Extend your living space into your backyard

Balanced Mom Magazine – Create balance and tranquility in your outdoor  space

Even though summer is quickly coming to an end, the time remaining before winter arrives — along with the current warmer weather — is perfect for some end of summer parties and get-togethers in your backyard. But your time outside doesn’t have to end with summer. With an inviting outdoor space, you and your family can enjoy the fresh air, sun, stars and beautiful surroundings until daylight saving time — and possibly beyond.

These simple ways to help to make your yard inviting, comfortable and a place you look forward to retreating to, instead of one you avoid.

Step one: Clean up, clean out!

Spend a day getting rid of dead or unwanted shrubs. If there’s no way to bring them back to life, remove them and start over. It’s also a good idea to go through any outdoor toys and toss any that are overly faded or broken, or donate the useable ones that are no longer played with.

Step two: Get comfy!

Comfortable backyard seating continues to be a popular backyard decorating trend. With more and more people extending their living space to the outdoors, outdoor couches, sectionals, chairs and ottomans serve as functional and comfortable seating for outdoor relaxing, play and get-togethers.

Southern Living – Comfortable outdoor sitting.

Step three: Decorate

There are so many ways to decorate your outdoor living space. But it’s important to bring a little of your individual personality to your patio with things like lighting, tableware, throw pillows and outdoor décor.

Southern Living – Interesting touches add personality.


  • Paper lanterns create a soft glow for a relaxing ambiance perfect for special occasions or infrequent use. But because they are not weather-proof, you’ll want to keep them stored inside while not in use.
  • String lights can be zigzagged across a patio, in a courtyard or under an awning for year-round lighting.
  • Hanging or table lanterns are a great way to decorate your outdoor living space. Just make sure to use outdoor approved lighting inside your lanterns – and stay away from real candles if the lanterns are near children.

Update Dallas – Lighting Inspirations.


  • An outdoor rug not only adds to the style of your outdoor living area, rugs create a softer, safer place for bare feet and make cleaning quick and easy.
  • Outdoor rugs come in a variety of sizes and patterns, just make sure it fits your space and style.

Southern Living – A colorful rug adds style and drama.

Decorative storage

  • Bring practical storage solutions to your yard to effectively use your space.
  • A cooler can be placed inside a wooden storage bin or ottoman to keep drinks and food cold.
  • Keep a picnic basket in your yard (or near your back door) with any tableware and dining essentials to use at a moments notice. A last minute dinner outdoors is fun for everyone, but the set up can be daunting and make it feel like more of a process than a treat.

Family Brands – Practical  decorative storage.

Step four: Safety and protection

An outdoor living area needs to be cleaned, maintained and checked more often than an indoor living area. Be sure to keep your outdoor furniture cushions covered to avoid direct sun and the possibility of fading or cracking and dry to maintain the life of your pieces.

There’s still time to enjoy your outdoor space. What are you waiting for?

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