Saxton outdoor furniture set. (Photo courtesy: Fruehaufs).

Saxton outdoor furniture set. (Photo courtesy: Fruehaufs).

Tips for creating and outdoor oasis at home

Photo courtesy: Flower Bin.

Photo courtesy: Flower Bin.

As spring unfolds, nature beckons with fresh new life. Soon we’ll be swapping ski slopes for drier trailheads winding to glistening turquoise lakes. But, while the mountains’ calls are beguiling, we can’t always heed them. Why not make the most of the outdoors, then, right at home, too? We talked with local experts for tips on creating your own backyard paradise.

Delight in decking 

When transforming your outdoors, a nice place to start is actually indoors, examining how you will enter the space, says Vernetta Angelo, Marketing Director for Budget Home Supply. Doors offering a large opening can provide an ideal indoor/outdoor feel that serves to enhance the overall sense of entrance into someplace special. From there, Angelo says, it’s imperative to figure out how your space will be configured before picking out any products. 

If you’re building a deck from scratch, there are numerous options to consider. “Composite decking offers the look of wood without the maintenance,” says Angelo. “Plus, you’ve got so many colors to choose from, from warmer tones to coastal white. Deck railings are available in a range of styles, too. You can go with warm and traditional or sleek and modern. Or, consider floating decks without railing!”

Whether you’re working with a clean slate or an existing deck, there are abundant options to elevate your space, Angelo says. Adding a cover or pergola allowing some sunlight to flow in creates an inviting feel while providing cooler temperatures to enjoy throughout the day. And when the sun goes down for the night, varied lighting choices illuminate and captivate. “One of the latest trends we’re seeing is exterior chandeliers,” Angelo says. “These are a stunning, beautiful way to create an indoor/outdoor feel.” Smart lighting systems are popular, too, Angelo notes, offering convenience and customizability, such as lights automatically turning on at dusk and pre-programmed colors. 

Furnish for your comfort and lifestyle

Richmond dining set.

Richmond dining set. (Photo courtesy: Fruehaufs).

Gone are the days when outdoor furniture options were limited and basic. Many consumers are unaware of the full range that is available, however. “Consumers are consistently disappointed in the quality and durability in patio furniture purchased from big box stores,” says Mariah Maydew, President and CEO of Fruehauf’s in Westminster. “Many consumers are not aware that their local specialty casual furniture store sells patio furniture that will hold up for decades with 15-year, 20-year, and even lifetime warranties.” 

Today’s outdoor furnishings offer opportunities ranging from the simple and cozy to the dramatic. Consider what choices best suit your lifestyle. “A lasting effect of the pandemic is that people are entertaining at home more, and outdoor dining has had a resurgence,” says Maydew. “People who want to seat more guests have options, such as large or extending outdoor dining tables.”  

Shopping locally, consumers can get a better sense of style, durability, comfort, and size. “It’s important to be able to sit in the furniture to see what’s comfortable for you,” says Maydew. “Seeing it in real life, you can better understand how it will fit in your space.” 

Flourish with Foliage

Let’s be real: the real reason for creating a beautiful outdoor space is the actual outdoors. So, surround yourself with greenery. An abundant variety of healthy plants, both in the ground and containers, will create gorgeous lushness, says Kim Jackson, Annuals Greenhouse Manager at The Flower Bin Garden Center. “They should be a good mix of annuals, perennials, and yes, houseplants and topicals, with both flowering and non-flowering plants. Include different heights, textures, and colors,” Jackson says, adding to be mindful of sunlight needs for placement. Houseplants, for instance, generally need to be in shade. 

For specific recommendations, local garden centers are excellent resources, with expert staff ready to offer suggestions. A few of Jackson’s personal favorites include: Elephant ears, Banana, Hibiscus, and Citrus for large, dramatic, tropical flair; medium-sized Salvia Black and Blue and Roman Red, Agapa thus, Coleus, Snapdragons, and Dahlia; and smaller Petunias, Verbena, and Geraniums for bright bursts of color. Finally, Jackson suggests tall potted plants around seating areas for added privacy. No matter the size and shape of your space, living décor well suited to our Colorado climate will surely lend stunning, welcoming flourish to your own backyard escape.   

By Wendy McMillan, At Home Luxe