6 Tips to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space

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Sleek contemporary fire pit with matching cover doubles as coffee table when not in use. 

Bring the comfort of home to your outdoor space with these tips from Pavillion Outdoor Furnishings in Montclair, New Jersey

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Co-owners of Pavillion Outdoor Furnishings Lisa Mierop and Frank Contey are the authorities on outdoor living. Each with their own landscape design/build firm in Montclair; the duo has decades of experience outfitting the finest homes in north Jersey and beyond. This continues with Pavillion Outdoor Furnishings, an outdoor decorating service that turns patios, terraces, porches, pools, or decks into open-air oases. Mierop and Contey’s company guides clients through the purchase of furnishings and accessories that are home delivered and set-up by their team. From space planning to fabric selection, Pavillion Outdoor Furnishings attends to every aspect of their designs. The company’s impeccable work is clearly represented in their showroom located at 120 Walnut Street in Montclair, NJ (973.783.3100) where high-end home décor items can be purchased. Here, Mierop shares her go-to tips for enhancing any outdoor space.

Understand your space and style

Is the purpose of your outdoor room dining, cooking, entertaining or all of the above? Putting it in ‘interior’ terms, is the space a dining room, kitchen, living room or a combination of all? Is your style traditional, modern or somewhere in between? Once you have answered these key questions, you can more easily identify what pieces you'll need and what look you're going for.

Plan out the space

Make a scale diagram on paper or use a simple online drafting tool to measure out the space. Be realistic about what can and can’t fit, leaving ample room for access in and out of doorways or around dining chairs. If you don’t want to plan out the space on your own, choose a retailer or designer that will walk you through the process. Ask to see a layout with various options if possible and ask to see samples of materials and fabrics.

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Luxury pool pergola furnished with Summer Classics dining and deep seating collections.

 Be realistic about costs

Outdoor furnishings are an investment and like anything else, you get what you pay for. There are many great options out there today, but generally the more quality you invest in, the more likely these furnishings will withstand the elements and give you many good years of use and performance.

Play with color

Neutrals for cushions are the easiest choice, especially when children and pets may be sharing the space. We like to recommend going neutral for the main fabric choice and then play with color accents in pillows, rugs and accessories. This way you can change things up easily and often

Don’t forget about lighting

Lighting is often overlooked out of doors, but at dusk into nighttime, relaxing and entertaining are important. Don’t forget to add the ambiance and practicality that light brings. There are many options: candles and lanterns are classic, fire tables and firepits create a great reason to gather well into the fall months. Fun and colorful torcheres add an exotic island touch, while fanciful string lights can create rustic charm, a party atmosphere, or dining elegance when carefully interlaced on tree branches. There are even outdoor lamps with fully outdoor specified wiring and an enclosed bulb housing to give that real ‘indoor’ lighting ambiance to your patio side tables and consoles.

Incorporate fabric accessories

The outdoor fabric market has exploded with fade, rain, and weather resistant introductions for many uses: colorful rugs, fantastic pillows and, drapery accents in delicate sheers.

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Top of the line exquisitely handcrafted aluminum deep seating by McKinnon and Harris.