It's officially Spring! Flowers are starting to bloom, the grass is green again, and the birds are serenading the world around us.
I'm having fun piecing together an outdoor living space and thought that you might enjoy some of the tips I've collected on design, practically, and not-so-practical fun things.
First of all, an outdoor room could be anything from a porch to a hidden garden seating area to a stunning outdoor kitchen. What your outdoor room becomes is up to your preference and the available resources like space and time.
My preferences for an outdoor room includes the following elements:
- a garden (preferably with herbs, vegitables, flowers, and fruits)
- a cooking area (anywhere from a grill to a full kitchen set up)
- a private and partally shaded seating area
- a water element (fountain, pool, stream, birdbath, etc)
Here are some unique ideas that I think would be great either on their own or incorporated into the whole sceme:
Turning an unused shed or garrage into a 3-season room.
This gives you a space that can be closed up during the cold months and bad storms protecting the whole space. This protection gives you added flexability on what design elements can be used. Plus, with the actuall walls, you have built in privacy.
Utalizing light semi-transparent cloth:
Semi-transparent cloth ads privacy in a much lighter way than solid walls do, plus allows more air circulation. And being so lightweight, it is easy to move around and customize the space for different uses (large BBQ party vs. a relaxing glass of wine and good book after work).
Repurposing worn and discarded items:
Give old furniture, architectual details (like old windows), and other items with a fresh coat of paint (or not) and a unique purpose. Flea Market Magazine recently published a special issue on gardens with some unique ideas that fall along this same line. I'm intriqued by using an old dresser as a planter, how about you?
Here are some things to keep in mind when designing your outdoor room:
- think of the inside when designing the outside - look out of your windows and decide which placement would be best, carry some design elements through from the nearest inside rooms
- decide how to define the space - do you want to use full or partial walls, curtains, hedges, vines, porticos, a patio, a deck, or a porch to define the space? remember to consider traffic patterns, privacy, and flow from the connecting/nearby inside rooms and the rest of the yard
- decide upon the atmosphere you're looking for to help you choose design elements such as...
- water features
Please let me know what you think of this post and what tips you have on utalizing your outdoor space during our warmer months. Also, if you have pictures of your outdoor room, I'd love to see them posted on our Facebook wall!
HGTV has a whole section of their website dedicated to outdoor spaces. What do you think about their articles and inspirational photos? Did they leave anything out?
Also, we at Mercers have many outdoor flooring options including natural stone, porcelain tile, and indoor/outdoor carpet and area rugs.