Outdoor living design five step process is listed below for a basic guideline. A well designed outdoor living space can provide a peaceful retreat in your own backyard.
Outdoor Living Design Five Step Process
One: Put roots in your outdoor living design five step process.
One of the first things to distinguish a bonafide living room from other outdoor areas is something most homeowners often forget: a rug. “It anchors and defines the area as a space to lounge right away,” says Britt. Rugs also provide warmth and intimacy by creating a boundary between the room itself and the rest of the elements. The soft touch to bare feet is a plus and the myriad of colors and patterns allow your design aesthetic to carry over from inside the house.
Weather-resistant rugs made with polypropylene are most like their indoor counterparts, but offer the easy care of being hosed off and hung to dry. (If you’ve got kids, it’s the perfect weekend activity.) You can also look for durable, natural textiles like jute; anything made from synthetic fibers will work as they can be shaken or vacuumed easily. Rug pads underneath are a must. They help air circulate through the fibers, which makes the rug last longer and keeps it firmly in place.
Two: Have a seat.
Once your area is clearly marked, look for furniture you want to sink into, not the hard, 90-degree angle stuff that will more or less keep you in an upright position. What will make this space feel as cozy as an indoor family room is the comfort level, so look for wide chairs that allow ample room to curl up your legs. Dedon’s Mu collection is a great example. Thick, lightweight cushions with weather- and fade-resistant fabrics — those from Sunbrella are always solid investments. These dry faster and resist mildew. But don’t judge a book (or in this case, a chair) by its cover. Several high-end manufacturers have made an art of designing with sturdy-yet-comfortable straps that can feel just as inviting (check out the Marin collection from Brown and Jordan). With the right cushions and accessories, these can fit nicely in an outdoor lounge.
Three: Light it up.
Forget tiki torches and solar posts stuck in the ground. To truly mirror the intimacy of a regular living room, nothing sets the mood like the overhead and tabletop lighting we opt for indoors. “Lots of chandeliers and candelabras are now grated for outside use,” says Britt.
Look for those made with weather-resistant iron, like the part chandelier, part hurricane lamp known as the Brunswick from Home Depot. It’s the perfect marriage of outdoor form and function (and a charming surprise to see outside). The flushmount ceiling light from Murray Feiss’ Dakota collection at Lamps Plus is made of die-cast aluminum, so it can withstand the elements, but it looks like a typical indoor fixture — both beautiful and affordable.
The explosion of fire-pits and outdoor fireplaces in recent years provides double-duty performance by helping set both mood and temperature, which means you can enjoy your living room even when it’s chilly.
Four: Go for garnish.
If shoes make an outfit, tabletop treasures and other accessories complete an outdoor living room. Drapes made of fade- and weather-resistant fabrics help set off the space from the rest of the backyard and allow your design aesthetic to carry through from indoors. “They soften the hard surfaces of the building materials too,” adds Britt.
Large planters and divider screens made of weather-resistant materials further define the space, but “make sure plants are placed according to the size they’ll reach at maturity,” says Jennifer Slaton, who served as executive editor for Coastal Living’s Outdoor Spaces. Easy-to-move garden stools and bar carts as well as consoles and coffee tables made of woods like teak and bamboo are smart choices if you like to entertain. The more surfaces for guests to rest their bums — or a drink — the better!
Five: Surprise folks.
The outdoor surroundings provide a fun opportunity to do something unexpected, like, say, hang furniture from the ceiling. Wide, comfortable swings the size of sofas, like those from SwingBeds, or even twin beds are becoming much more affordable and they can work perfectly in an outdoor living room. It’s the type of thing most homeowners wouldn’t do indoors, but take it outside and it’s a whole other story. “People aren’t nearly as daring inside as they are outside,” Elton says.
Outdoor Living Space Summary
Whatever you choose to do with your outdoor space, a fresh-air living room is an easy and much less expensive way to extend your home, your time spent outdoors and perhaps even provide the feeling of a mini vacation — this outdoor living design five step process is a great start.
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CAD Pro has helped thousands of homeowners, professional designers, builders and contractors plan and design all types of outdoor living space designs. CAD Pro is used by NARI professional remodelers and contractors. CAD Pro is also used by NHBA home builders and contractors.