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Outdoor Living Is Easy on the Central Coast, and Making It More Inviting Is Even Easier

Simple steps to keep your space fresh and comfy — without breaking your bank or a sweat

Bright and colorful throw pillows provide an immediate makeover for your outdoor living room. Click to view larger
Bright and colorful throw pillows provide an immediate makeover for your outdoor living room. (House Beautiful photo)

Few places on the planet offer outdoor living possibilities the way the Central Coast does. Our combination of latitude and longitude, and our unique positioning on the edge of the continent guarantee endless days of sunshine during the summer months and (relatively speaking) bug-free, arid evenings.

Let’s face it, an outdoor room is realistic and easy to pull off in our part of the world.

Because of this, many of us fortunate enough to live here already have outdoor living spaces. But just like indoor rooms need regular tending, outdoor rooms need some attention and occasional updating to stay appealing.

Here are six ideas to reboot your outdoor living space to make it even more appealing:

Outdoor Rugs

Just like an area rug defines a space inside the house, a strategically placed outdoor rug can help to define and differentiate an outdoor space. There are wonderful outdoor rugs available today in almost every imaginable color, pattern and price range.

Fresh Throw Pillows and Blankets

It is not necessary to invest in new outdoor furniture every couple of years. Changing throw pillows can change the look of you outdoor furniture in an instant.

Look for pillows in a fabric that is outdoor-friendly, such as Sunbrella.

If entertaining in the evening, consider using colorful throw blankets. These blankets can be neatly folded on a table or thrown over the backs of chairs or sofas. Either way, they are wonderful and comforting for your guests to wrap around themselves when the sun goes down.

Lighting

Lighting your outdoor space is critical to enjoying an outdoor space. Lighting not only makes the space safe and practical to use, but also adds ambiance.

Of particular interest today are lanterns in a huge range of prices and sizes. Use either battery-operated or, if you will be present and monitor them carefully, real candles inside these lanterns.

Stylish lanterns can be moved and cleaned easily while giving your outdoor room an appealing glow.

Shade and Cover

Shade and cover will also help to define your outdoor room. There are a whole slew of options: umbrellas, pavilions, and permanent structures. Shade and cover are important for enjoying your outdoor room during the day when the sun is strong and at night to protect you and your guests from dew when the sun goes down. They help make outdoor spaces feel protected and cozy.

The Two Cs: Clean and Comfortable

Outdoor furniture and cushions are an investment. After buying the best quality that you can afford, make your outdoor furniture last longer and stay as comfortable as possible by protecting it from inclement weather and giving it a deep cleaning every few months, especially before summer when it will be used most.

Cleaning outdoor furniture often means spot-treating cushions, repainting, wiping clean or oiling frames, and turning the furniture over to sweep away spider webs or other unfriendly critters that might have made the underside of your outdoor furniture home.

Warmth

To enjoy an outdoor space at night or on a gray day, it’s nice to provide a source of warmth. This can be as simple as providing throws as mentioned above or as elaborate as a mounted heat source on a permanent structure.

Portable outside heat sources (for safety, never use an indoor heating source outside) are also a nice and flexible option.

Portable heat sources can be purchased online or at a large home store in your area. Click here for an attractive propane patio heater option from Lowe’s. Or click here for a Hayneedle.com patio heater that is popular at restaurants with outdoor dining spaces.

Although the impetus of rebooting your outdoor room may be entertaining, you’ll be surprised by how a little effort and TLC makes your outdoor room appeal to you all over again.

— Noozhawk contributing writer Hilary Doubleday can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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