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Bring It Outside
Warm weather and long days call for lazy hours lounging outdoors. Happily, a few additions will transform a basic patio or porch into a true extension of your home, making it a cozy, comfortable, and chic retreat to spend your summer living in.
THE DETAILS: Serena & Lily Pacifica sofa, $2,595, serenaandlily.com. CB2 Camilla dining-lounge chair, $279, and Pod hanging chair with cushion, $759, cb2.com. West Elm Mosaic coffee table, $399, westelm.com. Crate & Barrel indoor-outdoor rug, in Drift Brown, $299, crateandbarrel.com. Frontgate outdoor pillows, from $130 each, frontgate.com.
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Roll out a rug
Outdoor mats, which now come in tons of great colors and cool patterns, are a quick way to add comfort underfoot, define your space, and tie the look of it together. The two versions below are made of durable, UV-treated materials and can be hosed down for fast cleaning.
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Invest in sturdy (and stylish) furniture
Well-made pieces will withstand the elements over many seasons. Choose comfortable, versatile items like this bench, made of renewable eucalyptus wood. It looks sharp solo—or use it with its table for added seating come mealtime.
Martha Stewart Living Deer Isle outdoor dining bench, $399, homedecoratorscollection.com
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When the sun starts blazing, a classic umbrella offers an elegant solution. Or consider a movable scrim (imagine curtains around a seating area) that you can shift as the sun travels through the day, suggests Christiane Lemieux, founder of new home-furnishing brand Lemieux Et Cie.
Pottery Barn Capri Market umbrella, from $312, potterybarn.com
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Add a focal point
Place a large fire pit at the patio’s center, suggests Sarah Fishburne, director of home design at Home Depot—or a smaller one off to the side, to create an area of interest. (Either should be at least 10 feet from the house.) It’s a feature that extends the season, and those with grates on top can double as small grills.
CB2 Ember fire pit, $269, cb2.com
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Light the way
Candles and lanterns provide safe passage in dark areas and bring a flattering glow to your guests. Plus, “light beautifully defines a party’s perimeter,” says Lemieux.
Pottery Barn Arlington lantern, $130, potterybarn.com
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Enlist hardworking pieces
Is it a stool? Is it a table? Flexible furniture means you always have whatever you need on hand. Go for weatherproof (and deceptively lightweight) materials like teak or resin for enduring quality.
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Infuse beauty—and fragrance
“Coordinate your planters and flowers to complement the colors of your patio for an effortless, pulled-together look,” Fishburne says. Choose evening bloomers like moonflower for a gently scented cocktail hour.
Planters, in various styles and sizes, from Home Depot, homedepot.com
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Cozy up the place
Soft furnishings, including pillows, curtains, and throws, establish an outside vibe that’s just as comfortable as the inside. “I create a lounge feeling by layering rugs, poufs, and large pillows around the fire pit for sunset cocktails,” says Lemieux.
From top: Bed Bath & Beyond Sunbrella canvas outdoor throw pillow, in Maize, $28, bedbathandbeyond.com. Serena & Lily Harbour Island floor pillow, $179, serenaandlily.com. Brahms Mount wool ombré throw, $324, brahmsmount.com.
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A rolling cooler is a practical way to keep chilled drinks at the ready—plus, it’s fun and stylish. “There is something about galvanized steel, ice, and drinks that just says, ‘We are going to have a good time,’” says Lemieux.
Permasteel rolling patio cooler, 80 qt., $150, permasteelshop.com.
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