Making the Most of Outdoor Living Spaces

Posted By on Jul 3, 2012 | 0 comments

The front porch has become a symbol of what is good about America. It’s as much a part of who we are as apple pie and Chevrolet. And rightly so—no other place can represent the perfect balance of public discussion and private reflection like the front porch.

Outdoor living areas ranked third in upgrades wanted most in homes, according to an April 2012 survey from Better Homes and Gardens, and the home improvement industry is responding.

Creating an outdoor space can be simple or elaborate, and the investment may be large or small. But whether it is a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen, a sunroom, or a quaint gazebo or simple deck, these improvement projects bring value to the home.

While our parents may have had to make a choice between an iron table or a creaky wooden swing hung from a metal chain, today’s consumers can choose furnishings that rival any inside the home. Technological advances have provided low-cost, long-wearing resins and fabrics to the market that have unsurpassed abilities to withstand the challenges presented by constant exposure to the elements.

The introduction of resin wicker sparked a surge in the outdoor furniture market. Resin wickers are durable and virtually indestructible. Retailers from Target to high-end Georgetown boutiques have outdoor sofas and armchairs that look as beautiful inside as out. Solution-dyed acrylic fabrics, such as those sold by Sunbrella, combine intricate designs with vibrant colors and withstand years of UV exposure before they begin to fade or break down.

And no outdoor sitting area is complete without a rug. Recycled polypropylene turns milk jugs into long-lasting, mold- and stain-resistant area rugs. These outdoor rugs are inexpensive and beautiful; placing one under a sitting arrangement of furniture instantly creates the feel of a comfortable sitting room, even if that room is just a slab of concrete.

Here in Prince William County, the days may be too hot in July to enjoy an outdoor space without shade, but nights can be pleasant, especially if there is a breeze to keep the biting bugs away. And Autumn is right around the corner, whether we like it or not.


From the  ”Home & Hearth” column in July’s Prince William Living, by Denise Smith.

Denise Smith
Design and Sales Consultant
FA Design Build/Flooring America

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