With our busy lives, it can be challenging to make outdoor living a natural part of our day. Why not make intentional use of your outside space so that it becomes second-nature to go outside? Front porches are great for enjoying your surrounding the old-fashioned way. Multi-tiered decks and patios can be used for entertaining and relaxing. Arbors and pergolas create shade with class and style. Dress up your space with mini-landscape vignettes or streaming ponds, and you’re on your way to creating that perfect outdoor living space.
Even though we spend our days busy with work, or engaging in kids activities, be sure to take a few minutes out of your day just to observe and enjoy the outdoor beauty around you. There is so much beauty in nature to see and when we get too busy we miss out on nature’s gifts to us.
Greening Your Outdoor Space…
There’s always an opportunity to go green, especially when it comes to the great outdoors! Enjoy a greener outdoor space with the following tips.
1. Being Outside is Living Green – When you’re outside, there’s no need for TV, video games, or a room full of lights. Set some intentions on how an outdoor living space can serve as an extension of your indoor space and how it can functional for your family’s needs. Take note of how you see yourself and your family cooking, eating, playing, working, gardening, pursuing hobbies, or performing tasks such as bill paying or menu planning all in the backdrop of your outdoor space. Share these ideas with your remodeling consultant.
2. Use Natural Stones – Brick, ceramic, concrete, and slate are the most natural of materials for pathways and walkways. They are long-lasting, low maintenance, cost-effective, and made from renewable sources. Purchasing these materials locally could help keep your costs down and help you support your local community as well.
3. Get Decked Out with Recycled Alternatives – Recycled wood as well as recycled plastic lumber eliminates the need to drown regular lumber with chemical finishes. Both products are easy to maintain, require no sealing, staining, water- or insect-proofing, and it’s totally rot-resistant.
4. A Brush of Green – Until recently, the variety of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) found in paints were considered were essential to the performance of the paint. Consider using low VOC paints and finishes which release lower levels of toxic emissions into the air for years after application. They work well on decks, arbors, and trellises.
5. Choose Native Plants – Native and indigenous plants are easy to grow and maintain because they adjust to the climate in which they habitat. They require less fertilizer and water.
Who would have ever thought you could make the green outdoors greener?
Next Time…Family Room Design and Function
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