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Patio Pickups Some quick hints and tips to spruce up the outside.

By Kenn Leong

Well yes, this may seem a little odd. Who wants to spend time outside in the winter? Regardless of the time, there are a couple of great things you can do to make your property more appealing and of course, a better living space.

Often, people think outside lights are a last touch kind of thing and well kind of the last thing on your list of outside to dos. And let’s be real, permanent outside lighting can be rather expensive, but the truth is, twinkle lights (which can be battery operated, or even a string of globes can make for a magical evening outside. The trick here is that you’re creating a ceiling plane which helps make the space feel like a more inviting space. For a more temporary option, but still dream-like, you could try paper lanterns on a string. Couple that with some candles (It’s recommended that you use glass hurricanes to house the candles for safety’s sake, and, of course, don’t leave burning candles unattended.) and blankets and you’re good to go for an eve with the stars. (And your new lights.)

Now to look at the furniture… If you’ve got wood furniture, make sure there aren’t any splinters or marks. Sand down the edges and give it a nice fresh coat of outdoor finish. Another option is always painting for a pop of colour. Not only is it therapeutic but weirdly satisfying as well. As for colours there are tons of options. Neutral colours are always good as they blend in well with nature and feel somewhat cosier. Unless you’re looking to make a statement with the furniture, then you could always go bright and bold. In wintertime, it’s great to add some big fluffy cushions to go with your blanket.

As for the floors, it may seem like a pretty simple suggestion, but putting a rug down during winter can be one of the easiest ways to bring your outdoor patio to life. See, an outdoor rug not only softens the hard landscape but also pulls the scene together. Be sure to get something that compliments your furniture and lights! If you’re not up for moving a rug inside an outside, try stenciling a rug pattern on your deck. And make sure you use the right paint.

Finally, why not add a bit of whimsy with some mirrors or perhaps some frames. Or better yet framed mirrors. Fun and wood frames add a wonderful texture to a sometimes bland space and the mirrors enlarge the space by tricking the eye into thinking there’s more to see around the corner or on the other side of the wall. (Caution: Outdoor mirrors should be reserved for small patios and avoided in open areas that could attract flying birds.) Find your perfect nation here.

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