Teja Lele Desai lists five easy ways to spruce up the patio and terrace

Most times, the balcony, patio or terrace turns into the most neglected area of our home. But it can be the place where you have your first cup of coffee at sunrise or relax with a book at sundown. Kit out your open space to make your time there much more enjoyable.

1. A table to begin with

Be it a coffee table or a side table that’s functioning as your central furniture fixture, look for a piece that is just right in scale. Too big a piece may mean you can’t fit much of anything else in the verandah. If you don’t want a large table, consider using an ottoman — one with storage.

2. Get the seating right

Wouldn’t you like to put your legs up as you read the latest bestseller or peruse the morning papers along with hot cup of coffee? Ensure that there’s always somewhere comfortable to sit by getting a couple of options — a bench, a single seater and a rattan piece may be?

3. Swing in a hammock

Add an element that will put you in a holiday mood every time you enter your verandah. A smart hammock that invites you to laze and linger — along with a book or your thoughts — is just the thing you need to invest in.

4. If there’s no breeze, create it

It’s going to be breezy some nights if you’re lucky, but it’s sure to be hot on most of them. Stay immune to heat — well almost! — by installing a swinging wall fan that showers you with the breeze you need every minute.

5. Let there be soft light

There’s something about soft candlelight. It creates a mellow inviting atmosphere that seems to rid a space of all problems in a jiffy. Pop a couple of candles in candle holders and light up when you have guests over; they’ll gravitate out of doors naturally.

Apart from these five tips, there are many other ways to enhance the aesthetic of your open space: bring in cheerful decals, string up a bunting, grow a mini garden, or display some cheap ceramic plates. Sky is the limit so get started and liven up your home this weekend.

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