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summer outdoor spaces

Updated: Jun 28, 2019

Bonfire, fireflies, s’mores, kids laughing, swimming and a nice cold drink … summers in Michigan are simply the best! This leads us to admire the outdoor spaces and some things to think about if you are thinking about a outdoor space as your next project.

The direction of the home and finding that perfect placement for your space is an important factor in outdoor spaces. If south or west facing, your evenings are going to be toasty! Consider coverage of some sort. Awnings are great whether fixed or adjustable, there is a solution for your setting. This space at the Tarkowski household is a show stopper. With a electronic awning, including lights and wind sensors keeps them cool yet gives them the flexibility to decide if they want the sun or not. Many finish selections and options to make your space a favorite for summertime.

Another covered space option that you can get really creative with is a pergola. Pergolas are the middle ground when you don’t want a fully covered awning or a fully open space. They can be dolled up with lighting to set the perfect ambiance – especially on a perfect summer night. The framework allows for greenery vines to climb the structure, which in turn can provide privacy. The louvered effect allows the shade to move when the sun does, changing the scene throughout the day. Add a free-standing table or consider a built-in feature to make the pergola a perfect fit for your sunny space!

Wide open spaces (thanks Dixie Chicks, the song is now in our head) are great for so many reason. This space below is a metal trimmed space, with a limestone base. The limestone is a more stable stone that doesn’t move much. Placing a fire pit in the center allows for 360-degree summer time fun! When space planning a space like this, take a garden hose and layout a shape you wish. If you already have your furniture or want to plan for new, take objects and place them in the garden hose to see if you have adequate spacing + a little more for wiggle room. A nice feature about open outdoor spaces like the one below is the pine tree’s that create the perfect shade, at the perfect time just when you’re getting ready to roast some mellows for that perfect s’more. Another plus to wide open spaces is there is little to prep for the winter, simply put the furniture away and wah-laaa you are done!

Sun rooms, the perfect space for when it rains and you still want to enjoy the outside. Great for those who love the outdoors but not always the sun. Perfect solution to keep pesky little bugs out (and maybe some little kiddos in)! There are so many options for the wall construction and design; screens, doors, nano walls, or a blend to find the perfect solution. The great thing about these sun rooms is when it rains you can sit and enjoy the pitter-patter and not get wet. When the mosquitoes are healthy, you can have a ease of mind knowing your not going to be covered from head to toe in bites. Plus it’s like a whole additional space to your home that can be used longer and on those not so hot days too!

Additional things to consider when planning your spaces..…

- Music: Plan for outdoor Bluetooth speakers. We love a good background sound and find this along with lighting little, the things that simply just make a space all around awesome! Plus who doesn't love a romantic dance with their significant other in the dark? (insert all the heart eyes you can imagine!)

- Lighting: Consider barring a line out to a space if it’s disconnected from your home. This would allow the flexibility to run lights, music, and more in a very convenient way. Swag stringed lights over for the perfect ambiance. Solar lights and stair lights also are a game changer for the perfect setting or way finding.

- Furniture: Find the perfect furniture by considering the material as well as cushioned verses not, metal verses PVC, etc. There are so many options! You can also customize your look with choosing the right fabrics intended to last in the outdoors. If you’re going to pick a fabric make sure it has sun protection (Sunbrella is a good place to start Maximize your furniture layout by mixing in fun things like a bark-less wood “end table” (aka stump or log). And don’t forget a spot for a cooler to hold those adult juices.

- A place to cook: Men if you have skipped the entire blog and jumped to this, that’s a-ok! Let’s be real this is a big one for everyone, I mean I think I can speak for many when I say we do revolve our lives around eating… am I right! Freestanding grills, smokers, build-in kitchens, these are all things to make sure you have room for when planning one heck of an outdoor space. We are partial to the Grilla Grils (it's been said that this smoker grill has saved marriages- HA!)

So raise those cold drinks to warm, sunny, cricket-chirping summers in Michigan!

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