Expert-approved tips to bring the indoors out

Homeowners looking to take advantage of summer weather want to extend their living space beyond their four walls. Whether working with an urban patio or an expansive backyard, setting up al fresco living is easier than you think.

Design expert Kimberley Seldon and the Electrical Safety Authority share tips to take your outdoor space from builder basic to extraordinaire.

Designing a living room-style space outside gives you more room to entertain guests or casually watch television under the light of the moon. Seldon suggests using accessories like pillows and throws to give your outdoor room the same cozy feeling as the interior of your home.

To create a space that flows seamlessly from inside to out, try incorporating a similar colour palette into your outdoor space. If you want a spot to kick back and relax, add an outdoor television. To power it, a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet must be used to avoid shock. A cover plate marked “Extra Duty” will protect outlets exposed to weather, keeping water and debris out and prevent electrical shocks.

“To create a space that flows seamlessly from inside to out, try incorporating a similar colour palette into your outdoor space.”

Indoor-style lighting options that are safe for outdoors or the addition of a ceiling fan will create the breezy look of a southern veranda. Just remember the fan will require special installation. A licensed electrical contractor is needed to ensure the correct junction box is used for additional support, so it won’t wobble or fall.

When planning your outdoor space, remember your furnishings will be exposed to the elements. Weather-resistant carpets can define conversation areas but will also stand up against rain and sun. Electrical equipment needs the same protection. So, check to see that your wires and cables are marked “SR” for sunlight resistance.

Working with a licensed electrical contractor and designer will help you achieve the outdoor space of your dreams that’s powered to perform. Ask for a certificate of inspection when any electrical work is complete for insurance and resale purposes, not to mention peace of mind.

Find more tips online at poweryourlife.ca.

www.newscanada.com

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