Move the Living Room Outside
Who says your back porch or patio shouldn't mirror your indoor living room?
During the warm summer months, outdoor spaces should be a continuation of your interiors. Move your living room outside this summer, and arrange seating to encourage guests to sit, socialize and relax. Make outdoor chairs and ottomans comfortable with fluffy pillows and cushions lined in weather-resistant fabric, and place a rug made of durable material under furniture that can be hosed off for cleaning. Accessorize the area like you would any of your indoor rooms -- art, mirrors and wall clocks will make an exterior room look complete. Add end tables and a coffee table for convenient places to set food and drinks, and install outdoor lighting, like lamps, sconces and ceiling fans to use after the sun goes down.
To create the ultimate outdoor living room, add fabric panels to an arbor in your backyard to make your own personal cabana. Lounging on low-seated chairs, floor cushions and daybeds will inspire the mood for a party. Stock a pantry made out of an old hutch or cabinet with candles, matches, plastic plates, cups, barware, napkins and a few serving pieces for an impromptu celebration. Install an outdoor fireplace or a freestanding fire pit to help guests stay warm on cool, early summer evenings, and set up a sturdy dining table and chairs for casual family meals or other social gatherings. After dining al fresco at the outdoor dining table on a perfect summer evening with friends, roast marshmallows in the fireplace and enjoy delicious s'mores while playing a competitive game of Monopoly under the stars.