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Outdoor Living - In the Zone


Published: 08/18/2015


Ahh! Summer outdoor living is one of the most enjoyable activities. From entertaining to relaxing in the great weather, we love to experience this season around our house. Creating a comfortable oasis in your own outdoors allows you, your family and your friends the opportunity to relax in the privacy of your own retreat.


As a designer tackling client’s outdoor spaces, I look beyond the living room and into the backyard to make those exterior spaces a true extension of a home. Bringing the indoors outside is becoming more popular as outdoor furniture options have become boundless. We can now source beautiful products for those on a budget or those willing to spend a little more. Today, you can find a vast selection of colours, finishes and accessories to create a stylish backyard that will make your neighbours look twice.


No matter the size of your yard or patio, when designing outdoor living spaces, it is important to create zones to create flow and interest. Zones can be transformed into anything – for dining, entertaining, cooking or lounging. They can even be simple focal points.


Creating a clear path in your yard is a key to defining separate areas. Adding inexpensive planters and trees is a great way to define certain spaces. Furniture also plays a key role in outlining specific zones, from dining areas to lounging.


If you love entertaining and if ample seating is important to you, introduce benches, inexpensive garden stools and fun pieces that are portable, flexible and can double as chairs or side tables for placing drinks.

Just as with indoors, layering accessories outdoors is important in achieving a cozy and complete environment. A great way to introduce colour is with outdoor rugs. These are exceptionally lightweight and most surprisingly, they are quite inexpensive. Made from woven polyurethane fibres, outdoor mats can be lots of fun to try.


Colourful fabrics, pillows and cushions will truly make your outdoor living space feel bright and inviting. Hanging some lively drapery panels to control the sunlight around your gazebo or sitting area creates a dreamy sensation of an outdoor retreat.


Using outdoor lanterns and even built-in accent lighting is a great way to add an element of luxury to your yard.


It’s time to invest in your outdoors and turn your backyard into a hideaway retreat that you can enjoy this summer.


Toronto-based designer Dvira Ovadia, principal of Dvira Interiors, has appeared on various HGTV shows.




Make sure your outdoor fabrics are Sunbrella fabrics or equivalent. This uniquely designed textile will not fade or wear under the harsh rays of the sun.


Photos: Southport Outdoor Furniture

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