Everyone dreams of having a little outdoor retreat to call their own. A place that you and your family can go to just enjoy the fresh air and the warm sun. Everyone’s dream space looks a little bit different, but no matter what end result you’re after, there are five elements you must consider.
#1 The Furniture
In order for your outdoor living space to feel like a true extension of your home and to make it cozy and welcoming, you need to start from the ground up by selecting your furniture and accessories.
First, pick your dining set. Depending on the size of your patio, several options are available. Think in terms of seating; if you like to entertain several guests at the same time, consider a dining set that offers at least 6 seating places. If all you have available is a small balcony, then a 2-piece set is what you need. A small server on wheels may be a good choice to keep those large platters or refreshing drinks off of the dining table.
Wouldn’t it be nice to relax and enjoy a drink (or two) in a more casual setting? How about an outdoor living room? Larger spaces will easily accommodate a sectional while others may require individual pieces such as a loveseat and armchairs. When selecting your pieces, make sure that your guests will have enough room to maneuver around.
Source: Hobson Landscape
To cozy up your new outdoor living space, consider adding an outdoor rug to bring the seating area together and coffee table and/or side tables to provide a spot for those delicious summer cocktails and cold beers. Garden stools and bar carts are also other items you can consider to make your space more practical.
But before making your final decision, make sure you have a look at the materials. Not all materials are created equal and not only would they affect the care and maintenance of your outdoor furniture pieces but they will also have an impact on how you would be able to store them when comes winter.
Want to learn more about outdoor furniture materials, read our previous blog Outdoor Furniture: Types of Materials.
#2 The Kitchen
If your outdoor living space is going to include an outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to coordinate your counters and any appliances you’ll be installing, whether that’s a BBQ, fridge, or a sink.
The layout of your outdoor cooking space will have a huge effect on how quick and easy it is for you to navigate while using it. Think about the functional layout of the appliances but also consider the aesthetic appeal.
If you plan on having many guests over, it may end up being a better choice to have the grill on full display to the seating area, but you should also think about whether the layout will be conducive to conversation so that those in the kitchen can converse while cooking.
You can learn more about outdoor kitchen design in this article: Become the King or Queen of Your Outdoor Kitchen
#3 The Mood
Once the basics of your outdoor living area have been put together, it’s time to figure out the mood of it. These next elements are going to bring things together and completely decide the mood of your outdoor living space.
First, think about lighting. The perfect lighting will transform your space in the evening and invite your guests to relax and linger. Add candles, lanterns, or strung lights to make your space welcoming. If you can, add a chandelier on a dimmable switch to help you set the mood for any occasion.
Your surroundings are also a big component of the mood you want to create. Think about privacy and install large plants and privacy screens where needed. This is when you’ll likely begin thinking about the landscaping around the entertaining area.
Finally, what is outdoor entertaining without music? Wireless outdoor speakers controlled via your smartphone now comes in different shapes and sizes, you just have to pick the right ones for you.
#4 Heating & Cooling
No one will ever want to use an outdoor living area that’s too cold or too hot all of the time. That’s why you need to think about patio heaters or a fireplace for the cooler nights.
For the hot days, think about shade which can come in the form of a basic umbrella or an elaborate patio cover that can be retracted as needed. Use natural shade where possible to help keep the seating area comfortable. Outdoor fans may also help make your living space more enjoyable too.
Whenever you add an element into the space to help control the climate, think about whether it is controllable (like a fan or fireplace that can be turned off).
#5 The Uninvited Guests
Finally, to keep your outdoor living space in full swing with nothing bugging you, consider the extras that you might find useful to install in your outdoor living space.
One such extra is an insect repellent like a bug zapper that will keep the area around your outdoor living space fully enjoyable all day and night. Citronella candles, OFF Deep Woods spray, mosquito nets are other options that can also help you enjoy the outdoors.
Now, are you ready to put together your dream living space? Go ahead and have fun in making your backyard your family’s own personal oasis.
Rebecca, Your Furniture Expert