Spring is ending, which means it’s time to start getting those outdoor spaces ready to use! Last month we discussed some factors that relate to planning the perfect outdoor living space for you. This month we’re going to dive into more of those factors and make some suggestions of where to shop to furnish your outdoor living space in East Central Indiana.
It’s important to note different elements of your space that may cause yourself or your guests discomfort, so that you can take action and prevent it! If your outdoor space gets alot of afternoon or evening sun, the heat from direct sunlight could be uncomfortable to sit in for extended periods of time. You’ll want to provide some shade to mitigate this! Umbrellas, pergolas, covered patios, or trees can take the edge off of a hot summer day. These options also provide some coverage in the chance of rain, and so perform a two fold duty. Some places to shop for comfort items are: Wall’s Furniture, Dillman’s Furniture, Gill Brothers, and All Season’s patio.
No one wants to sink their chair or table into mulch, soft ground, or mud. It’s important to remember to use a combination of soft and hard surfaces. You may want to plan how much furniture you want in the space before dividing up how much ground needs to be hard versus soft surface. Also, just because you need the hard surface doesn’t mean it can’t be aesthetically pleasing. You can use natural elements, such as flagstone, decomposed granite, large boulders, and wood decking, which can be found at L.Thorn Company, Indiana Mulch & Stone, and SiteOne Landscape Supply.
Plants can be a blessing or a curse. Are you an avid gardener? Then you may feel comfortable going with some more exotic flower, or plants that require more extensive care. If not, you should probably choose easy-care greenery in and around your outdoor living space to keep your area low-maintenance. Some suggestions we can make are shrubs such as Oakleaf hydrangea, fountain butterfly bushes, korean spice viburnum, bottlebrush buckeyes, summersweets, or burkwood viburnum. It’s also good to look up whether the plants you are using attract bees or other pollinators. While you want those special creatures in your garden, you typically want to avoid drawing them to your dining area. Some places to shop for plants are Northern Tropics in Muncie, Countryside Greenhouse in Williamsburg, and Wasson’s Nursery in Fishers and Yorktown.
Appropriate choices for your furniture depend on the intended use of your outdoor space. Do you want an outdoor dining option? Is this a quiet cozy space to read and relax? Are you planning on entertaining guests here? If so, how many? These are all questions you need answered when selecting size, number, and style of furniture. You’ll want to select furniture that is comfortable and practical for outdoor use, meaning it should be weather resistant and washable. As with the Comfort items, you can shop for furnishings at Wall’s Furniture, Dillman’s Furniture, Gill Brothers, and All Season’s patio.
A water feature can bring a refreshing and relaxing vibe to your space. The sight and sound of flowing water have been shown to enhance relaxation and even lower blood pressure. If you already have a natural source of water–a lake, the ocean, or a babbling brook–consider designing an outdoor living area that takes full advantage of this gift from nature. You can find some great water features at Wasson Nursery & Garden Center, Tractor Supply Co., and Better Buys Pet & Garden Center.
When evenings begin to cool in the fall, adding a fire pit or fireplace area extends your outdoor entertaining season. You can enjoy evenings relaxing with friends around the fireside, toasting marshmallows for s’mores, or telling ghost stories. You may want to consider incorporating storage areas for blankets and roasting supplies. Fire pits are typically more popular for areas in the midwest due to are chilly fall and spring weather. You can typically find them at any home renovation outlet such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Menards. If you want to shop smaller and avoid the big box stores, try Duncan’s Fireplace & Patio Center in Indianapolis.
The final element we have to consider is lighting. By illuminating your outdoor space, it allow you to do more outside. By lighting an outdoor kitchen or grilling space, you can do more food preparation and extend your cooking time into the night. You can create visual interest and expand the fell of the space by lighting up your trees or fencing. You can also increase your safety level by adding decorative lighting to brighten up steps or pathways. As with firepits, you can find outdoor lighting to install yourself at almost any common renovation outlet. If you want something more complicated try hiring a specialist, such as Mr. Electric Muncie, Charm-Lite Inc, or Glimmer Landscape Lighting.
Now you know all the elements to consider when planning out the perfect outdoor living space for yourself, and some places to find some of the materials you will need! If you have any suggestions of places to shop for materials besides the places I mentioned, please share them on my social media. As always, I’m dedicated to more than selling you a house, I also want to help you create your ideal home. Be sure to check out my blog next month!