2233 Wisconsin Ave NW • Washington DC • 202 333 2300

Alfresco style

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Summer days are right around the corner and with them come longer days, connecting with neighbors and friends, and sweet June breezes. Our grills may beckon, the pool will call, and time spent outdoors will become a reward we crave at the end of a busy day.

Stepping beyond the four walls of our homes to our patios, terraces, balconies, decks, or porches our environment stretches into the outdoors. More and more, families are making these exterior spots into spaces that reflect their design aesthetic, inviting and perfect for entertaining neighbors and friends or relaxing with family.

As with any interior space, each decision can have a lasting impact on the end result. Thought should be given to lighting, seating, floor treatments, and accessories. For a casual and relaxed space, consider the following:

• Flooring – the foundation of the space. Depending on the raw space, options include: stamped concrete, pavers, or flagstone. Adding a rug to define a conversation area is never a bad idea and options abound in the marketplace from sisal and sea grass to gorgeous area rugs made from recycled materials. In addition to area definition, rugs add warmth and coziness to a wild space.
• Seating – the place to gather. If the space is covered, consider using interior furnishings outdoors. Otherwise, look for pieces specifically designed to be used outside. Wicker and iron are great options, as are some wooden pieces. Soften the seating with cushions and pillows, using them as pops of color if desired.
• Lighting – adding the glow. On a covered porch, a ceiling fan with lighting can be an option, but otherwise, consider lanterns placed where light is needed, or string lights for ambiance. Candles also offer a warm glow and are easily rearranged when needed.
• Accessories – a bit of bling. For accessories, certainly consider artistic pieces, but do not forget that some of the most beautiful accessories can be grown. Flowers and plants add so much to an exterior space, whether just a container garden on a balcony or a fully landscaped backyard.

Summertime is here and we should make the most of it! A little bit of alfresco living is good for the soul – and when that space is stylish too, spending time there will feel like such a treat!

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