2440 Charles St. N • Suite 210 • North St. Paul, MN 55109

With the weather warming up, it is tempting to move your entertaining outdoors.  However, before you head outside, spruce up or add to your exterior living spaces.  Add panache to your outdoors with these helpful hints:

Add Furniture: Seating is key to any entertaining event!  Arrange seating conversationally, as you would inside the home, to encourage discussion and relaxation spaces.  Don’t forget to consider the size of your space – if your outdoor room is small, consider scaled down furniture to avoid overwhelming the area.  Also, invest in products made for the outdoors.  For example, when choosing sofas and seating, look for weatherproof furniture that hold up to rain, wind and direct sunlight.  Waterproof wood and metal components to keep them from succumbing to rain or other elements.

Locate Lighting: Add lighting to ensure your guests can continue their conversation well into the night!  A variety of outdoor lighting options are available including hanging lanterns, torches, solar lamps, or insect repellant candles.  Don’t forget to consider the angles at which your lights are placed.  In general, exterior lights placed in a downward position create ambience by providing a soft and cozy glow.  Alternately, exterior lighting placed upward accents architecture by spotlighting specific areas.

Decorate and Dazzle: While muted tones may be perfect for your understatedly elegant living room or demure bathroom, quiet colors will blend in with their surroundings when placed outdoors.  Instead, decorate with bright and bold primary colors.  Hues that would seem overwhelming indoors – think bright reds, yellows, and blues – will add a punch of playful panache when used outside.

Invite Beautiful Butterflies: Butterflies add whimsy and fun to any outdoor space.  But how do you get them to visit your home?  Plant a garden of nectar-rich flowering plants and enjoy regular visits from monarchs and other winged guests.  Prime plants to incorporate into your butterfly garden include asters, black-eyed susans, and lantanas.

Add A Natural Element: A water or fire feature can help to set the mood of your space.  For example, a backyard fire pit can provide the perfect focal point for outdoor entertaining while also lending warmth and ambience to your space.  On the flip side, water features such as a fountain, waterfall, or garden pond can provide serenity and tranquility.

Enjoy the season of outdoor entertaining!

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