Outdoor Living Spaces: An Extension of Indoor Living

18 Jul Outdoor Living Spaces: An Extension of Indoor Living

You’ve probably noticed that outdoor living spaces are all the rage and they’re being decorated with as much care and budget as indoor living spaces.

It’s all part of the trend of extending the indoors to the outdoors. Nowadays, so much of our time is consumed by computers, smart phones, and other electronic devices, that people feel a real longing for the outdoors; and they want to enjoy the outdoors in the comfort of their own home.

Whether you’re dwelling or selling your house, outdoor living spaces shouldn’t be ignored. So, if you’re eager to create your own slice of outdoor tranquility, here are some things to keep in mind.

Decisions to be made
Ask yourself how you will utilize the space. Is it primarily for relaxing, dining, entertaining, playing, or gardening? Maybe the answer encompasses more than one of the above, in which case you can create different zones of enjoyment.

Common zones include dining areas, outdoor kitchens, comfortable sitting areas, lounge chairs, hammocks, porch swings, daybeds (on legs or hanging), gardening sheds (used for gardening items or outfitted as an extra relaxing or sleeping place), jungle gyms, and an area to play games (such as washers, corn hole, horseshoes, bocci ball).

Next, decide what the overall design will be. Cozy and layered, or minimalistic and zen? Bright and energetic, or soothing colors that blend with nature? In deciding this, keep in mind the architecture of your home as well as the surroundings. If you live in the city or in a neighborhood, a private retreat may appeal to you. If you live in a more rural setting, you may want to have an outdoor space that takes advantage of the nature around you.

Incorporate elements of earth, wind, fire, and water
Earth. Live plants fit the bill: hanging plants, potted plant, climbing vines, a garden or container garden. The colors of nature are like art for your space.

Wind. Ceiling fans are important in our climate and make the outdoors enjoyable on warm days. Wind-chimes add a nice element of sound as they capture the breeze.

Fire. Add a fireplace, fire pit, or a table or coffee table with gas fire in the middle. Fire provides warmth and ambiance, it invites people into it’s glow and encourages “gathering.”

Water. A wall fountain, standing fountain, pool or hot tub, are ways to add water to your space, in varying price points.

Add layers
The icing on the cake are the layers you add to your outdoor living space. Layers can achieve multiple goals — they can define zones, make the space inviting, and complete the entire look by showing intentional design. Layers can be on the ground, the walls, up above, and on furniture.

Ground layers start with the flooring: concrete, decorative stamped and stained concrete, pavers, brick, crushed granite, decking material, to name a few. Outdoor rugs are another layer, as are potted plants.

Wall layers can be as simples as outdoor art or metal art, or painted accent walls. Or, a layer of real or veneer stone or brick adds drama, as do wooden trellises or wooden privacy walls.

From above, we can add layers such as lanterns, chandeliers, string lights, or outdoor curtains. Pay attention to the porch or patio ceiling, if you have one, and consider how stain or paint could change the look. If you have an open area, a pergola can define the space and can add a bit of shade if you have a vine plant growing over it. Remember that trees are beautiful on their own, but they can be decorated, as well, to bring ambiance and coziness to your outdoor space. Lanterns, chandeliers, and string lights are the most popular choices to hang from trees.

Finally, furniture layers can complete the look. Add throw pillows to furniture and plants or lanterns to tabletops.

What are you waiting for? The great outdoors are calling from your own backyard! Get out there and enjoy outdoor living.

Need expert guidance creating your space? Call Imagine Gurus. We help homeowners (dwellers) and sellers alike. Imagine Gurus would be honored to help you Imagine the Possibilities! 210-774-7373, [email protected], www.ImagineGurus.com