You have probably read and heard multiple times that your deck or patio should essentially be an extension of your outdoor living space. You may be wondering where to even begin to create such a space, or perhaps you have tried, but it felt disconnected.
The key is to create a room outside. Look at the space you are working with, and imagine that there are four walls and a ceiling. Regardless if you have a sweeping backyard or a cozy terrace these tips will help you create the look you are trying to achieve.
Have a Plan
Before you randomly start buying things, have an idea of the look you want to accomplish. This will help keep you on track. Are you trying to create a formal dining room feel for your dinner parties or a casual gathering spot to catch up with friends over a bottle of wine? Do you want the area clearly defined? An outdoor gazebo, party tent, or curtains may be needed.
If you already have a patio or deck then all you really need to shop for are outdoor rugs. Nothing creates a room-like feel better than a rug that acts as a centerpiece. If you are creating this outdoor room where there is grass, then use pea gravel, interlocking brick, or a low-maintenance stone floor to define the area. Then, use a rug to pull the look together like you would on a patio. Quality outdoor rugs are treated to stand up against the sun’s UV rays. They are also easy-to-clean with a simple garden hose.
You can most certainly have flower beds around the perimeter, but you should still have potted plants like you would inside your home. Small pots of lavender, mint, or other scented flowers and herbs can be scattered around to fill the “room” with fragrance.
Soft throws and pillows are absolutely necessary. What’s a sofa without a pillow to hold onto and a blanket to get cozy under? You don’t have to keep these items out all the time or even buy outdoor products. Store them in a weatherproof bench or ottoman, so you have them handy when needed.
A patio umbrella will also play a leading role in comfort. The umbrella should be large enough to shade the sitting area. If it tilts this is a bonus. For a very large area, you may need multiple ones. Protect them with covers, when they are not being used, so they last more than one season.
5 Things to Splurge on for Your Outdoor Living Space
Whether you have moved into your first house or if you simply want to give your outdoor living space a makeover this year, you probably have a lot of things you want to buy.
Now, if you are like most, you likely also have a budget you would like to not exceed.
So, how do you decide what things to spend the bulk of the money on? This list should help.
The outdoor furniture you purchase will be the foundation of the space. Do not buy based on what you think is expected or “normal.” Choose pieces that make you happy and that you will get the most use out of. You do not need to have a traditional table and chairs just because everyone else you know does. Maybe you would be happiest with a wrought iron bench and a couple of rocking chairs.
To create a truly tranquil environment that you love to relax in you will need water fountains. You really cannot have too many either, so do not worry about going overboard. Put one on your patio as a focal point and then add a few small ones to your garden and flower beds. Not only will they instantly relax you; they will also help mask some of that undesirable noise coming from the neighborhood.
Some people do not even add an outdoor fireplace to their shopping list because they assume they are just too expensive. Well, you might be quite surprised at how affordable these functional pieces of art are. If you want a wood-burning fire then a fire pit or chiminea will be perfect. If you prefer an environmentally-friendly option, opt for a tabletop or freestanding bio ethanol or gel fuel one. You never have to be forced indoors just because it gets a little cool outside.
Your outdoor living space absolutely needs shade. Even if you are a sun lover you need a little relief from those hot rays at some point. Plus, your fair-skinned guests will certainly appreciate shade, as well. There are a lot of umbrellas on the market. Do not make the mistake of choosing a cheap one just to save a few dollars. This should be one of your splurges. Make sure it is quality, and that it covers the sitting area. One that can be tilted is ideal.
If you already have gorgeous gardens then maybe you do not need to spend money on plants. However, a little living art will change the look and feel of your patio.
Buy that gorgeous planter you have your eye on. If you have a railing you can buy planters that sit over the railing, as well. You can even hang baskets of flowering plants from overhead branches or hooks.
5 Must Haves for a Small Patio
If you live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, and have a patio you may feel as though the area is too small to do anything with. This is not true. Just because you cannot fit large pieces of furniture does not mean you cannot create an outdoor living space you will want to spend a lot of time in. Below are some must-haves that will turn that small patio into a functional and loved extension of your home.
Canopies and Tarps
If your patio is not large enough to add an umbrella, consider using a tarp or canopy to shade the area. You are more likely to spend time out there if you do not have the hot sun beating on you. You can attach one corner to your home and then get creative with the other corners. A t-post, tree branch, fence, or a light pole are all things you can make work.
Do you crave grilled food? You do not have to wait for someone to invite you over for a cookout. Portable grills are perfect for small spaces and you can cook a lot more on them than you might think. When it is not being used, tuck it under a bench or in the corner so it is out-of-the-way. Just think of how nice it will be to come home from work and fire up the grill.
An outdoor rug is something you really cannot fully appreciate until you actually have one. A nice large decorative rug will cover most of the patio and it will be so much more pleasant to walk on with bare feet than concrete. It will instantly make your patio look and feel like a comfortable space you would enjoy in a large home.
You can sit out there on a cool evening and read or watch the stars if you have a fireplace to keep you warm. Buy either a tabletop or small freestanding gel or bio ethanol one. If you are worried about someone taking it, just bring it inside with you when you are not using it. Both fuel sources are clean-burning and can be enjoyed inside, as well.
Inviting a little living art to the space will really change how you look at that small patio. You do not need a tree either. Hang one from a shepherd’s hook or buy one with its own stand. Do make sure you put a shallow dish of water out for your feathered friends, too.