Published On: Sun, Jan 19th, 2014

Extend Your Home: A Guide to Building Outdoor Living Spaces

photo Fluteflute via wikimedia commons

photo Fluteflute via wikimedia commons

It’s a nice day outside; the weather is at that breakeven point where the sun is shining right behind a good cover of clouds, and there’s a cool breeze to fan the occasional heat. You don’t want to spend this day within the confines of your house, but you can’t exactly get comfortable outside as it is devoid of indoor comforts. It’s a catch-22, indeed.

Outdoor living spaces have given a solution to this conundrum for homeowners who wish to enjoy their outdoor space more. Anyone would immediately assume that the living room, the fireplace, the kitchen and other indoor mainstays should stay, well, indoors, but this kind of remodeling has brought what’s comfortable inside to the outside.

If you are considering this option, check out this guide detailing the elements you should look at so you can successfully include your outdoors to your idea of home.

Add a dramatic effect through outdoor lighting

Imagine walking out to your patio at night only to trip or stub your toe on a piece of furniture. It’s not exactly the best way to start relaxing on a quiet night outside. More than the practical use of lighting, these add-ons can also imbue a dramatic effect to further enhance your outdoors’ aesthetic appeal.

There are plenty of lighting options to choose from, be it the soft glow of lanterns and torches or the bright light of electric bulbs encased in appealing designs. These lights will come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you pick those that would fit your theme well.

Do keep these pointers in mind: lights that would point downwards can soften the look and feel of the entire space, while lights that would point upwards will highlight the overall architecture of the area.

Warm the area with a fire pit or a fireplace

A fireplace outdoors makes a garden more conducive to hang out in especially during the months when the temperature drops. Much like its indoor counterpart, it gives warmth to the place and adds a focal point that would surely be a conversational opener.

Think of your family and/or your friends sitting by the fireplace, swapping stories of your day. You can have a fire pit or a fireplace made from either brick or stone, depending on your preference.

Entertain more people with an outdoor kitchen

A small barbeque party with the family and few close friends on a Saturday afternoon would definitely be a perfect gathering for your outdoor living space. However, it can get quite tiring if you have to go back and forth from your house to your lawn just to get the food and utilities.

An outside kitchen will give you easy access to the grill, stove, ingredients, utensils, and other kitchen needs. You won’t have to miss out on the punch line of a good story anymore just because you needed that few minutes to go to the indoor kitchen and grab a few things.

Add a sense of serenity through a water feature

The sound of flowing water has always brought a source of tranquility and relaxation to anyone who would stop and listen. It brings a sense of peace after a hard day’s work or inspiration for when you are working on a project that requires creativity.

Installing a water feature in your garden would give you another focal point that would definitely make your outdoors stand out. You can choose to install a water fountain or a small pond, depending on the size of your garden. Wall fountains will look good if you don’t have much space for a standing fountain, while a waterfall installation will go well with a patio or deck when built adjacent to them.

Be bold with color

When we think of putting up a resemblance of a living room outside, neutral colors would immediately come to mind—pieces of furniture and other accessories that come in black or anything with earth tones. These colors would, however, only look good indoors.

Outdoors, earth tones would blend easily with the surroundings as they closely match the grass and the trees. Black, although chic and classy, would be impractical as it absorbs so much heat from the sun. Instead, choose pieces of furniture and accessories that come in bold colors. These will make them stand out more from the earth-colored environment, and give more life to your outdoors.

Consider the alternative option of an artificial lawn

Working a 9-to-5 job would admittedly make it difficult for anyone to keep a perfectly manicured lawn. The time needed and the money for regular maintenance might be too stressful for the worker bee.

This is why many homeowners opt to install artificial lawns.

The convenience of low-maintenance lawns coupled with having green grass all-year round makes this all the more appealing. You don’t need to regularly mow the lawn or fertilize the grass. This could also withstand high amount of foot traffic, so the grass will not look trampled on every time your kids run around for hours or you have your friends come over.

Choose a comfortable outdoor living room

To fully complete the comforts of spending time in your garden, adding a second living room would do the trick. With this, you can greatly enjoy the view and the weather while sitting comfortably on the sofa. You have to, however, consider a few things:

  •  Material – Remember that you are placing the furniture outdoors, so always consider the weather, be it the rain, sun, or wind. Go for the material that fits the kind of weather in your area, as you wouldn’t want to constantly replace your furniture pieces.
  • Size – Your sofa should be big enough to accommodate each member of the family. If needed, a smaller sofa or a chaise lounge can be added to the entire set.
  • Style – Rattan, bamboo, and wood are always the go-to styles if you want a natural look.  There are also furniture pieces made from wrought iron that could give a classy and modern feel to your outdoors.

More than choosing the overall theme, the main idea when building an outdoor living space is to provide an extended area where you can have fun and bond more with your family. Which of these elements would you like to install on your home?

Share your thoughts below!

Guest Author:

Gabby Roxas is a business writer and content manager for Abler. She also has a background in entrepreneurship, marketing, design and loves to create things related to interior designing.


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