Ask nearly any Coloradoan what they love about the Centennial State and their answer is sure to include mountains, sunshine, fresh air or all three. So it should come as no surprise that when it’s time for a home upgrade, many of us opt to improve our outdoor space. When we’re not out hiking, biking, skiing or climbing, a comfortable, cozy outdoor living area offers a place to rest, relax or even entertain—while surrounded by the natural beauty we’ve fallen in love with.

According to Mariah Maydew, president and CEO of Fruehauf’s in Westminster, advances in patio furniture design mean it’s easier than ever before to create the outdoor oasis of your dreams. “Quality patio furniture has come a long way in terms of comfort to make spending time outside more enjoyable,” says Maydew.

Not only that but the way we think about outdoor spaces has evolved. “More people are thinking of their outdoor space as added square footage to their home,” says Maydew. “Decks, balconies and patios are being treated as an additional room to be furnished and enjoyed.”

When it comes to selecting the elements for your own backyard paradise, Maydew recommends a few “must-haves,” including comfortable seating, a fire pit or patio heater, a shade umbrella or awning to provide sun protection on hot days, and a grill.

Whether you’re upgrading dining or lounge furniture or buying for the first time, seating is not something to skimp on. “Invest in durable, comfortable, stylish patio furniture,” advises Maydew. “If you are spending tens of thousands of dollars on an updated deck or patio, you want to have nice furniture so you want to spend time outside and maximize the use of the space.” Not only that, but it’s important to select your seating before building a deck or pouring a patio. “We often find that people have built their space too small or too narrow to accommodate the patio furniture they want,” shares Maydew. Building a space, only to discover it can’t accommodate the patio furniture you had in mind, is a headache that’s easily avoidable.

When it comes to selecting the right deck or patio for your space, the professionals at Budget Home Supply in Longmont have you covered. As the largest composite decking dealer in Northern Colorado they offer competitive pricing and over 50 different finishes of trusted brands including Trex, TimberTech, EverGrain, Fiberon, MoistureShield and Fortress composite decking. If you’re not sure what you want, a visit to their 1000 square foot deck showroom should do the trick.

And in addition to stocking redwood and cedar wood decking, they’re happy to order any exotic hardwoods. They also carry the foundations, railings, lighting and the accessories you need to make your deck feel like your second living room.

But if it’s a second kitchen you’re looking for, Budget Home Supply can take care of that, too. They carry a wide selection of Bull outdoor products including barbecue islands, bar islands, pizza ovens, fire features, waterfalls, outdoor appliances and more.

As outdoor kitchens become an increasingly popular option, Maydew points out a few design trends as well. Right now, she says we are seeing “more lounge furniture including sectionals opposed to dining sets” along with cantilevered umbrellas to cover those larger lounge sets. “Neutral colors are popular and can be brightened up with throw pillows and rugs.” And for those who opt to stick with a grill as opposed to a full kitchen set up, Maydew notes, “We are seeing a demand for more versatility in grills, from sear stations and rotisseries, to the ability to cook with charcoal or gas.”

Many people enjoy the freedom to be creative in setting up their ideal space, experimenting with furniture styles that don’t necessarily match the interior or even each other. But, says Maydew, for some it can be overwhelming. For this reason, many take advantage of professional designers. For those who opt for professional guidance, Fruehauf’s offers a house call service where one of their associates can come out to your home to help with layout and design on-site.

If you’re thinking about creating an outdoor oasis of your own, don’t wait. Spring – or another 70-degree bluebird winter day – will be here before you know it.

> Budget Home Supply, 780 Boston Ave., Longmont, 303.678.8800,
> Fruehauf’s, 6795 W. 88th Ave., Westminster, 303.449.9551,

By Pam Moore