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  • Writer's pictureMaple Creek

How to Make an Enjoyable Outdoor Space

Design magazines and Pinterest will tell you that in order to have an enjoyable outdoor space, you need to go big or go home: new furniture, an outdoor rug, a dedicated patio, fancy firepit, decorations, and whatever else. And you can…you definitely can, but you certainly don’t have to. Here’s a few suggestions to create a comfortable and cozy place outside where you and your family can simply hang out and enjoy. You

A firepit with a few extra logs

1. Declutter / clean up anything that doesn’t belong.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes our back porch becomes a bit of a dumping ground for random things that don’t quite make their way back to where they belong. Littered with abandoned bikes from kids who ran inside for a snack, the rake that didn’t make its way back into the garage after being used, and some random metal bedrails I picked up once but didn’t end up needing. In fact, just typing this makes it almost feels like a walk-in junk drawer with the random collection of objects that often make their way onto the porch and sometimes sit there for a very long time. This is my wake-up call (and yours!) to clean up your outdoor area. Put the junk away or throw it out.

2. Make a place for things that do belong.

Ok, I get it. You can’t exactly put away the kids' bikes, scooters and soccer balls. And what about the grill and garden hoe that will continue to be used throughout the season? Make a place for them. A deliberate place to hold these items will bring some semblance of order to the space, even if it just means lining things up against the house.

3. Cut the grass and kill the weeds.

To me, nothing makes a lawn more unappealing than long grass. And, it gives place for mosquitos, fire ants, dog poop (and dare I say, snakes) to hang out. Remove the potential for an unpleasant surprise and cut it. Spoiler alert, even weeds look ok when cut short. Besides, if it’s dark, nobody will know the difference between grass and weeds...

4. Add a place to sit.

A comfortable place to sit will help you relax while you take in the change of seasons. Place a few camping chairs, a swinging bench, picnic table or Adirondacks in a circle or semi-circle to invite good conversation.

5. Up the ambiance.

To make your outdoor space more pleasant, consider hanging some string lights, light a citronella candle, add a fire pit or ring, turn on some music, and plant a pot of seasonal flowering plants.

6. Share your space.

Most importantly, serve up some good food and invite over friends for an evening of laughter under the stars.

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