Lifestyle

Outdoor Living

Thursday, August 30, 2012    

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With the beautiful weather we have in Jamaica, outdoor living is easy to enjoy and achieve. We simply need to put as much effort into our outdoor spaces as we do indoors and treat them the same. When we're choosing outdoor furniture the biggest problem is finding pieces that are durable and long-lasting and that can survive the harsh elements...lots of rain and lots of sunshine.

Many of us go with trends and decorative pieces; however, the life span of many of these pieces is quite short, so an excellent choice that I'm recommending that will last a lifetime, through all the elements and that is eco-friendly, is concrete...yes, the same concrete tables and benches that you see in parks etc. Though they may not seem very decorative at first, with a bit of thought and creativity they can be transformed, very simply, by using mosaic tiles, paint and fabric.

Imagine seat cushions in simple or bold and beautiful fabrics to add colour and interest or to soften and transform the benches. To do this you would need to:

o Use a large piece of newspaper or craft paper as a template

o Cover the seat with the paper and use a pencil to mark/trace along the edge of the seat

o Cut along this line to reveal a template exactly mimicking the size and shape of the bench seat

o You can transfer this template to a more sturdy medium like cardboard as you will be working a lot with it

o Use this template to cut out the sponge for the cushions as well as the top and bottom pieces from your choice of fabric to make seat cushions

Please note that unless specifically made with a lot of space between the top of the bench and the bottom of the table, there isn't a lot of room to cross your legs under the table, so the sponge you choose to make the seat cushion cannot exceed 1 _ inches. And if you don't use outdoor fabric for this project, you will need to take up these seat cushions when not in use to reduce mildew etc from the elements.

Here are a few other great ways to transform your plain concrete benches to showstoppers that can transform your outdoor living space.

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