The summer of 2020 will undoubtedly look different than many of us imagined as we work to keep communities safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19. With people spending more time at home than usual and fewer large social events to attend, many will turn to outdoor activities to enjoy all that nature has to offer us. To maximize your summer experience, it helps to spruce up your outdoor areas and extend your living space. Randy Sorrell, owner of Surroundings by Natureworks+, gave us some helpful tips to make your backyard your own oasis with the help of some exciting products from The Premier Group and Drapery Street showrooms.
1. Spring Cleaning
The first, easiest thing to do to upgrade your outdoor space is to clean, recommends Randy. Get a broom and clear away the dirt and the cobwebs, then scrub your patio or deck with some warm sudsy water.
“It is amazing how fresh and uplifting your patio space can feel with a little cleaning,” he says.
Once your space is clean, you can work on ways to improve it. In the yard you can cut the grass, spread some fresh mulch and hang a bird feeder or two. At this point your yard will be at a lovely starting point. Clean and fresh and pretty to look at – from the inside or outside – with minimal investment. But to really boost the outdoor living experience this summer, you may want to devote some time and/or money to things that make your space even more comfortable and livable.
2. Tech Talk
These days, many of the additions you might make to your outdoor space involve technology – it seems that there is an app for most everything. If you have a dining area, why not install some discreet bluetooth speakers and some ambient lighting? The Premier Group showroom at the Indiana Design Center has an array of technology solutions for the outdoors.
Owner Jason Barth says, “We design our outdoor audio systems to sound incredible to those in the living area but in a way that will not disturb your neighbors. Outdoor TV’s are also popular as they withstand the elements and homeowners can enjoy their favorite programs and games in the open air.”
Or construct a pergola with retractable shades that cut down on sun, wind and bugs? All of these can make your outdoor dining experience more comfortable and can be controlled with your phone. “Privacy and shade dominate the design discussions we are having with our clients right now,” says Randy. These technologies make accommodating requests like this easy.
Drapery Street owner Caryn O’Sullivan shares the excitement about technology and how motorized products are creating excellent design solutions.
“For exterior projects, our outdoor shades can block heat, harsh sun, and bugs while maintaining your views. They can also keep debris from blowing into your porch,” says O’Sullivan.
3. Expanded Outdoor Living Space
Maybe you have always wanted to add something major to your outdoor living setup but haven’t made it happen for some reason. Randy mentioned that many people have decided that the time is now to add a new deck or a fire pit or even a hot tub. With new designs in pre-fabricated fire urns and better all-weather decking materials along with natural stones and pavers, it is a great time to pull the trigger on a big project.
Simple pleasures can be the most important thing. That is why it is so important to make your outdoor space what you want it to be. Make it a place you enjoy – have your morning coffee on the deck, or invite a couple of friends over for an al fresco dinner. Or merely just enjoy time outside with your family.
An outdoor fire feature creates incredible ambiance outdoors and can be enjoyed from spring through fall,” says Godby Hearth & Home owner Brian Adams. The experts at Godby Hearth & Home help their clients pick from designs fabricated on-site or turn-key manufactured options.
Randy believes, “We are finally appreciating how valuable our outdoor spaces are and the impact being outdoors has on our psyche. It brings families together and can completely change how you view your surroundings.” With a beautifully updated space, living in the new normal can be a pleasure.
4. Plants + Pops of Color
Flowers in ornamental pots contribute vibrant pops of color and fragrance to your patio or deck area. Flowering shrubs are another great choice, serving as a lovely low-maintenance addition to your yard, but can also be placed strategically to increase privacy from neighbors.
Says Randy, “Several new varieties of compact shrubs have been introduced that have prolonged flowering periods and are disease-resistant.”
Select plants that grow to the size you desire and feature the blooms that you like best.
To learn more about these designs and products, contact the experts:
Randy Sorrell, Surroundings by Natureworks+ – 317-575-0482
Caryn O’Sullivan, Drapery Street – 317-942-3796
Brian Adams, Godby Hearth & Home – 317-271-8400
Jason Barth, The Premier Group – 317-580-1032