After South Florida’s mini-cold-snap and before the heat and humidity of summer is the season to enjoy the outdoors. Think of a way to incorporate an outdoor experience such as a fire pit, lounge, outdoor kitchen or other entertaining environment into your yard.
▪ Fire pits: Fire pits come in all shapes, sizes and price points. One way to see if you will enjoy a fire pit is to purchase one that is portable. If you grow tired of it or wish to move it within your property, it is easy to move this way. On the other hand, a built-in fire pit can be a wonderful addition to any outdoor environment. When it comes to materials for your fire pit, the best choice is stone. If you want the fire pit to blend into its surroundings, choose stone that is natural to your environment.
If you’ve ever visited such party destinations as Ibiza or Mykonos, then you are familiar with the lure of outdoor living spaces.
▪ Outdoor lounges or living rooms: If you’ve ever visited such party destinations as Ibiza or Mykonos, then you are familiar with the lure of outdoor living spaces. For decades, these outdoor lounges — fit with sofas, cocktail tables and even beds — have been a mainstay for celebrity homes and the international party circuit. These days, outdoor lounges can also be a way for the everyday homeowner to enjoy their deck, patio or porch (and in some instances year-round).
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▪ Where to start: Before you purchase furniture pieces for your outdoor lounge or living room, begin by creating a floor plan and actual layout. This will help ensure that all of your furniture fits and you are not ordering too much furniture.
▪ How to buy: Think function first: how you wish to use the environment, how many people you need to seat or entertain, as well as how long you wish to have the furniture last.
▪ Outdoor kitchens: Outdoor kitchens can be big or small, built in or portable. If you are looking for an attractive, pre-built kitchen, a kitchen island with built-in components such as grills, refrigerators and sinks may be the perfect choice. On the other end of the spectrum, appliances and components can be purchased individually and retrofitted into custom-built components or a full custom kitchen.
Cathy Hobbs is an Emmy Award-winning television host and interior design and home staging expert. Visit her website at www.cathyhobbs.com