An outdoor living space is an extension of the home that people can enjoy alone or with guests as weather permits. It makes the ideal spot for relaxing at the end of a stressful day, connecting with family, and entertaining groups of friends.
For most homeowners, comfort and aesthetics are the primary concerns when adding or renovating outdoor space. Below are several factors to consider when designing outdoor space for the first time.
Layout Solutions for Different Types of Space
The items a homeowner purchases for outdoor space and how he or she arranges them depends on the challenges of the available space. Here are solutions for the most common ones:
- Balcony: Most balconies are rectangular or square with a limited amount of available space. It’s important to keep the area directly in front of the door clear. Chaises to lounge in can go on one side while overstuffed chairs and a coffee table can go on the other. Pulling in low-lying furniture helps to preserve sight lines and maximize space.
- Deck: Although decks come in a wide range of sizes, it’s best to keep the layout simple and not to place furniture in front of the railing. Smaller and lighter furniture will make for a lighter feel while providing a lot of space for eating and socializing.
- Patio: Since patios tend to be larger, it makes sense to keep a space in the center open to improve the flow of foot traffic. Placing minimal furniture in the patio provides more room to eat and helps to accommodate varying group sizes.
Add Plants to the Outdoor Space to Help Bring It to Life
Potted plants or vases with flowers bring a vibrance and a feeling of warmth to the outdoor space. It adds a sense of natural décor and can leave a pleasant fragrance as well. Homeowners should be sure to learn about the expected lifespan of the flowers or plants before adding them to the space and then remove them before they start wilting.
Considering Installing a Fireplace
Just because the weather starts to get cool in the evenings is no reason to head indoors. A fireplace or another heat source such as a chiminea or heater allows homeowners to enjoy their time relaxing outdoors or socializing with guests into the wee hours of the morning. Some may even opt for a wood-burning fireplace option to enjoy the pleasant smell that it produces.
Outdoor furniture is typically built for maximum comfort and tends to be more informal than indoor furniture. Plush chairs and sofas with deep seating, for example, are cozy from the moment someone decides to sit on them.
When selecting deep seating outdoor furniture, homeowners should look for high-quality materials such as all-weather wicker, power-coated aluminum, stainless steel, and teak to ensure that it can withstand all weather elements even when not in use. Of course, trying them out for comfort is also a good idea.
While homeowners may be in a hurry to use their outdoor space, it’s good to remember that careful planning and placement of furniture will ensure that they enjoy it from the start.
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