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Family Matters

A Sunny Room to Call Your Own

April 30th, 2013

By: Peter Cantley

Imagine your own little garden getaway. You may want a spot for entertaining your children’s friends or a cozy retreat for curling up with a book. A good trick is to think about the elements of your family’s favourite room and then find ways to re-create them outside.

The perfect place. Decide where your little outdoor getaway will be located. It could be the patio, the front porch, a balcony or a cozy corner of the yard. You’ll probably be spending more time there than anyone else, so make sure the area is as sunny or shady as you like it.

Define your space. You’ll need to put up “walls” to make it feel just like a room. Use part of your fence, big potted plants, a trellis, or simply arrange furniture to create privacy and separation. Also, lay down patio tiles or an outdoor rug to define your “floor” and further separate your room from the yard.

The lived-in look. When it comes to furnishings, consider old patio furniture or weather-resistant indoor furniture. If pieces are mismatched, all the better – the point is to go for an eclectic, casual look. Benches and rocking chairs are a great touch and very affordable. Add outdoor cushions in vivid colours and prints to all the seats for comfy spots to relax.

Set the tables. Old tables can be easily adjusted to better suit your outdoor area. Table legs can be cut down and lowered to a more comfortable height for little ones playing games, doing crafts or enjoying refreshments. Plastic tables can be draped with a pretty floral tablecloth and wooden tables can be unevenly sanded to create that great distressed look.

Light Up the Party: PROPER lighting is essential for entertaining on summer evenings and creating the perfect ambience for your garden getaway. Light from candles, lamps or illuminated planters are available at an affordable price and provide a splash of colour.

Peter Cantley is the vice president of floral and garden at Loblaw Companies Limited. Peter is a garden guru, utilizing his more than 45 years of floral and garden expertise to help Canadian gardens thrive. For more tips on creating a room with a view, visit

Tags: Dads, Moms

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