Since more Canadians are treating outdoor spaces like rooms in their homes, Western Living asked Melina Tai, manager of Ginger Jar Furniture to share her tips on creating the perfect outdoor retreat.

1. Mix and Match

Melina recommends applying indoor concepts outdoors, saying, €œIt’s not necessary to exclusively use one manufacturer or collection to keep decor cohesive.€ Instead, pick and choose a mix of styles, shapes and materials, and add an iconic piece to make your space stand apart from the crowd.

2. Natural and Organic

€œDesign trends are veering towards organic and natural,€ says Melina, €œas well as the rounded look.€ Stone-, marble-, and ceramic-look tabletops are also on trend and stand the test of time with next-to-no upkeep. To add longevity to your décor, Melina suggests choosing neutral upholstery and adding pops of colour and pattern with pillows, throws, and tableware, which can easily be updated.

3. Performance Umbrellas

No one wants to be forced indoors because of insufficient shade. Umbrellas should be large enough to shade an area without overcrowding your space. Wheeled-base umbrellas or those with flexible tilting or rotating arms offer mobile shade. Solution-dyed acrylic fabrics deliver superior resistance to fading and degradation from sunlight and chemical exposure.

4. Light Up Summer Nights

Canadian summers are brief, so why not use contemporary outdoor lighting to maximize outdoor time? Ginger Jar has a wide range of plug-in or portable options, plus furniture and planters that illuminate.

5. Finishing Touch: Planter

Planters create synergy between nature and outdoor furniture, and they€™re a great way to divide space and add privacy. Showcase your plant collection with several planters in similar colors, materials, or styles, or inject some height with tall planters. Ginger Jar has diverse shapes, sizes, and colours available in store (and more by special order), making it easy to find distinctive and durable planters to complement your decor.Specializing in contemporary indoor-and-outdoor furnishings since 1979, Ginger Jar’s 20,000-square-foot showroom is the Lower Mainland’s largest. For more outdoor-oasis inspiration, view the gallery or visit Ginger Jar online at or at the showroom at 1420 Fell Avenue in North Vancouver. And don’t forget to check out OMG It’s small at 1400 Mariner Drive in North Vancouver for contemporary furniture designed to fit small spaces.