Monday, April 12, 2010

Creating The Outdoor Experience - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Yesterday afternoon, while I should have been writing my Around The House Tip of the Week, I was instead drawn to the outdoors. It really is hard to resist enjoying the sunshine, and soaking up a little vitamin D. Though it is a typical spring day, with the sun mixed with a cool breeze, it’s not quite summer yet. In fact, it is just the beginning of spring, and while I was working on preparing my yard and gardens, I thought of how I could further improve my yard and make it an inviting “room” for entertaining. Manufacturers and retailers have really focused on outdoor entertaining, and provide solutions to all your entertaining needs. Regardless of your budget, you can create an outdoor retreat to enjoy for all as long as the season allows.

The Backyard Bartender
Every time I visit a sunny southern destination, I consider picking up and moving, and becoming a beach bartender. While that may be a far-off dream, I can certainly enjoy creating some tropical cocktails in my own backyard. Having been a bartender for over a decade, the bartender in me has dreams of a custom built and well-designed outdoor bar. If you decide to go with custom built, be sure to hire the right professionals to take care of the plumbing and electrical. Consider combining your grill and your bar, for the full entertaining experience. While custom-designed is always a great idea, it may not be the most practical, especially if you spend very few months of the year entertaining outdoors, as you’ll need to ensure that any outdoor permanent fixtures are protected from the elements in the winter months. There are however many great portable outdoor bars available with great functionality, but also give you the option of moving into a shed or garage in inclement weather.

Create The Mood
Want the warmth of a fire, without the hassle of collecting wood, starting the fire, and then maintaining it? Not to mention the smell of campfire that sticks to your hair and clothes for days (mmm...campfire). While not a new concept in outdoor entertaining, there is a greater selection than ever now of outdoor fire bowls, such as the Venetian Fire Bowl from Canadian Tire (pictured at right). There are lots to choose from these days, ranging from tabletop size, to full size. You can even get a gas fire pit (pictured left). These are operated on propane, and are portable enough to be place almost anywhere in your yard. They help to provide heat on a cool night, as well as create a warm ambience.

The Outdoor Living...Room
Decorating your outdoor room can be done with the same concepts in mind as decorating indoors. Look for inviting furniture with colours that compliment the surroundings, and create an enjoyable atmosphere for the activities that you enjoy outdoors. Look for durability and functionality, as well as comfort, for a room that you can enjoy all season long.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

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