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  • Amanda Arcone

Outdoor Living 101-Your Guide

Summer Living Tips

As warm weather makes its way to many of us, especially us New Englanders, we're thinking about barbecues on the deck, serene evenings with a glass of wine on the patio, and lounging on the porch. In essence, many of us gain a second living room (and perhaps a kitchen) during the late spring and summer months. We have most of our dinners in our barn, especially if it's raining. Truly one of my favorite things about this time of year.

If you're ready to take your outdoor living to a new level of luxury, you'll love my tips on easy furniture layout ideas and outdoor living tips to enjoy time with family and friends.

Furniture layouts for outdoor living spaces should be communal, conversational, and cozy. I suggest creating a U or L shape using a patio sofa and individual upholstered chairs. Add a weatherproof coffee table and outdoor rug for the perfect living room outside. I also suggest keeping a heavy weatherproof bin nearby to throw your cushions in before the rain and wind. Doing this will preserve your cushions for much longer.

I also recommend adding accent lighting (string lights, tiki torches, battery-powered candles) to really set the mood. I have these on the porch and around the interior of the barn. As the day's sun wanes and the beautiful summer nights set in, there's nothing more lovely than sitting around the dim of lower lighting, especially the twinkle lights.

An outdoor rug is also suitable for porches, patios, and decks. These simple weatherproof rugs add a little more comfort to your seating or dining area and feel great under bare feet. There are so many designs and patterns to choose from that will instantly lift your outdoor design style.

Since we dine al fresco most nights, I keep a little cabinet in the barn tucked with the essentials so I'm not running back and forth to the house. I keep utensils, salt, pepper, and a selection of tablecloths and placemats at the ready for a quick meal.

Don't forget to keep a few light throw blankets on and, as that sun goes down a bit of chill enters the night and you'll want a little something to keep you and your guests comfortable.

DESIGN HIGHLIGHTS: The outdoors are in

Outdoor living could be its own industry and with good reason. Getting closer to nature also brings us closer together as families and friends, encouraging us all to turn off the screens, pump up the tunes, and make time for memories. The season is fleeting, so enjoy every minute. Slow down and enjoy everything this short season offers us.

DESIGN TIP OF THE MONTH: Vary your patterns

There are so many varieties of patterns, perfect for mixing up your colors and prints on your new patio furniture. I suggest pairing a solid color outdoor sofa with 3 or 4 patterned pillows or vice versa. This goes with area rugs too!

Have you checked out my outdoor living collection? You can find it here and on my website.

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