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How to create the perfect outdoor space

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Updated: 12/13/2012 12:28 pm

(BPT) - Comfortable spaces don't need to be constrained by four walls, and an outdoor entertaining area can quickly become the most important “room” of your home. You aren't alone if your porch or patio looks outdated and drab. Weather conditions can be tough on outdoor areas, but with a few simple updates, you can create a perfect outdoor space in no time.

Painted patios and porches
One easy way to brighten up an outdoor area is with a fresh coat of paint. Siding, fences and even your home's concrete foundation will instantly become like-new with a fresh coat of paint. Outdoor surfaces need to stand up to wear and tear, so make sure to use high quality paint, like Pratt & Lambert Blok-Tite Waterproofing Paint. Available in more than 500 rich colors to suit any space, Blok-Tite allows you to choose the perfect shade to set the mood for your backyard getaway while waterproofing your home's masonry elements. Brighten unsightly retaining walls or concrete with a fresh coat of Blok-Tite, and you'll enjoy more pleasing aesthetics as well as protection against dampness and seeping water.

Furniture
Comfortable, attractive furniture is key to decorating any room in your home, and this counts for outdoor areas as well. Don't fret if your budget is limited. With a little TLC, used patio furniture can become good as new for a fraction of the cost. Refresh worn tables and chairs with a coat of outdoor spray paint, such as the Krylon Outdoor Spaces line, to beautify and protect metal components against the elements. Then, re-cover cushions and add colorful outdoor pillows to quickly brighten the sitting area. 

Flowers/plants
Even if you don't consider yourself a natural gardener, adding some domestic foliage can take your space from bland backyard to restful retreat. Potted plants offer the opportunity for decoration on porches and patios, and are perfect for those who live in apartment buildings or have limited yard space. A quick visit to any home and garden center will help you find the perfect living additions to your patio, yard or porch. Talk to an associate or pick up a gardening how-to book to find the right flora for your lifestyle and climate.

Fire pit
Fall inspires images of bonfires and roasting marshmallows, and a fire can be a great addition to your outdoor entertaining. You may not have the space or city permission for a large fire pit, but there are smaller and enclosed versions available to fit any patio budget. From cement pits to cast iron table-tops, a wide variety of styles and materials will ensure you find a match for your outdoor furniture or garden decor.

Lighting
Weather permitting, an outdoor space can be the perfect place to relax for an evening, and you may not be ready to move inside when the sun sets. To avoid sitting in total darkness, consider your many options of patio lighting. From path sconces, to post lamps, to string lights, the ways to keep your outdoor space lit are limitless. You might even consider some energy-saving solar models for an easy and eco-friendly solution.

With a few simple updates, you can easily create an outdoor haven in your own backyard. An open-air “room” is a great addition to any home, so get started and enjoy your new space for entertaining, reading and relaxing without a costly renovation.

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