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Furnishing a Patio

Martha Stewart Living, March 1996

Mixing indoor and outdoor furnishings on a porch or patio is an excellent way to integrate house and garden. Ideas taken from interior design -- such as the dramatic use of color -- can give outdoor furniture an important decorative presence.

In season, the porch at Martha's East Hampton house is furnished as fully as an indoor room, with living-room seating grouped to encourage conversation and a large separate dining area. The furniture is painted one shade of green to visually unify a variety of materials and styles; the carpeting is made of coir, a natural fiber often used to cover swimming-pool diving boards. Draperies made from an outdoor awning fabric provide a cozy sense of enclosure.

Do You Know?
Wicker can be a challenge to clean because dust tends to accumulate in its crevices. To draw it out, vacuum pieces regularly using a soft-brush attachment.