Top backyard spring trends

[PRESENTED BY JO ALCORN]

I love spring! It’s a time to switch things up, refresh and renew your home and, more importantly, your backyard! I’ll be at the Backyard Living Expo coming up on April 6 for an on-stage presentation at 1:15pm and would love for you to join me to talk about all things backyard décor and design! As a sneak preview, here are my top 5 tips and trends for this season.

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High Performance Outdoor Sound – I love music! I play it all day long and there’s no exception when I go outside to relax and enjoy the warmer weather. I love the high performance outdoor sound that Paradigm has to offer. Long gone are the days of the boom box or the huge speaker systems. This company offers discrete luxury speakers that can be wall mounted, deck mounted, faux rocks that can mix right into you garden and even garden oasis systems with an underground subwoofer for large areas.

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Shading Style – While I love the outdoors, shade is of the utmost importance. This year I am obsessed with Pergolas. They have retractable systems that allow the light to shine in when you want a few rays, but you can also crank the roof closed when you need some shade. The great thing about these systems is that they can be built to spec for odd shapes, attached to an existing structure or they also have great stand alone units.

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Grilling Galore – There is nothing Canadian’s love more than firing up the grill and as a designer when your grill can match your décor it’s even better! I love the new Weber Spirit ll series that comes in four bold colours so you can add the perfect barbeque to match your décor. My choice this year would be the gorgeous Ivory to add to my small space patio.  Spirit II gas grills are powered by Weber’s innovative GS4 grilling system to ensure every aspect of your grilling experience is easy and reliable. They are also iGrill 3 compatible and are backed by a 10-year 100% Weber Guarantee Warranty – from lid to wheels!

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Burn Baby, Burn – Adding a fire element to an outdoor space helps to elongate the season, creates an atmosphere of cozy and warm (literally warm up next to the fire) and just adds a touch of sophistication. You can choose a stand-alone unit that can be purchased at most big box stores or, if you are creating your space from scratch, it’s great to incorporate a built-in unit that fits right into your design.

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The Final Touches – I love adding accessories to an outdoor space that really tie it all together. Homesense has amazing seasonal accessories that bring your space to life at affordable prices. I love to add trays, lanterns and faux plants (yes, even in an outdoor space!) to my backyard designs. Pillows are also a great way to add colour and comfort to your space. I have an entire line of outdoor pillows that are fully washable and are available on my site in a variety or colours and patterns (www.alcornhome.com).

Use these ideas to create your very own backyard oasis. Discover the secrets behind the perfect barbecue and learn how to make the most of your backyard, no matter the size or the budget, from industry and celebrity experts at the Backyard Living Expo, the only consumer show in the GTA dedicated exclusively to backyards. The Backyard Living Expo will be running the weekend of April 6,7 and 8 at The International Centre (6900 Airport Rd), for more information, visit www.thebackyardlivingexpo.com