5 Tips For Planning An Outdoor Room
We're finally seeing a little more sunshine! The days are getting longer and for the next few months we're going to want to spend as much time outdoors as we can. We still have time to maximize our backyard space and make it a comfortable retreat in the summer the way our homes are in the winter. One way to do that is to create an outdoor room. Here are 5 tips for planning an outdoor room.
Put Pen To Paper
As you start dreaming about what you want your outdoor room to look like, start writing it down. Sketch the layout of your yard as it is. This doesn't mean you have to commit to re-landscaping and putting in new trees or plants, it's just a way to look at the space you have with a bird's eye view. This will help you make reasonable decisions about changes to make to your garden, buy the right type and size of furniture, and prevent you from over- or under-planning.
To give your outdoor space the comfortable, welcoming feel you have in your living room, create four walls. This doesn't mean you have to put up actual walls; rather you cordon off an area using your outdoor assets. This could be a trellis of vines for one wall, a vertical garden to separate the "room" from the yard, or a flagstone walkway to create an implied barrier between the grill and the "room". At night, you can even create a wall with simple lighting?create a boundary by lining up solar garden stakes where you want your "room" to begin and end. It will also add some illumination to your evenings in the backyard.
Your outdoor room should be consistent with two things: 1) your home's style and architecture and 2) nature. Your outdoor room doesn't have to match your house exactly, but it should at least complement it. If the styles differ too greatly, your outdoor room could end up looking cluttered rather than relaxing. Coordinating your outdoor decor with the nature of your backyard?the color of flowers and vegetables, texture of trees?also contributes to a calming quality for leisure space and outdoor activities.
Break It Up
You don't have to limit yourself to a large space for one outdoor room. You can break up the space to create several areas where you can unwind on peaceful spring and summer evenings. Pair two chairs in a nook under a tree to create a cozy corner. Place an iron bistro table at the edge of your fence or hedges to create an alcove where you can enjoy your morning coffee or indulge in an intimate dinner for two. Use the larger spaces for a table and chairs to accommodate guests for your spring parties and bigger events.
There's no reason you can't use all of your outdoor space?including your porch. Setting up a small table or a couple of chairs on a modest porch overlooking the garden gives you a place in the shade to enjoy the warmth of the season. Here you can make the area a little more sophisticated by adding throw rugs or blankets, since it has overhead protection from the sun and rain. Just remember any furniture you set up outside?in the garden or on the porch?should be weather resistant.
Designing a summer sanctuary in your backyard is a project you'll enjoy night after night until Labor Day. Even if you don't want to spend a lot of money, you can build an oasis with a few inexpensive accents and some ingenuity and inspiration. The Lakeside Collection has dozens of products to help you put together the perfect outdoor retreat.