By Stefanie Hauer
An outdoor living space can become one of the most popular and relaxing areas of your home. It is an extension of the comfort found within your home. What a dream to be able to have a dinner party outside with the warm evening air and gentle sea breezes, creating the perfect atmosphere for a memorable experience. Add in some good food, drinks and ambiance and you have an escape from the stress of the day. A place to unwind with those you love or in the solitude of a good book. An outdoor space is a valuable addition to your home decor and can turn a home from mediocre to amazing.
Whether you are shopping for your next home, vacation rental, apartment or planning a new home, pay attention to the space allowed for outdoor living. You can take advantage of any size of a space you have. From a small sitting area to a large patio with a pool, there are a lot of options of how you can decorate your space. Think of how you like to entertain or spend your leisure time and plan accordingly. Do you love to host dinner parties? Enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning? Sunbathe? Watch T.V. in the evening? All of those things should be considered when planning your outdoor space. If your space has a pool, think about storage for towels and pool toys, maybe an outdoor shower or even a bathroom located near the pool. Also in direct sunlight it may be a good idea to create covered outdoor areas, you can also have dispersed sunlight with a gazebo. Adding plumbing and electrical can be important features if you wish to create an outdoor cooking area.
When thinking of an outdoor space becoming an extension of your living room and kitchen area it can be beneficial to plan for the addition of an outdoor kitchen or cooking area. Having a BBQ, refrigerator, large prep and serving area and even a sink can make entertaining a breeze and keep the chef close to his guests. It seems that most guests gather around the food, so if you plan to entertain outdoors, this can become a crucial part of your home decor. If having a weekly happy hour at your home seems to fit your lifestyle, creating a bar space with comfortable bar seating is always a plus. Extending the inviting experience of your kitchen to the outdoors will quickly become one of your favorites spaces to relax and enjoy inviting those that you love to spend time with. The goal is always to make our home our favorite place to be.
Decorating your space should include the activation of your senses, the smell of good food, the taste of a well made drink, the sounds of music and laughter or ocean waves rolling off the shore, soft lighting and the feel of comfortable material. Always consider the addition of a music system and dimmable lighting or high quality string lighting. When we pay attention to the senses, it makes the difference between a house and a home.
Choosing your furniture for your space can be one the most important decisions. The furniture should fit the space without making it crowded or on the other end, sparse. The material and cushions should be comfortable and durable. With this area being exposed to the elements and direct sunlight, plan for a waterproof and UV fade resistant material. Creating a space to gather is important, so making a conversation area is valuable. If you mainly plan to eat in your outdoor space, having a large patio table with comfortable chairs should be the route you consider. The addition of bar seating or pool lounge chairs- depending on your amenities- are an asset to your space.
Another important factor in creating a comfortable space and bringing it from ordinary to extraordinary is what artistic touches you add. Potted plants and climbing vines can make your space lush and tropical. Romantic curtains that drift in the breeze, outdoor area rugs that proclaim pops of color and pattern and durable wall art. If you have large blank walls, consider the addition of art to fill the space.
Outdoor living not only adds value to your lifestyle, it adds value to your home. Planning your space should be a priority, because the benefits of this addition to your home will be exponential. Your home becomes your solitude and place of rest. It becomes the place you gather with those you love, and in that, it becomes the place you create memories.