Regardless of the type of home you have, almost any plain outdoor space can be turned into a great living space. Warm, inviting weather tends to make people want to spend more time outside, and outdoor living spaces can be ideal for this. The trick is in making the space work for you.
Choosing the Space
The area you choose for your space will depend largely on what you intend to use it for the most. For example, if you want to use the outdoor space to entertain people of all ages, it should be open yet inviting. If you want to transform part of your backyard into a relaxing oasis, you may need a smaller section away from the main part of the yard. Consider aspects such as tress for natural shade, rain water drainage, and the overall size of the area that you have to work with. You can create an awesome outdoor living space regardless of size restrictions.
When you start looking at outdoor furniture, you should consider four main things:
size of space
You may get easily overwhelmed by all of the different outdoor furniture pieces that are available. To avoid cramping, choose pieces that are less bulky or allow open placement. Pieces may look good, but are they comfortable and do they meet your needs? Are the pieces made for the outdoors and have quality materials?
Umbrellas and Canopies
If you want some shade but do not have many trees, use outdoor umbrellas and canopies. Offset umbrellas can be moved and adjusted as needed, yet they can be placed almost anywhere because the base is offset and they will not be in the way. Canopies provide a larger shaded area ideal for serving food and entertaining large groups. Many canopies also have screens that can be used to ward off pesky bugs.
There are a lot of ways to address lighting for the night hours. Obviously, you need to be able to see in the dark and a porch light is not usually enough. Be creative with your lighting to make your outdoor space phenomenal. Use outdoor string lights, hanging lanterns, pole lights, and even torches and candles.
Hard and Soft Landscaping
To blend your outdoor surroundings and make visual transitions, use a mix of hard and soft landscaping. Hard landscaping includes tile, stone, brick, and similar surfaces while soft landscaping includes plants. If your outdoor living space will contain steps, work them into the space by making them larger and wider to hold potted plants and provide extra seating when needed. Use potted plants and small flower beds to accent, such as on step corners and along patio edges to visually separate the grass and hard surface.
Some of the most amazing, prize-winning outdoor living spaces bring in water and fire elements to complement your earth, sun, and shade. A small pond and fountain gives you a soothing addition. If space is limited, use tabletop fountains. Fire bowls, enclosed pits, chimineas, and outdoor heaters are all clever options for creating a cozy spot. Some people even build custom outdoor fireplaces if the space is available.
Do not be afraid to experiment with your own creativity and new ideas. There are no set rules that make one space better than another. Outdoor living spaces are meant to be enjoyed. The best spaces are the ones that are functional yet stylish to you.