During the fall and winter season we tend to spend most of our time indoors, but when spring and summer roll around we want to enjoy the mild weather, sweet breeze and sunshine. Enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing comfort by designing your area just the way you like it. Here are some ways to take advantage of your outdoor space.
1. Outdoor Living Room/Seating Area
The same rules apply for an outdoor seating area as an indoor seating area: arrange sofas and chairs in such a way that guests can have easy conversations with each other and still be able to view the goings-on. Have chairs angled toward the sofa and even add a small table as a place to either play cards or set down drinks. Or even as a solitary spot to enjoy a good book.
2. Outdoor Kitchen
Many (if not all) get-togethers either revolve around food or have an element of food added to it, so don’t spend a majority of your time away from the party because you are stuck in the kitchen re-filling serving dishes. Bring the kitchen outdoors so you can be in the midst of the action while still serving your guests. The kitchen is a natural gathering place and can be as simple as a grill and sink area or even a full oven, dishwasher and food prep area. Add a bar and stools for extra seating.
A garden doesn’t need to be extravagant in order to bring beauty to your outdoor space. Whether you plant roses or petunias, or even tomatoes or strawberries, a garden is a plus to have in the backyard.
4. Fire Pit
S’mores and summer go together like sun and sunscreen. Camping is fun, but set up a fire pit and enjoy s’mores and roasted hot dogs every weeknight. Fire pits can be as simple as a round hole in the ground or as extravagant as a built-in rock pit with a built-in seating area and storage.
5. Waterfall or Pond
The sound of falling water is a nice relaxing addition to your front or back yard. Install an extravagant water fall with koi pond or just go with a simple fountain. Allow the soothing sound to enhance an unused corner or make it a central feature.
Now that you’ve decided on a space, here are some ideas on how to dress it:
1. Define the Space
With a fire pit, outdoor living room, outdoor kitchen and even fountain/pond area, it would be easy to get confused with furniture placement and figuring out how to fit everything in their respective areas. Put a rug under the outdoor living area. Use low walls around a dining area. Brick the fire pit. These boundaries will help make sense of your backyard and encourage a smooth flow.
2. Incorporate Color
Avoid dark colored furniture outside since they will absorb the heat. Linens are nice on couches and chairs, but consider adding fun, bright pops of color also. Use color in cushions, chairs or a hammock.
3. Consider the Lighting
You don’t want to be forced indoors once the sun goes down and there’s a pleasant breeze. Add some light to not only make your outdoor area inviting, but will also avoid tripping guests. Look at adding bulbs to your patio or hang lanterns in the trees. Keep it in one area for soft glow or emblaze the entire fence.
4. Choose Materials Carefully
Whether you decide to go luxe or shabby chic, keep in mind the materials that you use for furniture and cushions. Wicker is a popular choice because it cleans easily and looks fresh. Outdoor furniture is constantly exposed to the elements so you won’t want to use the same furniture that you would indoors.
Adding a few fun items will bring a festive flair to a special occasion. Hang paper lanterns or sprinkle unique lawn ornaments throughout the garden. Make your backyard a reflection of you.
These ideas will give you the most out of your outdoor space and help you host a dinner party, lunch party, BBQ or other event with ease! For other great ideas, go to HGTV’s website or check out this video.