Small Touches Make a Big Impact
Sure, you could enjoy being outdoors with just the bare necessities. A shady place
to sit and some comfortable furniture
go a long way to making your garden a great summer hangout
. But those small touches, like lights, candles and some decorative fabric, can bring all the comforts of indoors into the garden. Let’s take a look at some of our finishing touches, then you can put them to work in your own garden seating area.
Shed Some Light
doesn’t mean a flashlight! Over the last few years, lots of outdoor lighting options have become available from home improvement and big box stores, so you can find lamps that could even do double duty — outside in the summer, inside in the winter. This chandelier and table lamp have glass globes inside the shades to keep the bulb and wiring dry and clean. (They’re still best used under a structure, like this gazebo.) The table lamp has a heavy base to keep it from tipping over in the wind. A heavy hurricane lamp adds a little sparkle near the containers
See also Design Tips: How to Decorate a Patio
Three Options for Table Decor
Green bamboo placemats were woven between the slats of the coffee table and taped to the underside, above. We cut coordinating fabric to fit inside the tray, then covered it with a sheet of glass for this sleek table treatment. Battery-operated, flameless candles are a safe alternative for outdoors, and you won’t have to worry about cleaning up spilled wax.
For a different look, a white tray creates a focal point when it’s stacked with a vase of fresh hydrangea blooms from the garden and some chunky green glass tea light holders.
Or try layering placemats, like these round ones, to create a foundation for an elegant candle holder.
This Audio Unlimited
® wireless speaker, available from stores like WalMart
, uses bluetooth technology to broadcast audio from your MP3 player. Tuck the speaker down between a chair and the corner table so you won’t kick it or trip over it as you move around the gazebo. (And when you’re done outside, it’s light enough to carry into the house to enjoy it there, as well.)
Our mosquito netting was designed to go with the gazebo. Clips hold it close to the frame at the top, and the separate panels zip shut to keep the flying pests at bay. We found that on breezy nights we had fewer problems with mosquitoes, so we kept the mosquito netting pulled to the sides on those evenings, to prevent it from blowing around in our faces
If your gazebo doesn’t have nettings, there are plenty of other repellents on the market, like this ThermaCELL
® mosquito repelling lantern, which uses heat to dispense an insect repellent in a 15×15-ft. area.