Micro Housing Studio apartments have been around in major cities since the late 1800s. When we think of the quintessential studio apartment, we think New York City, so it is of note that the Big Apple has made some shifts downwards in the minimum size for a legal …Read more. Kid's Bunk Bed One very easy way to stretch space in a child's bedroom is to buy a bunk bed. It's brilliant! This is one way to create a play area and a homework spot in a space-starved home. Back in the day, while living in a typical 1950s ranch-style house, we …Read more. When Custom Makes Sense Certain home improvement projects will be transformative. I was staring at the sliding door in my bedroom this morning, remembering how we talked about replacing all the windows, but instead I chose to raise the bedroom ceiling and buy a taller …Read more. Multiple Uses for Spare Room A spare room is a genuine treasure in a small home. No matter how tiny it may be, it is always better to have it than be starved for extra space. I like the idea of investing energy and resources into creating multiple uses for auxiliary spaces. …Read more.more articles
Dining al fresco can be simply divine! Who doesn't have pleasant memory of eating outside on a warm summer evening? This is the time to clean up after the winter and get everything ready for summer.
But there are some parts of the country where you might become the meal for insects and where a screened-in porch is a safer place to enjoy a meal. Mosquitoes carry many human and livestock diseases and there are about 170 different species in North America. Be aware that you can buy installation-ready mosquito screens for your porch or balcony from www.mosquitocurtains.com. Touted as less than permanent screening by one third, this family owned business allows you to capture extra space and protect your family at the same time.
Some people swear by citronella candles as a way to control mosquitoes. These burn the natural oil of citrus plants, but I have a very breezy backyard, and I cannot keep the candles or torches burning. It is said that these natural insect repellants are only best effective right where the smoke is concentrated, and that isn't particularly pleasant. Your local hardware store or big box home improvement store likely sells citronella candles and oil along with the tiki torches to stick into the ground around your outdoor eating area.
I am happier dining in an enclosed porch! Even the smallest balcony or porch can host a mini table such as the one shown. Most important is likely a comfortable chair that duplicates an indoor chair in fit and flexibility. Swivel armchairs are extremely appealing for several hours outside. You might just add a seat cushion to an aluminum chair to improve the experience of sitting for a couple of hours.
If you are short on room, try placing a rectangular table up against the wall of the house or the side of the screened-in wall, and it will function like a peninsula. Look for either a drop-leaf table or an outdoor extension table.
You can create a dreamy atmosphere on any porch, patio, and balcony or under a pergola with special lighting. Fortunately, you can find low voltage lights nearly everywhere, from your local drugstore to home improvement stores or retail discount stores. Investigate what a nearby party supply store carries in novelty lights, or mini lights can be stolen from your Christmas decorations if you cannot find them locally at this time of year. I hang clear lights in my backyard pine trees all year long, but you can seasonally attach them to a fence, string them in bushes and trees or mount them on a wooden patio cover. Check Pottery Barn, Sears, Frontgate or Restoration Hardware for votive lights in a wide range of styles, some battery operated so you don't need to worry about a flame at all. Look additionally for solar powered garden lanterns that can be used in landscaping or for mood lighting when hung from a thin pole or stake. Check out places such as Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware and Target stores. Don't forget to look at Big Lots, Tuesday Morning, T.J. Maxx, Marshall's and Home Goods as well for seasonal fun lighting sets.
Photo Credit: Home Depot
Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego-based interior designer and the author of "Small Space Living." Send questions and comments to her by email at email@example.com. To find out more about Christine Brun and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM