How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Living Space

Modern, designer home

Creating an interesting and innovative outdoor living space that is an extension of the home is the perfect way to enjoy the warm air and soft breezes of the spring and summer months. There are definitely some key factors in designing the ideal outdoor living space, though. Following the tips below can put you on the track to having the backyard destination spot of your dreams.

Create a plan

Just like indoor living spaces, an outdoor living space needs to be planned out so it provides a maximum amount of functionality. Before doing any work on the outside area, put together a plan. Make sure there is a place for eating, socializing, lounging, and whatever else suits your needs. Once those areas are all decided on, map it out and design accordingly.

Create defined spaces

Open floor plans can be ideal for indoor living, but the opposite is true for outdoor living spaces. Creating defined spaces will give the individual areas a sense of purpose and make the entire outdoor space look like more than just a yard. Use large green plants or shrubs to create natural walls that define the areas and give the illusion of different “rooms”. Make sure the greenery that is used is of varying heights in order for it to look more natural and less staged. Another way to create more defined spaces is by laying down pavers or other decorative stonework to create paths from one area to another.

Create some privacy walls

Nothing can ruin a quit and intimate outdoor dinner for two than unintended intrusion by the neighbors. In order to gain some privacy, some ingenuity can be used. Use some weatherproof barriers to create a wall that blocks the world out. For example, stringing some decorative rugs between patio posts can create a visually beautiful privacy screen that can also double as a conversation piece.

Light it up

Even though the daylight lingers well into the late evening hours in the summer, some artificial light is still necessary. Consider using some solar powered path lights that can absorb energy from the sun all day and then use it to beautifully illuminate the evening without the hassle of ugly wires that can be a trip hazard.

Warm and toasty

Outdoor fire pits are all the rage. Having a fire pit installed in an outside living area is a great way to create an intimate evening for two as well as encourage socialization at a large backyard party. An outdoor fire pit can be used as the main focal point of an outdoor area or just as easily be placed in a far off corner to attract only a few people at a time. However many people are going to be enjoying a cool summer evening by the fire side, be sure to have marshmallows available for roasting.

Make it comfortable

Gone are the days when outdoor furniture was synonymous with discomfort. Lawn chairs are no longer strictly aluminum tubing that connects some pieces of fabric that fray too quickly or plastic that gets too hot in the summer. Take a look at a local outdoor furniture supply store and it’s easy to see all the choices that are currently available. Seek out weather and waterproof furniture with big comfy cushions that are just begging to be curled up in.

Create a color scheme

Before choosing a color scheme, it’s important to look at the surrounding area and bring it into the mix. Try bringing in natural colors that accentuate the natural hues of the area and then add a pop of color. For more urban areas, try adding some much-needed greenery to the space to give it a more natural look.

Don’t forget the floor

It’s easy to forget the area under your feet when decorating an outdoor living space, but doing so is a mistake. Adding a colorful rug to an outdoor living area truly makes it feel like an extension of the home. It’s also a great way to bring color and style outside. Just make sure the rug that is chosen is easy to clean and safe to keep outdoors.

Made in the shade

Be sure to include at least some shaded area in the outdoor living space. First, not everyone wants to bask in the sun all day. Second, although large amounts of sunlight feel good in the cooler months, in the summer the scorching sun can get too hot to be in for extended periods of time. Creating a shaded area outside isn’t too difficult. It can be as easy as erecting a canopy or tent. For areas where intense sunlight is an ongoing issue, it might be a good idea to invest in a permanent overhead covering for part of the outdoor area.

After being stuck inside throughout the cold and bitter winter, it is nice to enjoy the more temperate months lounging and socializing in outdoor living areas. Creating the ideal outdoor living space takes nothing more than a little ingenuity and planning. Once the space is done, you’ll never want to go inside again!