An Outdoor Living Room On A Budget
Summer is the time of the year to live outdoors as much as possible. It's a time for everyone to get a little healthy sunshine (not too much!), and to burn off those winter calories with swimming, sports and play. It's the time to relax in the evening in comfort and roast marshmellows as you look at the stars. But to really do this, you need an outdoor living area - an outdoor living room, if you will, like we see in those expensive catalogs.
You may look at those catalogs (and those prices!) and think it's something only rich people can enjoy. But the good news is a beautiful outdoor living room may be more affordable than you ever imagined!
It might not be as simple as sitting down with one catalog and making a single phone call, but may not be as difficult to create your own outdoor living room on a budget as you think. It just takes a little leg work. Or internet work, when you can shop online. But here's a hint - many stores have in store specials that can make going out and shopping worthwhile! First, look at what you already have, such as any outdoor seating, or that kids pool, that you can re-use in your design.
Next, I recommend deciding on your budget - and remember, this is something your family will all use together and enjoy almost every day. So don't go into debt, but don't try to spare too much expense. Few household expenses will be as enjoyable! Then decide what kind of area you want to create. You might want a table and chairs for dining, a firepit for atmosphere. But the one thing you're sure to need is shade.
This is the time to decide whether a large market umbrella is enough for your family, or maybe just a covered swing. But for a large family, or if you're planning to entertain, a framed enclosure may really be closer to what you want. Then hit the stores. Lowes, Target, and Sears are good places to look for discount furnishings and bargains.
Already have chairs? Try some outdoor replacement cushions from Pier One, Plow and Hearth or Pottery Barn. Make your area custom by adding a few decorative touches you enjoy. Then get out and enjoy summer!
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