Holding on to Your Outdoor Space: Keeping Toy Clutter at Bay
May 24th, 2013 posted by Megan Brown
Whether you have a small patio or an expansive backyard, finding the right balance of space between kids’ toys and adult ambiance can be challenging. When my husband and I set out to tackle this very task we focused on creating a sense of play for the whole family. That included thinking creatively about our space and focusing on what is really important to our us as a unit. Whether you are hosting a wine tasting party or a play date with your son’s entire 1st grade class, you need a space that can make everyone happy.
Here are 5 Tips to help you create a dream space that will impress your friends and provide your kids with a fun place to play!
1. Designate a go-to spot for toys: As much relaxing as we would like to do in our outdoor space, the reality of having kids is having lots of “stuff” to keep them entertained. Lots of stuff means lots of “cleaning up” at the end of the day. The best way to keep your sanity is to have a clear location for children’s things. This allows you to quickly straighten up, or if your kids are older they can easily help you keep things organized.
2. Make furnishings work twice as hard: Because space is often at a premium in outdoor living areas, furniture and accessories have to do double-duty. Benches may have storage space underneath or ottomans may open to reveal hidden storage. This is a great place to hide away blankets and decorative pillows that you can use to transform your space from kid friendly to evening chic in a snap. (It also happens to be the best place to stash those straggler toys that didn’t quite make it to their proper place!)
3. Utilize a variety of seating options: Benches, chairs, even pint-size stools: As many choices as you can include in an outdoor living space will help family and friends enjoy it. Scaled-down kid versions allow little ones to seat themselves, while chairs are a more flexible option — add extras around the table for an impromptu dinner for family and friends.
4. Everyone needs a fireplace: Think about how wonderful it is to curl up with a good book in front of a fire on a chilly evening; now move that feeling outside. If you have the space and budget, consider a full-size version; if not, fire pits are a flexible and affordable option. Not only will the adults love the ambiance it creates the kids will love being able to make S’mores right in their own backyard!
5.Try affordable updates: Turquoise may be the “it” color this year. But what about when a new color strikes your interest — or when pillows or umbrellas wear out? Fortunately, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to swap out outdoor living accents. Go for new accent pillows, replace slipcovers or even just look for updated outdoor tableware (non-breakable of course!), for an outdoor living space that looks refreshed and fun. FYI though, for exposed spaces, select options made from outdoor fabrics that withstand the sun’s rays and dry quickly. They also hold up quite well with active kids!
These 5 easy steps will have your outdoor space in tip-top shape just in time for summer and family fun!
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