Outdoor Space Makeover
Amanda Kaufmann | Date posted: May 14th, 2012
It’s that time of year again—barbecue season! The weather’s warm again and friends and family will soon be coming over for grilled meats and veggies, fun cocktails, and great conversation. But before you send out the Evites, it’s a good idea to check how the winter weather has treated your outdoor space. Namely, how has the furniture held up? If chairs had attached cushions (that could not be brought inside), are they worn, moldy, or faded?
If your outdoor space is looking worn and you’re thinking it could use a makeover, here are four things to consider before you get started:
- Get weather-resistant fabrics for your seat cushions: The best fabric for outdoor seats is one that doesn’t grow mold from humidity and rain, and doesn’t fade from the sunshine. These fabrics may cost more than other sturdy fabrics (I found them priced at around $20USD a yard), but not having to replace them as quickly helps you save in the long run. Specific brands of weather-resistant outdoor fabrics include Sunbrella, Solarium, Sun N Shade, and Outdura. Some of them (such as Sunbrella) even have warranties.
- Consider using matching fabric for awning, umbrella, and barbecue cover: These outdoor fabrics can also be used for creating shade for your outdoor space, such as for an awning or umbrella. If the fabric comes with a warranty, the warranty is typically twice as long for these uses as it is for seat cushions. To really impress friends and family, consider making a cover for your barbecue out of the same fabric.
- Try oilcloth for a tablecloth: This time I’m not recommending outdoor fabric (surprise!). For your outdoor place setting, I recommend oilcloth tablecloths. They are water-resistant by nature, and although not necessarily sun-resistant, tablecloths are easier to bring inside and/or replace. Plus, oilcloth makes it easy to clean up food and drink spills with just a swipe.
- Accessorize to create ambiance: Furniture creates the layout and look of your outdoor space, but other additions can help define your space’s personality such as potted plants and flowers, outdoor installations and statues, and definitely good lighting (ranging from flood lamps to well-placed candles).
Amanda Kaufmann is a New York-based writer and editor. Since 2006, she has worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance columnist, book editor, website content editor, proofreader and fact-checker. She is constantly in the pursuit of...