Outside on the North Fork
As those of us living in the Northeast keep repeating – spring is finally here, and it even brought a hint of summer along with it. (For folks living elsewhere, I’m sure this is getting boring to hear. But it was an exceptionally tough winter for us!)
If you are lucky enough to possess a sliver or even a large plot of outdoor space, it’s time to get serious about alfresco living. A few months back – in the midst of a pending Nor’easter – I wrote about colorful and fun outdoor pieces in anticipation of warmer days to come. Today I share with you a few necessities I'm seeking in the final stages of our North Fork Renovation.
This week I’m shopping for functional items to fill out the patio and decks of our North Fork home. We have finally made enough progress with construction that we can begin accessorizing the outdoor space (and remain somewhat dust free while using the yard). I'm sure we will include a few fun and funky pieces like the ones I fantasized about on that cold and blustery January night. But mostly, I need to meet some basic needs.
Coming soon...stay tuned for a post on compact outdoor pieces for apartment dwellers - think mini-balcony and window-sills.
A Couple of Functional Hints: Think about where or how you are going to store your outdoor furniture. Does it need to be covered or moved inside during the winter? Is it easy to move? Does it need to be tied down or otherwise tethered during windy nights or storms? (Hmm, note to self, not very design-y – but maybe this is the year for a tether-ball set?)
A Place for Lounging in the Sun: Related to the tip above, in my book there are loungers that are easy to move and loungers that look best staying put. This is because my children are constantly moving even non-moveable furniture. Also worth considering: stackability and reclinability; cushions or no-cushions. All of these functions have value. Consider which function is most important to you.
A Place to Dine in the Sun or Shade: Some say food tastes better outdoors. We can’t wait. Cold cuts, chilled watermelon, BBQ and beyond. Keep the table and chairs simple, easy to clean, and let the food, flora and fauna shine. If you don’t have trees or natural shade, don’t forget the umbrella or sun sail.
A Place to Gather in Conversation: Lucky enough to have space for a sofa or sofa-like furniture? Create a conversation pit with a sofa or armchairs, plus a cocktail and side tables for snacks and drinks.
A Light for the Night: If you’re going to invest in outdoor furniture, extend the useable hours with lighting. Candlelight, fairy lights, and torches are tried and true. Wall sconces, table lamps, and “ceiling” lights with or without fans, are more complicated to install, but well worth adding to the mix. (Mini-hint: Just like lighting a room, mix different types of lights).
For a few more examples of some furniture that hits my mix of functional (but still well designed and fun) outdoor furniture, see my Pinterest Board on Outdoor Living.