Warmer weather is showing up more and more as we approach the summer months, and there’s no better way to spend those beautiful days than outside. One of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors is to create an outdoor living room that flows seamlessly from the interior of your home to the exterior.
A large area and the absence of walls can be refreshing, but it can also make you feel exposed. The space can seem impersonal and vast. Outdoor room plans that have at least one solid (or semi-solid) wall can help anchor the space and make it feel more livable. A room size that roughly imitates the size of your indoor living room will be big enough for your family and friends but small enough to feel intimate and inviting.
Outdoor living may sound carefree and casual, but to make it comfortable requires smart textiles and cozy furnishings.
Your outdoor room will feel as good as it looks when you choose loungers, chairs and sofas that include overstuffed cushions in UV resistant fabrics. The key here is to balance rough and hard surfaces like concrete, siding, brick and wood with soft, textured and tactile furnishings that people will enjoy spending time on.
Nature is a popular interior decorating theme, and the term “bringing the outside in” is often used to describe using natural features like plants and rocks inside—but what about “bringing the inside out”?
Look around your indoor living room and you’ll probably see lots of mementos and decor items designed to stir memories and make your guests feel welcome. Try transferring a similar level of detail to your outdoor room for a more lived-in feel. For use outdoors, homey accents will need to be all-weather and heavy enough to stand up to a Texas breeze. Consider adding a décor-complementing rug to define the seating area, and then include tables, lamps, and throw pillows. Throw in some pots and planters for color and interest. Including decorative, natural elements always works for an outdoor space.
To make your outdoor living room look and feel like it’s more than just an afterthought, repeat elements of your decor and architecture to integrate the look of the space with its surroundings. If you have blue siding, using blue in your furnishings will help make them look like they belong. If your home has a Spanish tile roof and stucco exterior, consider adding a few wrought iron touches. Include lots of plants around the space, too.
When you want to hang out in the backyard, adding a couple of strategically placed faux walls or dividers can give you all the comforts — and privacy — of home. There are a quite a few options for how to accomplish this and you should go with whichever fits your personal style.
Curtains — Billowy curtains look exotic, pique interest, and add a charming touch. You do need a framework on which to hang a rod, but if you have a roof or arbor, installing curtains will solve your privacy problems in a very stylish way. Just be sure to choose indoor-outdoor fabrics in that dry quickly and resist mildew.
Bamboo blinds — Bamboo or woven grass blinds that roll up and down have been used as sun screens on patios and around pools for decades. They look natural and are also inexpensive and easy to install. Many can be purchased in standard widths and then cut to fit.
Screens — Room dividers or screens are an easy and affordable way to highlight your outdoor room. They’re moveable and great for privacy or to block bright sunlight when needed. Some even have planter bases for added stability.
Fencing — Fencing is another great way to frame an outdoor room. Latticework, weathered barn wood or even shrubs can create a stylish boundary for your outdoor living space, and once you have them in place, you can explore decorating them with artwork that’ll stand up to the elements.
As you explore deck and patio design ideas, keep in mind that creating a relaxing, stylish outdoor living space or outdoor room can greatly increase the appeal and value of your home and provide an oasis for friends and family to enjoy the great outdoors in supreme comfort.