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Opening Up to Spring

Spring is just around the corner, and in your Florida home, it’s coming closer every day. But apart from switching out your wardrobe and cranking up the air conditioning, springtime offers you the perfect chance to make a change in your home, too—by bringing the inside out.

When temperatures start to warm up, switching from indoor to outdoor entertaining can be a great way to take advantage of a neglected porch or backyard patio. But before you start your outdoor revamp, it’s important to consider how much you’re willing to spend, what works outside and what doesn’t.

Make a plan. Maybe you’re renting, or don’t have as much leeway when it comes to making big changes in your outdoor space, or maybe you’re looking to do a complete backyard redo. Whatever your situation, make sure you set aside a budget and look into logistics. Outdoor decorating for most of us is usually not at the top of our priority lists, and it’s easy to get carried away when you have little guidelines or experience. A simple trip to your home improvement store can help you get a better idea of what’s reasonable for you.

Think about comfort. Backyard patios are often furnished with less-than-comfortable chairs and tables. Just because it’s outside, doesn’t mean it can’t feel like a second living room! Waterproof cushions are easy to maintain and are made for outdoor use—consider picking some up for hard wicker, wood, or metal furniture. This is where you’re going to be entertaining this season, so make it worthwhile. Outdoor furniture can be comfortable and affordable, and often come in easy-to-match sets.

It’s a blank canvas—decorate! Whether your space is small or big, green or dreary gray, there’s no excuse not to introduce some plant life and personal touches. Different plants have their own prime growing conditions, and some work better in shade than others. Visit a home improvement store or local nursery to find a plant good for your space. And remember—this is an extension of your home. Consider adding wall decorations or other artifacts that you can spray to waterproof later on.

Get the most out of your space. Once your porch, patio, or deck is furnished to your liking—use it! A nice change in atmosphere will make your parties, cookouts, and family dinners more enjoyable.

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