Summer is here! Warm weather, sunshine and longer days are drawing us outside after a long winter, but are your outdoor spaces ready for relaxing and entertaining? What makes decorating balconies, patios and backyards so much fun is that you can take more risks, and go in a whimsical, fun and bright direction. Pick a theme that you’ll enjoy for years to come, or switch it up each summer. The key to selecting furnishings is to go with long-lasting, weather-resistant materials whenever possible, like powder-coated steel, aluminum, resin wicker, or teak.
Here are some decorating ideas that will help you make the most of your backyard, patio or balcony this summer!
Condo Balconies and Town House Patios
Maximize your space by creating a stylish yet functional outdoor oasis on your balcony or patio.
If you desire al fresco dining or enjoying your morning coffee outdoors, a bistro set is a great addition. These sets include a small table with two chairs, and give the air of a Parisian sidewalk cafe. For balconies or patios that get a lot of light, add a small umbrella to provide shade.
Alternately, a small conversation set, with two low seats and a coffee table, is a good choice if you prefer evening cocktails and chat after a long day. Other seating that you can consider is a cushioned bench or a small chaise lounger. If decorating for one, a comfortable chair with a small ottoman is the perfect addition, where you can enjoy a book or a glass of wine.
To jazz up simple grey concrete, opt for a durable yet stylish outdoor rug, or composite decking tiles that snap together with ease.
Add a bit of greenery to the space with planters. Grow flowers, herbs, fruits or vegetables in hanging planters, window boxes, wall planter/vertical garden, or urns. Set up a little area with some plants and a mini rock garden, small water feature, or a sculpture.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to backyards. Whether you want to create a dining area, a relaxing oasis or an outdoor living room, it’s never been easier to make this a reality!
Gazebos, pergolas, awnings and decks allow you to set up a specific space for outdoor use, creating the illusion of a room without walls, or shade and protection from the elements if needed.
There’s an amazing selection of outdoor furniture, including sofas, settees, Muskoka/Adirondack chairs, coffee tables, and bars. Mix and match these to create your perfect backyard living area.
A basic option for those who want to eat outdoors is a table/chair/umbrella set with 2 or more seats, or if space permits, you can never go wrong with a classic picnic table. If you are going with cushioned seats, consider adding a storage unit, like a chest or bench, to keep the cushions clean and dry when not in use. Or, select all-season, washable fabric covers.
For the ultimate relaxation, choose a lounger or a hammock, perfect for reading or catching an afternoon nap. Swings are also great for a backyard.
Lighting is important if you want to entertain or enjoy your outdoor space at night. Consider adding tiki torches, lanterns, twinkle lights or LED lights to brighten things up when the sun goes down.
For cooler nights, fire pits, fireplaces and chimineas are popular choices. Roast marshmallows, make s’mores, or just chat by firelight. If space is an issue, there are coffee tables and dining tables with an optional fire pit in the centre. If you are simply looking to heat an outdoor area, patio heaters are also a good choice.
Water features — such as fountains, birdbaths or ponds — add an extra special touch to your yard, although they do require regular maintenance. For ponds, add some koi fish and you’ll have a bit of help keeping mosquitos at bay.
If you’re looking to purchase a new home or investment property, here are two of my prime listings:
703 - 102 Bloor Street West, Toronto
This 2 bedroom, 2 bath corner suite with 9ft ceilings is located in a prime Yorkville/Bloor building. Large windows provide an abundance of natural light and spectacular views.
Designer reno includes:
- honed marble and strip flooring throughout
- a Euro-style kitchen with top of the line stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a breakfast bar
- a master retreat with custom built-in closet, spa-like bath with seamless glass shower and Jacuzzi tub.
View the full listing here.
316 - 225 Davenport Road, Toronto
This is a stunning, sun-filled, renovated 1 Bedroom + Solarium/Den in boutique building “The Dakota”.
Measuring 860 sq ft, it includes:
- strip hardwood and ceramic throughout
- upgraded kitchen with breakfast bar
- master retreat with walk-in closet, and spa-like bath featuring separate tub, glass shower, custom vanity and limestone tile.
- parking and locker.
View the full listing here.
Contact me for more information on one of these properties, or to learn how I can help you with your new home search.