Creating Your Outdoor Calgary Living room

 

So far this season has been absolutely beautiful and if it keeps up, this summer is predicted to be a hot one. In that case you will want to spend as much time outside as you can, soaking up the sun and enjoying the amazing weather. Having a place such as a porch, deck or patio etc. to go to relax or hang out with friends and family is key. However, creating an outdoor living space can be tricky depending on size, space and good old Calgary weather. Once you create a space that you can be happy with then it will prompt you to spend more time there and it will also add to the curb appeal of your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind and help you get started creating your own outdoor oasis in Calgary!

Furniture

Choosing comfortable and attractive furniture is the most important and key elements of an outdoor living space, just like any room inside your home. These days the options are endless when it comes to patio furniture, you can get large sectionals and chairs to entertain numerous people, all the way down to benches and pint-size stools used for your own personal enjoyment and relaxation. However, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the material your furniture is made out of. It must be able to withstand Calgary’s intense sunlight, rainy periods and either be portable and easily stored in winter, or able to withstand the snow- so many things to keep in mind! Here are a few options to make it simple:

Patio

Wood: is very solid and sturdy, giving your patio a very natural rustic feel and is very adaptable to different temperatures- meaning it does not get too hot or too cold. However, It is important that it is sealed to prevent rot and withstand Calgary’s temperamental weather.

  • Softwood: cedar and pine are the best examples of this. It is important to paint or seal these woods and if this is done properly they will last for years – especially if stored inside during winter. This is a bit of a pricier option than pressure treated wood, but is a healthier choice for your home.
  • Hardwood: Jarrah and Teak offer the ideal combination of beauty and durability (will last approx. 50 years), but as a result is pricier.

Metal: offers a very modern and classic look to your space. Quality metal can be a little pricy, but is extremely durable, versatile, and comfortable, and the longest lasting option for patio furniture.

  • Iron: is very beautiful and elegant, and can give your space a formal and polished look. It is very heavy, making it a good option in windy weather, but as a result is not easily moved or rearranged. The iron also needs to include a finish so that it is protected against rust and weathering. One downside is that it is not adaptable to different temperatures, meaning it absorbs the sun making it very hot on sunny days and very cold on cooler days.
  • Aluminum: gives your patio a very modern and sophisticated look. It is generally less pricy than other materials and requires little maintenance because of its powder-coated finish that prevents weathering, fading and rust. Generally it is very portable, easy to store and remains cool in the sun.

Iron Furniture

Wicker: this material is extremely comfortable, creating a cozy space. Wicker is offered in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, and can be very versatile.

  • Traditional Wicker: gives your space a natural homey feel, but is 100% not weather resistant and is only suitable to be used in covered areas such as a porch. It is not very durable and will rot & age if rained on, and will need to be stored in a dry place in the winter.
  • All-weather wicker: is made from twisted paper or synthetic fibers that are coated with a weather resistant finish, making it very durable in wet weather. However, it is not recommended to be left in direct sunlight if not in use, as this will age the fibers quicker.

Resin/ Plastic: This is the most affordable, portable and lowest maintenance material that you can get. It is very stackable, making it easily stored and is sometimes made from recycled materials. However, they are extremely light weight and do not withstand very windy climates and are often flimsy. They can be offered in a variety of colors, but do not offer much variety in terms of shape and design.

Another option is to buy reclaimed furniture. This can give your space versatility and add a vintage feel. It’s Vintage YYC and Reclaimed Canada are great for finding vintage, repurposed one of a kind pieces.

Fire Pits vs Fire Places

These are what give your outdoor space a homey comfortable feel and are great for summer nights with friends and family. The difference between them mainly depends on the space available and your budget. Fire pits range from $100-$700 depending on size and quality, and offer flexibility as they are easily moved and stored. Fireplaces however are much more expensive, but can be very inviting and cozy if you have the space. It is important to read up on the rules and regulations regarding fire places and fire pits to ensure your space is compatible and large enough to sustain one or the other.

Fire Pit

Patio Heaters:

One thing about Calgary is that the weather stays nice sometimes into October, however the evenings can get a little chilly. Investing in a patio heater can solve this problem and allow you to enjoy your outdoor space well into the fall.

Adding Personality to your Space:

This is determined on how you style your outdoor oasis. It is what adds the za-za-zoom and the punch of originality that will make your space unique to who you are. Here are some ideas that you can use:

  • Throws and Pillows: they can add a punch of color and make your space more comfortable. You should make sure to buy robust and water proof fabrics if you are leaving them outside for the summer season.
  • Lighting: this can change the mood or the atmosphere of your space. Some ideas are candle lighting, landscape lighting and house lights that have automatic sensors to detect when someone is on the patio.
  • Use levels: taking advantage of steps and adding lower places create an illusion of more space.
  • Create a focal point: in any room inside your home there is usually a focal point that your furniture is based around. Do the same thing outside to make it seem like an actual room in the outside air. Focal points can be a garden, piece of art or a fire pit/ place etc.
  • Accessories: These are what tie the entire space together. Some good examples of these are potted plants, colorful accents, hanging baskets, greenery, fountains, sculptures or mirrors (give the illusion of a window). These can all be easily found at flea markets and reclaimed stores for original pieces that will give your space that boost of personality

Patio

The point of creating this outdoor living room is to add a place to your home that you can sit and enjoy the great outdoors either by yourself or with a group of people. So have fun with it! Pick a style you like, such as vintage, modern, country, camp, crisp or classic, and go wild with it. Just make sure it is all weather proof and can be packed up and stored for winter.

 

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Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen, founder of Who To Call Inc. Taking care of a house with three boys I always needed a good drywaller on speed dial. When I moved to Calgary I quickly discovered it was an Olympic sport to find home service businesses that provided the quality service and advice I was looking for. This experience inspired Who To Call – a website dedicated to helping Calgarians find quality home service repair companies. Sign up to post your project and find quality companies today!
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