Monday, May 2, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers

In the South...
After the showers and pollen of spring, we all look forward to the flowers of May. Along with the May flowers comes outdoor entertaining! Creating a cozy and inviting exterior space is just as important as focusing on the interior of your home. Be creative, have fun, and remember it’s all in the details. Determine whether you want a formal or casual environment.  Do you want a colorful or a neutral space? Think about your exterior space as an extension of your interior home and treat it as another room of your house. What is the traffic flow from inside to outside and how will you use the space when entertaining? Arrange your furniture accordingly. Make a space for cooking, (a kitchen), a space for eating, (a dining room), and a space for lounging, (a living room). Of course, keep in mind that your outdoor pieces must be durable and suitable for the weather, sun and outdoor elements. After you get your main pieces determined and set, don’t forget to add the details.

If it is within your budget, structural features are great additions. A water feature, or fireplace, built in bar or kitchen area will be enjoyed by all. Otherwise, use accessories to give your space character. Outdoor rugs, table top water fountains, wall art and lamps are now available due to the growing trend of outdoor living spaces. Lighting always creates a special ambiance. Using candlelight in the form of candle chandeliers, wall sconces and torches creates a beautiful glow while cooking out. The last detail is selecting great containers for those plants and flowers of May. Use beautiful glazed pots, terra cotta, metal or concrete depending on how formal or casual your space is. Use plants strategically to accent your area as well as define the boundaries of your room. Once everything is in place, enjoy “living” in your space as the seasons change. Happy Entertaining!