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Prepare Your Outdoors For Summer Living

While it might be winter, now is the best time to start making plans if you want to set up a patio or entertainment area outdoors.




You might think it a bit odd to start preparing your patio, deck or entertainment area for outdoor living during the winter, but what better way to get started on essential projects and shopping around for items to add to your outdoor living area.








If you have decided that it's time to add outdoor living space to your home, good on you. Outdoor living space is not only a place where you can kick back and relax in the garden, it's also where you want to be able to entertain family and friends and it will also add to your interior living space.


Your outdoor living space can be anything you want it to be whether it's a covered addition to the house, a free-standing pergola, a composite deck or just a plain concrete slab.


• Choose a design you can afford

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to an outdoor living space, from putting down a concrete slab, laying a paver or brick floor or even building a deck to accommodate your plans. Once you have an idea the next step is to decide if you are going to do it yourself or have a professional contractor do it for you. If you take the DIY route, now is a great time to get started on the basics for the project, things such as buying supplies and putting down the foundation. From there, you will decide if you want brick pillars to support a roof or perhaps walls to enclose the space or you might decide to build something as basic as a pergola.


• Stick to a plan

The most important thing to keep in mind when considering adding an outdoor living space is to keep to what you can afford. Yes, you might want to go overboard and spend a fortune and then end up struggling to keep on top of the payments. Rather keep within your budget, even if you have to set up an outdoor living space in stages. Consider building from the ground up as and when you can afford it. That way, you will still be able to enjoy the area, it just won't be finished.










When setting up outdoor living space, you want it to be just as comfortable as indoors, in other words, an outdoor living or dining area or perhaps even both. To create a comfortable space outdoors you are going to need furniture that is suited for outdoors - or invest in covers if you don't have a covered patio or deck - and furniture that is comfortable enough to spend more time in the garden.


Create an atmosphere of relaxed outdoor living with the help of comfortable seating, a coffee table or two and a few homely accessories in bold, bright colours.




If you have decided to extend both your living and dining outdoors, you are also going to need to invest in a charcoal braai or gas grill. Making the right choice beforehand will allow you to plan for this when setting up. For example, you might want to have a built-in fireplace that also serves as a braai, one that can also be used to heat the outdoor area during the cooler months of the year. Or you may prefer to purchase a gas grill and decide to incorporate this into a built-in kitchen for the outdoor area. Planning for this in advance will allow you to properly have what you need in place.



An outdoor dining area also means having a dining table and chairs that are suitable for outdoors. when shopping for ideas, try to match the furniture as much as possible to that inside your home. If you love wood furniture, check that the dining set you select is easy to maintain or if you will need to regularly apply a treatment. Aluminium furniture requires hardly any maintenance while wrought iron or steel will need to be maintained to prevent rust. Consider all these factors when making your decision.



Whatever design you have for your outdoor living area, make sure there is plenty of space for both living and dining in one area. You don't want furniture that is going to fill up the area and leave no space to move around. Draw up a basic sketch of the planned outdoor area and then measure off for where you would like to have a living and dining area. Knowing how much space is available for these will come in handy when buying furniture to fit.








Now is the perfect time to start planning your outdoor living space. It will allow you to obtain ideas for what you want to incorporate, give you time to shop around for furniture ideas and also let you take the steps to get the ball rolling. Outdoor living space is a permanent feature and you want to get it right the first time, so don't rush your decisions.

images: ikea




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