use, in a variety of styles and finishes and just as beautiful as the indoor variety. If you have a covered porch or patio consider using one of these sophisticated options over your outdoor dining table.

If that is not an option, consider taking an unwanted brass colored chandelier that is just languishing in storage and spray painting it a vibrant color. Remove the electrical components and use candles instead of light bulbs. You now have one-of-a-kind lighting for your exterior room.

For special occasions, consider colorful paper lanterns that are illuminated with strings of lights. This won’t last the season but an event will be that much more memorable with such a creative form of lighting.

Repurposing interior items such as tea pots or decorative urn as planters creates an innovative exterior surrounding, as well.

Outdoor space is the perfect place to relax with your favorite decorating magazine. By creating an outdoor room, it is certain that you will lose yourself in the ambiance that is a cooperative venture between you and Mother Nature.