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DESIGNING YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE

By Beth Armijo, Founder Armijo Design Group 

When arranging our patios, decks and yards in our creative minds it is important to consider longevity. Pick furniture that is durable and weather proof. Consider your environment and the elements in your climate. Do you live in the snow and need to invest in covers or storage space? Is your outdoor space in direct sunlight which could lead to color wearing and overheating guests? Depending on where you live, you can experience so much of what Mother Nature has to offer which subsequently means your outdoor furniture is in need of protection.

We should also take into account the size and layout of our environment. Think about your needs and what your space will primarily be used for. Are you creating the reading nook of your dreams? Are you designing the best outdoor dining experience for friends and family? Is your home in need of a quiet outdoor reprieve to separate from the inside noise? Look at your space realistically and map out your desires with tape. Estimate where your furniture pieces will live and get an idea of what your able to support in your space.

In considering weather and climate we must take in to account our own commitment to outdoor furniture care and protection. If you know you are not the type to throw a cover over a chair before the storm or take in your cushions it might be best to stay away from certain materials. Wood isn’t always the best in an area that experiences all types of weather and temperatures. We typically recommend aluminum, resin wicker, rotiron or a recycled plastic composite. Wood, such as teak, is timeless and traditional. If you can live with it graying over time and a soft sanding once a year you will benefit from the low maintenance material. The rich, brown deep color can be maintained if you are willing to oil the wood from time to time.

The bone of your seating areas are nothing without sink into comfortable cushions. Cushions can be challenging if you do not take the time to get to know your fabrics. Again, we emphasize, be realistic about how much up keep you will do. A cushion without weather proofing cover that’s been left out in the rain will begin wear in no time. We recommend investing in quality cushions so they look fantastic and stand the test of time and season. Sunbrella has all weather fabrics and a large selection of patterns to choose from. We highly recommend along with a plastic storage bin for when you put the cushions away when not using for longer periods of time.

Finishing touches on your outdoor haven are quite possibly the most important to tie the space together and maximize comfort. If you haven’t gotten the hint already, considering weather is a major part of successfully creating an outdoor space you and others will want to spend time in. For these reasons we highly recommend heated patios. Look into and invest in an outdoor heater or a fire pit. Each provide ample warmth needed to curl up on a chilly night.

An outdoor grill is also a must. Anytime we're designing a patio we insure there's a outdoor grill adjacent to the house.

We are big on lighting. Lighting is everything. Do not skip over lighting for your time and efforts to create a magnetic, relaxation station will be dreary without lighting. Simple string lights are often all it takes but this will be dependent on your space, your neighborhood light pollution, your interest in star gazing and the overall feel your attempting to accomplish.

Outdoor spaces, patio dining areas, magical backyard reading areas and more can be some of the most wonderful parts of our homes. Taking the time to properly map out and consider our outdoor areas can lead to some of the most meditative and healing times spent in our own home. We wish you the best of luck in transforming your yards and decks into outdoor oasis. Heres to naps, dinners and laughs outside in your future!