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Bringing Indoor Comfort Outside

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Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:35 am, Mon May 26, 2014.

(Family Features) The arrival of summer, along with its sunny skies and beautiful weather, beckons homeowners to create a space to entertain guests and enjoy the great outdoors. Design an outdoor living room that merges style and function, and incorporates elements of indoor comfort.

Whether entertaining for two or 10, the warmer weather provides an abundance of opportunities to lounge in peaceful, open-air surroundings. New offerings in decor and design breathe indoor inspiration into your outdoor spaces, creating a beautiful extension of your home for all to enjoy.

“It’s easier than ever to bring the comfort and style of your favorite indoor spaces into your porch, patio and other outdoor areas,” said Aimee Beatty, in-house stylist with Pier 1 Imports. “From comfy throw pillows to trendy rugs, colorful artwork and cheery curtains, new outdoor products boast durability and so much style that your patio will be the neighborhood’s go-to summer hot spot.”

Beatty shares some of her stylish secrets to make your outdoor space an elegant living space worth sharing.

Arrange away

Treat your outdoor area as you would your living room. If space is limited, use sectionals to create seating in whatever arrangement fits best. If there is more room, add an investment piece, such as the Echo Beach Dining Table from Pier 1 Imports. This high-quality piece is made from handcrafted, all-weather synthetic rattan and offers plenty of space to arrange chairs just as you would in your dining room. Finish the look by layering your favorite accessories, such as handcrafted trays, detailed lanterns and a colorful floral arrangement to create a cheerful centerpiece that makes your guests feel welcome.

Tie it all together

To let you in on a little secret — outdoor rugs tie everything together and really bring a space to life. Simply layer a rug, such as Pier 1 Imports’ chic Wavy Geo Rug, with a beautiful seating collection, colorful cushions and pillows, and you’ve got an outdoor area that makes everyone comfortable and happy.

Embrace the bold

Some might be afraid to create a statement outside because — it’s outside. But an outdoor living space lends itself to adventures with color and pattern, providing the opportunity to be bold and to go beyond your comfort zone. When shopping for the outdoors, remember — anything goes.

Make it uniquely yours

Mix and match with color and patterns, and personalize your space with accents such as outdoor artwork, planters, umbrellas and more. A smart combination of accessories really transforms an outdoor space from simple to fabulous.

Be bright, all night

The sun may still be shining when the guests arrive, but you’ll need something to light up the night and keep the party going all evening long. Create a delightful, welcoming atmosphere with a variety of outdoor lighting options, such as string lights, paper lanterns or floating LED candles placed around the patio. Fashion an elegant glow with lanterns in various sizes, such as the Scroll Trim Lanterns from Pier 1 Imports.

Serve in style

Al fresco entertaining always focuses on food, drinks and friends. A self-service food station or bar enhances the casual tone, freeing guests to grab refreshments whenever they please. This also allows you, the host, to focus on the fun at hand. Look for serving and drink carts that maximize space, such as the Rania Serving Cart from Pier 1 Imports, which has three levels so there’s plenty of room to stash an ice bucket, drink dispenser, snacks, lawn games and more.

So let the warmth of the season bring many memorable moments to your life and stylish elements into your outdoor spaces. For more great decorating ideas, visit www.pier1.com.

Outdoor-Friendly Materials

Have you ever wondered how some products are suitable for the outdoors while others can only be kept inside? Various processes and materials give outdoor furniture and decor durability and weather-resistant appeal.

Synthetic Fibers

Ever think about all the abuse from the elements outdoor pillows, seat cushions and umbrellas suffer? Between the sun, rain and everything in-between, fabrics made for outdoor use are designed to withstand the elements, keeping your newly designed patio fresh for all the parties to come. Synthetic fibers used in these fabrics are designed to bead water, resist stains and maintain their color. With this in mind, you can lengthen the lifespan of such materials by covering them when not in use and avoiding prolonged exposure to rain or sun.

Acrylics and Melamine

Outdoor drinkware and dinnerware made of acrylic and melamine provide much of the same great style as their glass counterparts without the breakability. A nice set of acrylic drinkware and melamine dinnerware, such as Summer Quench Turquoise Goblets and Trellis Dinnerware, both from Pier 1 Imports, will keep your outdoor soiree safe and fun throughout the evening.

Synthetic Rattan and Wicker

Wicker may be the traditional material for outdoor furniture, but this new generation of synthetic wickers and rattans is not your grandmother’s porch furniture. All-weather chairs, tables and more are woven of synthetic rattan or wicker over durable, rust-resistant frames, making them durable and easy to clean. This approach offers the flexibility to incorporate a woven look into furniture of all styles — from traditional to global, modern to whimsical — without sacrificing durability and longevity.

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