(Family Features) Instead of bringing the outdoors in, take the indoors out. These simple tips can help you recreate the coziness and comfort found indoors on your patio, deck or porch.
Color – The traditional rules on outdoor color are all about blending in. Beiges, tans and whites are thought to keep a space visually simple and serene. Instead, break the rules with vibrant hues, such as poppy red or sunflower yellow, that mimic the colors in the surrounding landscapes to make your space more fun and inviting.
Lighting –String tiny white fairy lights around shrubs, low trees and wooden structures to create a magical outdoor ambience. If you don’t have outlets available, start a collection of vintage lanterns or suspend battery-operated tealights from low-hanging branches.
Furniture – The decorating you do inside your home to make it cozy and inviting can be mimicked outside as well. Group comfortable seating around a low coffee table then add sturdy side tables for plates and drinks. If you have room, add a table for outdoor dining or spreading out a buffet.
Rugs – Anchor the space with a beautiful rug. An inexpensive indoor rug may work on a covered porch or screened sunroom. Otherwise, invest in a quality outdoor piece.
Fragrant Flowers – Most people select flowers based solely on color. Add in plants that lend fragrance to the air. Lavender, gardenias, oriental lilies, roses and lilacs are choices that can appeal to both senses. Herbs, such as mint and basil, can do double-duty. In addition to perfuming the air, they can garnish appetizers and cocktails.
Soundscaping – The great outdoors often comes with its own soundtrack. Mask the noise of nearby highways or barking dogs with the soothing sounds of an outdoor fountain. Outdoor speakers can also help cover up noise.
Fire – For many, some of the most enduring memories of summer camp involve sitting around a small fire ring with newfound friends. Create that campfire feeling with a firepit, chiminea or large grouping of candles.
Whether your outdoor space is a sweeping, lakeside veranda or a tiny balcony with parking lot views, embrace it. Your decorating efforts may need to be scaled down to size but there are ways to make your outdoor spaces truly inviting. Find more ideas at eLivingtoday.com .