Outdoor furniture for getting the most out of summer

It is my belief that we spend too much time indoors (myself included).

Living in this weather-ravaged part of the country it is easy to hide in our well appointed comfortable homes but often we are holed up in our theatre rooms on a beautiful day catching up on our favourite Netflix episodes.

I am currently watching Downton Abbey which is a feast for the senses set in a stunning England estate. Highclere Castle is the filming location for this turn of the century drama and it is a visual banquet for me as I watch the family life unfold in sumptuous drawing rooms and elegant dining rooms.

Years ago I had an outdoor concert in our yard and it was probably one of most enjoyable events I have ever hosted. We had a tent set up and tables with food and many chairs strewn about the lawn. There we had large galvanized tubs filled with ice and beverages encouraging people to help themselves and it was a successful day all around.

The neat thing was seeing people walk by craning their necks to see in and some even coming right to the gate to ask if they could join in.

It is a good idea to take advantage of the nice days, going outside and enjoying your outdoor space as often as you can and trying to make it as comfortable as you can. Outdoor furniture is now available in so many comfortable styles it is possible to create an outdoor retreat that doesn’t include lawn chairs! Cabana style lounge chairs, padded recliners and hammocks invite you to curl up and enjoy fresh air and blue skies.

Outdoor tents and shelters will allow you to enjoy even more of the season as you plan your next garden party – and why not? Have your girlfriends over on a sunny Sunday afternoon for cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches (cut off the crusts and sprinkle a little fresh dill) and homemade iced tea laden with lemon slices and sprinkled with fresh lilac blossoms.

Waste an afternoon as you catch up with dear friends lounging on comfortable padded furniture. Make the invitations ‘white only’ and have everyone arrive wearing white clothing to enhance the cool, regal white on white place settings you have so carefully created.

The time is now to plan your outdoor spaces before the warm days slip from us and we are once again basking in the glow of our TVs instead of a crackling fire pit. Sweep off your deck and go shopping for an outdoor area rug, the styles and colours will amaze you! They are so beautiful and vibrant they could be used in a living room but are made of weather resistant and stain resistant material.

Sunbrella is the largest manufacturer of outdoor living fabric and it is very exciting to consider decorative toss cushions upholstering existing furniture to make a huge statement on your deck!

The idea of a lawn party at your home being waited on by champagne carrying footmen may not be a reality for you but it is easy to revive your outdoor living space to entertain those you love. The more inviting and comfortable your outdoor furniture is the more encouraged you will be to get out and enjoy our limited summer days.

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.

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