Create Your Own Outdoor Living Area
Driven by the need for peaceful a respite to balance stressful lives, many of us are carving out more time to create comfortable spaces for enjoying outdoor settings with family and friends. The outdoor space is no longer just a place for grilling.
Before you begin, ask yourself how you and your family currently use the space, and how you would like to use the space. The answers will help you determine what you need to take away or add to the current outdoor space.
The Focal Point should be similar to creating an inviting indoor living space. The focal point may already exist in the home’s architecture, in the landscaping, or in a backyard structure such as a gazebo or pergola . . . or you can add your own focal point.
A Fire Pit Table is one of the most popular and easy additions to a backyard living space. The fire pit table can be low to the ground, with a wide perimeter where guests or family members can place cups or glasses. The fire pit table adds instant warmth to any backyard. Make sure you check with your locale building department to make sure they are permitted in your community.
A Water Element creates a soothing and pleasant addition to the backyard outdoor living space. It could be a small waterfall as part of the landscaping, or an artificial pond for real fish. Small, stand-alone water fountains or bird baths offer inexpensive ways to add a water element to the space.
Outdoor Seating is unlimited. Comfortable chairs and sofas are available in stain and mildew resistant fabrics. If you have older chaise lounges, you can spruce them up by buying colorful, weather resistant, padded cushions to give them a new look. Benches, with storage for cushions, can easily be constructed around the perimeter of the patio for extra seating.
Lighting is a key element for outdoor use. Soft lighting creates an ambience in addition to functionality. Investing in solar lighting to highlight plantings and accessories such as garden statuary, adds to the ambience. Festive string lights add a touch of whimsy to outdoor spaces and can be found in many styles.
Scout yard sales, resale shops and antique stores to find unusual containers for plantings and colorful annuals. If you have an enclosed patio, hanging plants on the fence or wall will also add interest to the outdoor area.
Remember that beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder; surround yourself with furnishings and outdoor elements that make for a pleasing and functional gathering place and you will have created the perfect outdoor retreat.
NOTE: This post was originally published on http://www.livebetterbydesign.wordpress.com
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