The area outside your house is an extension of your private home space. It sets the mood of your whole house and shows your personality to the world. Therefore, style, colour, and decor should be carefully selected to showcase you and your design taste. Here are ten tips to start you off.
Natural lighting during the day will bring out the colours of your patio or garden. However, you would also want to spend a romantic night outside, right? Choosing the appropriate lighting fixture that will also serve as a focal point is the way to go. Try hanging string lights to custom iron posts to give a warm feeling. You can also try hanging chandeliers with faux lighting to add drama on your outdoor room.
Start with neutral colours. Use brown, beige, white, or black for outdoor furniture and appliances. This way, you can add a touch of flexibility with the design especially if you love holding parties. You can then add splashes of colour based on the season. For summer and autumn, use bright, warm colours such as red, orange, and pink. For spring, use yellow, green, and blue to exude freshness. Take advantage of patterns on fabrics to show your personality. For formal events, use muted versions of the colours above without any patterns. Colour adds a lot to the “feel” of your outdoor space.
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An outdoor space is just like your living room. Establish blocks and sections by laying out traffic patterns. Use shrubs or trees to define corners. Formal walkways can also be laid-out for better space usage. Nothing is more boring than a garden space without creative layout. It can also give the illusion of a bigger space for those with small outdoor areas.
Just like any living room, a fire source becomes a centrepiece of any living space. If you have the budget and the space, install a full-size fireplace to draw people in. If not, opt for fire pits. Fire pits are flexible and affordable. Your goal here is to extend the comfort and warmth of your living room outside. It’s great for large groups to gather and have fun on chilly days or curl up with a good book on a clear night. Just be sure to check on local building codes regarding fireplaces and fire pits before you put one on your design.
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Aside from light sources, you can also play with shadows and light by installing pergolas, cabanas, gazebos, and patio awnings. If the space is large enough, have a gazebo built on a corner. For a more flexible option, pergolas can be installed with colourful fabrics. This will not only provide shade but also add colourful shadows for added atmosphere. Retractable awnings are suitable for those of you who want to enjoy sunlight from time to time.
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Several seating options are vital especially if you want to entertain family and friends. Aside from the standard dining set, you could also fill the spaces with benches, stools, and chairs. But, note that you don’t want a cluttered outdoor area. Study how you want sections to be used. If you and your friends enjoy talks during mealtime, consider buying a larger table with a variety of chairs around it. If you’re aiming for an intimate space, benches and outdoor sofas will provide the appropriate seating.
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Take Advantage of Curiosity
Beautiful gardens are not only pleasing to the eyes; they also establish a sense of discovery. Create curves on traffic patterns to create a sense of explorations. Install archways that lead to secluded areas that can be used for more intimate occasions. Again, proper layout is the key to create a living space outdoors.
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Flowers and Flower Pots
If you are not into loud colours in furniture or other elements in your patio or deck, flowers can add a sophisticated touch to the otherwise boring neutral colours. Pots of all shapes and sizes are also great to add a dash of colour and texture. Purchase lighter versions to make it easy to move them around. You can also use these to create a flexible traffic patterns.
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Combine Outdoors and Indoors
If you are planning to create a more personal outdoor living space, you can choose to connect it to indoor rooms. Instead of separating your outdoor living space to your master’s bedroom or living room, why not put it where it is accessible to these rooms? You can create spaces that offer refuge or privacy for those times you want solitude.
Photo by Alex Holleman via Pinterest
Other Focal Points
Aside from functional installations and furniture, you can add excitement to your outdoor living space by putting elements usually found indoors to your garden or patio. Statues can add personality to spaces with a lot of shrubs and trees. Paintings can make any boring walls intriguing. Even bookshelves in strategic places can add coziness to your outdoor living space.
Proper planning and understanding your own style is the key to creating great outdoor spaces. Be sure to spend a lot of time in planning and brainstorming ideas before you start installing anything.