Outdoor Lighting

Consider outdoor lighting when creating your perfect outdoor living environment. Many times lighting is a forgotten element, but if you want to entertain or create a mood it’s a must. There are a lot of options available depending on what you are trying to achieve. I actually have a good mix of electric , solar , string lighting and lanterns. I have electric lights primarily to see my dogs at night when they are in the yard. It also illuminates the water features well at night.

Solar lighting is low intensity but provides a nice glow along walkways etc. I love lanterns since they provide more natural light. You can also try patio torches and tea lights for a low key mood type lighting. If entertaining is your interest, you can try a combination like gel burners and electric.

Decide what it is your trying to illuminate and decide what would work best. For example if your entertaining you may not want electric lighting to near the seating area since it will attract bugs. Instead place a few large gel burners near the seating area and put your electric lights further away. If you have a work station, such as an outdoor cooking center, you may need task lighting. An advantage to solar lights, torches, gel burners and lanterns is the ability to move them whenever you want. If installing electric lights you need to make sure there going in a permanent location.

I went a little further and added flicker bulbs to both my solar and electric lights. This gives it a look of natural flame. Place some string lights within your arbor or gazebo for an added touch.

Many people don’t think of lighting as a decorative feature but it can be both functional and decorative. Just decide what you want to accomplish, lay it out and install it. Outdoor lighting can make or break any outdoor paradise.

Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture has come a long way in recent years from fabric choices to styles and themes. It’s not just your patio table with umbrella anymore. When choosing your furniture try to take all conditions into consideration before spending any money. We had a beautiful table set but when we moved to our new home it did not work at all. It is far to windy here and we needed new items that had more stability and weight. We also have a lot of wasps here so an umbrella was out of the question since they kept trying to build nests on the underside of the umbrella.

We gave the table set away and chose to purchase gliders instead. We purchased two chairs and one loveseat all with built in tables. They are wood with metal frames and although they are not very heavy they still do not tip or blow away. The open slats allow the wind to blow through them. We still needed something for our guests that required shade so we purchased an arbor swing . It seats three and has a cover but the wasps do not like it since it has a waxy backing to the material. It is very comfortable, very sturdy, wind resistant and even opens to a bed. Lounging furniture such as sofas and chases are also a nice addition for your guests that may not like the motion of gliders or swings but still want to stretch out.

We don’t have to be afraid of fabric cushions anymore, there are several that when left out in the rain dry almost instantly. No more dragging cushions in and out all the time.

What we suggest is to consider things like wind, sun, rain, insects, comfort and durability before deciding what to purchase. Unfortunately outdoor furniture can be just as expensive as indoor furniture.

I also like to add benches to my yard. Benches are usually inexpensive and can be added almost anywhere. I scatter a few throughout my yard so if people want to go off on their own they have a place to sit. A guest can walk down a path and sit on a bench in front of a garden. The garden holds interest since it has a water feature , speaker playing music, and numerous types of flowers. They can even pick a strawberry and eat it. There is a place for everyone in my yard and in those places a spot to sit.

Find what you like, consider the elements and your guests, then buy it. Now you’ve created an outdoor living space that everyone can enjoy. Outdoor furniture is a key component to any outdoor paradise.