Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Decorate An Outdoor Bistro

Add your own bistro style to your patio.

An outdoor bistro for a house, condo patio or apartment balcony means sunshine, moonlight, fresh air, some rain, some heat, some cold and quite a few insects. But neither pests nor rain, heat nor cold should dampen your spirits. Your bistro is for enjoying the outdoors, expanding your living space, creating your own oasis, hanging out with friends and creating more storage. Source out flea markets, garage sales and your own basement, attic or garage and reuse items. In a weekend or two, you can have your very own outdoor bistro. Does this Spark an idea?


Decide Use of Space

1. Lounge or party at will.

Decide how you want to use your space. A small condo patio can accommodate lounging with a book, having a drink with someone and some storage. Bigger spaces can accommodate a group.

2. Define your space. Determine how your intended activity might disturb the neighbors. Consider the views you enjoy and those you'd rather not see: the night sky may be fabulous, but the trash might also be within sight.

3. Be vigilant about your privacy. Strategically position plants, sheer and natural fiber curtains, room dividers, plant trellises, or a chiminea for privacy and ambience.

Plan and Budget

4. A limited budget is fine for a simple outdoor bistro.

Crunch your numbers. Decide on your color scheme and limit your decorating style options to one theme such as Tuscan, Mediterranean, Asian, tropical, contemporary, English/French country, rustic, Mission or shabby chic.

5. Decide on basic pieces you want to put in: bistro table set, benches with storage, lights, heating or cooling source, grill, music source and pest control. Ottomans and storage chests multitask as chairs, side tables, a coffee table and storage; citronella candles are light sources great for pest control; hanging/potted plants provide privacy, temperature control, ambience and a pleasing aroma.

6. Sketch your plan or use design software.

Install Your Outdoor Bistro

7. Use plants strategically for privacy, to enhance or camouflage.

Cover the "uglies." Paint the ceiling a cheerful color; the floor with a faux stone finish or wooden deck tiles; camouflage with a plant trellis or room divider; position stone sculptures or tall plants to cover a wall crack.

8. Enhance the positive by accessorizing. String lights on your natural tree canopy or porch swing. Enhance the outdoor feeling with wind chimes and tinkling fountains.

9. Choose weatherproof materials. Cheesecloth curtains and a wrought-iron sofa with waterproof pillows easily dry in the rain.

10. Use stoneware planters instead of plastic pots.

Avoid plastic for a luxurious feel to your bistro. Opt for natural fibers in different textures. Use stoneware.

Tags: outdoor bistro, condo patio, Outdoor Bistro, pest control, your bistro, your space