5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Outdoor Living Room

Submitted by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)

Photo credit: OPEI

1. Declutter & Clean
The first step to sprucing up the outdoor living room is to clear dirt and clutter from the space. Store lawn equipment, children’s toys, and pet play things in a shed or garage. Give the entire area a good scrub down, sweeping away dust and debris so you’re left with a fresh, clean canvas.

2. Invite the Outdoors In
Blending interior and outdoor living spaces helps the exterior area feel like an extension of the home, not an afterthought. Ensure blinds and curtains are open to the family yard, highlighting the outdoor oasis. Make certain the indoor and outdoor décor complement one another and use similar colors, materials, and styles both inside and out. It’ll help better connect the two spaces.

3. Create Cozy Sitting Areas
Create easy traffic flow throughout the outdoor living room, while offering a number of places for people to sit–at a table, around a fire pit, or in a cozy chair configuration. Also, offer some shade by using umbrellas or outdoor curtains to minimize sun glare and maximize visions of enjoyment in the outdoor living room.

4. Soften the Outdoor Space

Introduce a few soft design features into the outdoor area to create an inviting atmosphere. Rugs, throw pillows, and upholstered patio furniture are a few ways to accomplish that “cozy” feel. Ensure these items look fresh and clean and are not worn or dated. It’s relatively inexpensive to swap out new pillows and rugs.

Create outdoor ambiance by hanging string lighting, introducing a fire pit in the center of a patio, setting up a zen-like water feature, or adding candles, small plants and freshly-cut flowers to tabletops.

5. Use Living Landscapes
Nothing says “welcome home” quite like a beautiful living landscape, complete with flowering shrubs, trees, flowers, and other vegetation. Freshen up the family yard by weeding, mulching, and planting flowerbeds and pots with colorful flowers and verdant plants. Vases of flowers can also help bring life—as well as a pop of color–to outdoor tablescapes.


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Source: Homes and Lifestyle

How to Plan for Spring Bulbs

How to Plan for Spring Bulbs
Ask This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook and landscape designer Jenn Nawada share some tips for planting Spring bulbs.

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Cost: $15-$30

Skill Level: Beginner

Steps:
1. Planning for Spring bulbs should start in the Fall. If you miss the Fall, it’s best to wait until the following year to plant bulbs.
2. Consider the look you want for the bulbs. For a structured, varied look, read the labels carefully and organize the bulbs by bloom time, height, and color. This ensures a variety of color and flowers all throughout the Spring.
3. For a more natural, wild look, try throwing the bulbs in the area you want to plant them. Wherever they land, plant them there.
4. For a stronger impact, try planting multiple bulbs in the same hole.

Resources:
Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Nawada Landscape Design (http://www.nawadalandscapedesign.com/).

Ask This Old House TV
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

This Old House releases new segments every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Keywords: This Old House, How-to, home improvement, DIY, ask this old house, Roger Cook, Jenn Nawada, Kevin O’Connor, Spring, bulbs, flowers, garden, yard, landscaping

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Source: Homes and Lifestyle