Living & Loving Your Outdoor Oasis

In 2016 we threw the doors open and pulled the inside out and the outside in – blurring the lines between the indoor and out. However, 2017 is the year for fresh starts, fresh ingredients, and fresh air by throwing away the doors completely – or repurposing them as a cool DIY table or backsplash. Why be stuck inside preparing and cooking food, while all the guests are enjoying the sunset and drinking on the deck? Why choose being stuck inside watching the big game when you can be grilling outside and watch the game at the same time.

Courtesy of Fireplace & Verandah

The New Old Style
Janet Medlock, a manager at Fireplace and Verandah, says the contemporary, mid-century modern look is the way to go in 2017. According to Medlock, creating an entertainment space with crescent-shaped sofas that naturally surround a fire pit has been a growing trend this year. Using railway ties, free-form decks, ambient lighting and swing seating, homeowners are asking for a more natural, more DIY look in their gardens rather than clean and minimalistic.

The mid- century modern look blends the new and old, making it acceptable to mix styles once again. Much like blending the outdoors and the indoors, this mixing of old and new began as a trend in interiors and architecture, and is now being integrated to outdoor styling. Featuring gentle curves, defined lines and a dash of colorful accents, mid-century modern furniture is timeless and urbane. It’s not about modern or traditional anymore but how you combine the two in a compelling way, either by incorporating modern elements in a traditional garden or bold, traditional elements in a modern garden.

Avoid the look of the hodgepodge. The goal is to keep the functionality and clean lines of the modern while giving it that otherworldly, DIY feel. Employing attentive, calculated use of elements that contrast strongly with the predominant style will keep you from cluttering your peaceful paradise.

Courtesy of All in One Decorating Solutions

Colors of the Year
This year, PANTONE Color Institute experts predicted that the top color trends for 2017 would be inspired by nature and versatile in your everyday life. Interior designer Francia Fusik, who owns All in One Decorating Solutions, has noticed this to be true, along with softer-feeling fabrics and simple prints with vivid shades of green, indigo and coral. She says trendy pillows to complement these fabrics include details like glimmer or silver or gold jewelry accents. Both Fusik and Medlock agree that outdoor rugs with colorful, vivid prints are also being utilized to connect the inside and outside spaces.

With vivid colors and prints, the use of discrete blocks of color are finding its way from women’s fashion to outdoor living spaces. This color blocking is a perfect way to highlight specific areas, like the outdoor sectional or accent pieces such as a row of artful pots or leafy greens in your edible garden. When an outdoor space lacks surrounding walls, those solid-color pillows and rugs do all the color blocking for you.

With advancing technology, all-weather pillows and cushions are a great way to bring a pop of color and a bit of your own personality to your outdoor spaces. Sumbrella fabrics are perfect for outdoor couches, pillows and curtains in exposed areas because the rain just runs right off, ensuring they won’t get soggy and wet in the rain or take hours to dry. Sumbrella blends the soft and comfortable textures of indoor furniture with the weatherproofing and durability you need for outdoor furniture. It’s like taking your most comfortable pillow and making it as durable as your grandmother’s plastic covered couch.

Courtesy of New Horizons — Go Retractable!

Functionality Meets Form
This year is all about function and getting the most out of your space and time. Dining and grilling outdoors tends to be an activity for those warmer summer days, but half your time is spent running back indoors for one thing or another from the more functional indoor kitchen. Fully functioning kitchens are making their way outside with bigger BBQ smokers, extra burners and larger outdoor refrigerators. Quartz tops, which give the outdoor kitchen a clean look to better blend with nature, sit on top of utility drawers that hold ice and cocktail garnishes, which are essential for entertaining guests in one convenient area.

Every Floridian knows that outdoors means battling the sun in the afternoon and mosquitos when the sun goes down. However, New Horizons – Go Retractable! makes it easy to entertain and relax outdoors without the battle. The company offers motorized, retractable screens to patios, balconies, gazebos, outside eating areas, and virtually any opening, which allows you to enjoy spending time outdoors and keep the hot sun or annoying insects out. It gives a unique way to bring the function of a cooler, bug-free inside and blurs the line between the indoor and outdoor living.

Outdoor lighting also continues to be a key factor so families can enjoy their outdoor spaces long into those evenings. Homeowners are using solar LEDs to up-light important trees, plants and architectural features as well as decks and walkways. Along with the convenience of lighting systems controlled by mobile apps, new innovations include brighter and more efficient LED bulbs. The trend toward larger and more individualized outdoor spaces make lighting a popular upgrade to enhance the outdoor experience and turn any area into a more inviting space.

Staying Connected
Whether it’s for spring or summer entertainment or those Thanksgiving deep-fries, barbecuing in the backyard has always been the picturesque activity. But getting all of the family outside with limited connectivity to the big sports game or charging accessibility has always been a problem. However, with advancements in both equipment and equipment storage, enjoying the big screen experience in the great outdoors has never been easier.

With advances in technology, television and entertainment centers have taken into consideration the growing trend of outdoor living by paying attention to specs needed for outdoor use. Companies like Fireplace and Verandah are making it even easier by providing all you need to make the area functional and designed to your style.

From lighting to gardening, outdoor apps are an ever-expanding trend – even your grill can get connected. Wireless remote control and monitoring from your smartphone or tablet are increasingly common among the pellet smokers. Pellet smokers are one of the easiest of all the different smoker designs to use because they’re controlled by the thermostat, like your kitchen stove. No more standing by and worryingly checking the temperatures, you just select a cooking temperature and a controller maintains it by feeding wood pellets to a fire pot as needed to maintain your set temperature. This is making these cookers more and more popular in the outdoor kitchens.


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Written by Chelsea Santiago

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