April ushers in some of Birmingham’s best weather all year, and we asked the friendly folks at our local Ethan Allen how to make the most of an outdoor space. Whether you have a big or small budget and a lot or little bit of room to work with, there are ways to pamper your landscape to make it an inviting spot for family and friends. Read on, and get inspired.
We’ve all heard the best outdoor areas essentially become an extension of living space. Explain how that works.
How your indoor space functions will impact your outdoor space. Which rooms exit outside? For outdoor dining, access to the kitchen or a food prep area is ideal. Outdoor seating becomes a great extension of an indoor living space. It allows relaxation outdoors, whether you’re simply enjoying a beautiful day or your colorful garden. Will your outdoor living space be a place for relaxation and/or entertaining? When entertaining, knowing how to provide additional seating and space for guests is important.
What advice would you offer a homeowner who doesn’t have a lot of outdoor living space to work with?
When space is limited, select pieces that can do double duty. A small dining table with comfortable, lounge-style chairs will allow for outdoor relaxation or dining. Add an umbrella for vertical interest, height and sun protection. Cluster your pieces comfortably together and allow for traffic flow.
When a homeowner is uncertain what “style” they want to use to decorate their outdoor space — colors, patterns, rustic versus modern, etc — how should they proceed?
At Ethan Allen, we have many options and can achieve many looks. Looking at the inside of the home and how it connects to the outside is a good starting point. If a client has a traditional living space inside and wants to put a more modern spin on the outside, we can select pieces that complement their interiors in both style and color, while giving the outdoor space a fresh, updated look.
What are some trends for this spring/summer that you are seeing?
We are seeing lots of fresh colors and patterns and many classic silhouettes that have been updated with a more modern attitude. We are currently adding many new fabrics to our outdoor and performance line. Look for florals, tropical-inspired looks, a variety of stripes and more. We will have close to 200 patterns to choose from. These fabrics are also great to use indoors — not only in sun rooms, but in family rooms, kitchens and on beds.
What are some of the more popular brands/designers for outdoor furnishings?
All of our outdoor products fall under the Ethan Allen brand, and we have about eight styles to choose from. Our diverse collections include Millbrook, which is a classic English garden-inspired teak; Taunton Hill, which is an all-weather wicker with a relaxed vibe; and Nod Hill, which is a metal group with sleek, simple lines.
What is the best way to care for our outdoor furnishings with our unpredictable Alabama weather?
We provide a care and use guide for all of our outdoor furnishings. We also offer outdoor covers for purchase to protect and extend the life of your furniture. Fortunately, our clients in Alabama can enjoy outdoor living year-round.