Treating the outside of your home with the same care as the inside often sounds ridiculous. Usually, our priorities are to utilize and maintain the inside of our homes to the best of our ability, and the exterior is secondary. Which all makes sense, until it’s summertime and you find yourself wishing that you spent more time and energy fixing up that patio before it was time to sit there. Maybe it’s setting up your container garden, creating an outdoor dining area, or perfecting your grill space. Whatever your outdoor space is for you, it’s worth the effort.
2. After you've visualized your space, create level surface for sitting or grilling on. This can mean building a deck, laying stone, or leveling the grade. Remember that the space doesn't have to be large. If you're worried about losing a view, consider using cables rails, like Feeney, to keep your view unobstructed.
3. Be mindful of how you want to use the space, especially if you don’t have much. Buy furniture that actually fits the purpose of the space, not just because you like the way it looks.
4. Be realistic. If you only have 10 square feet of space, chances are you're not going to be able to fit everything in (unless you are some kind of magician-design-architect). Prioritize the list of things you want. Figure out which things you can live without to help make the space the best it can be. Clutter is the enemy outside of the home too. Don’t be afraid to decide what’s most important, and choose it.
5. Consider the lighting, it’s important outside and in. Get some lights that will create ambiance instead of relying on street lamps and the light through the kitchen window. A string of garden lights with LED bulbs will go a long way for creating the atmosphere you are looking for.
The following is a true story, adapted from a 1921 edition of the American Journal of Ophthalmology...