Transforming your small Florida backyard into your personal resort retreat

A well designed outdoor living area can make your home feel twice as big, while adding value to your property.   Living in South Florida, most of us will use our outdoor area for both quite relaxation and entertaining.  There are a few things you should consider before running out to buy outdoor furniture.    

Budget - Set your budget and stick to it. Let’s face it, quality outdoor furniture can be pricey.  You don’t have to complete your backyard makeover all at once.  Make a plan, by prioritizing what is most important to you.

Space planning - The size of your outdoor space, lifestyle, and needs will determine what sort of furniture to purchase.   I recommend sketching out the floor plan of your backyard space.  Get accurate measurements of everything before you purchase.   Consider grouping furniture in conversational seating areas for better entertaining. If you plan on having a dining area, think about using a table and chairs that are at bar height.  It can add a little bit of interest to your design.  If you’re planning on using a BBQ while your guests are around, make sure to locate the BBQ away from where your guest are seated.

Ambiance - Decide what the focal point of you backyard will be.  A focal point is an element that draws your eye first, and invites you in. The focal point defines the space’s ambiance and purpose.  If your focal point is a water feature or fire pit, then that space is telling you to come sit down, relax, and stay a while.  Add can lighting in the form of candles, lanterns, tiki torches, and landscape lighting.  Proper lighting alone can transform a ho hum backyard instantly.  

Furniture -   When purchasing new patio furniture, select materials that have durability, and require minimal care.  Consider the following, Cast Aluminum - The light weight of this metal makes rearranging easy, it also lends durability against rain, so rust will not be an issue.   Resin Wicker – Much more durable than traditional wicker (such as cane and rattan).  Most higher-end resin wicker is UV-resistant, so it won’t crack or fade.  Teak - Lifetime durability, warm classic looks that will never go out of style. 

Fabrics- One Company that makes the most durable and longest lasting outdoor fabrics is Sunbrella. Their outdoor fabrics are UV resistant to keep the colors looking bright, resistant to mildew, rot, and available in a wide array of patterns.  Consider using this outdoor fabric on all of your seat cushions, pillows, loungers, drapery, umbrellas and awnings.

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