Think beyond a picnic table and umbrella. Now that the days
are finally getting longer, it’s time
to explore one of the latest trends in home decorating: the great outdoors.
Whether it’s just a charming chair under a tree or a full-blown outdoor kitchen
and family room complete with lamps, rugs, a sound system and TV, the
boundaries of your home’s walls are getting thinner.
An outdoor room is a metaphor for an indoor room. We still
want walls, a roof and windows to make us feel safe and comfortable, even
though we are outside. When creating an outdoor room, no matter how big or
small, keep these things in mind.
1. Provide or build around a major focal feature to anchor the space,
just like any other indoor room. A fireplace or fire pit, a fountain or
water feature, a beautiful specimen plant, a large stone arrangement or a
sculpture are all suitable outdoor focal features.
2. Add a sense of enclosure. Just because it’s outdoors,
doesn’t mean you don’t need walls or a roof. But when the enclosure is
outdoors, it shouldn't necessarily be solid, or even complete. A large shade tree,
for example, provides both a “roof” and a “wall.”
One wall (a fence or a building) and a hedge in an “L” shape
provides a corner to anchor a seating arrangement. A trellis, gazebo, porch
ceiling, large umbrella or foliage can all feel like a roof. And it doesn’t
even need to cover the entire seating arrangement.
3. Provide views into other parts of the yard or beyond. This
relates to windows and doors, but can actually be a break in a fence, an open
gate or less dense foliage. Pairs of matched plants or pots frame a view or
give a sense of a doorway, for example.
4. Change the ground to help identify the space as different from the
Like an area rug, a different material than the lawn, such as
stone pavers, gravel or brick, defines the extent of an outdoor room.
5. Outdoor rooms should be accessible from indoor rooms. Think
of how a party flows from the kitchen into the great room, the outdoor room
should be similar. If space does not allow an outdoor room to be physically
adjacent, then it should be very visible. Or if you have a large yard, and want
several outdoor rooms, they should all link with visual “hallways” or paths, so
people can stay connected.
Have fun planning and shopping for your next great outdoor
Labels: decorate patio, outdoor furniture, outdoor kitchens, Outdoor rooms, outdoor seating areas, patio furniture, porches