An outdoor living space can serve as an extension of a home. Friends and family can gather and relax on a well-planned space. It can also act as an oasis from every day cares and stress. Options exist for optimizing the function of a space and making it an ideal location to kick back or entertain.
An attractive outdoor living space is also known to boost home value and does not require a large budget to accomplish. Learn how to take the first steps in creating an outdoor living space to love for years to come, whether you build it yourself or hire a professional.
Ask Yourself This
Homeowners looking for some ideas to create or change up a neglected outdoor living space need to look no further. However, all designs begin with answering some basic questions. An outdoor living space needs to work with a homeowner's lifestyle and goals. Start by asking yourself:
- How do you currently live?
- How do you see yourself using the space?
These questions help homeowners and designers plan a space to meet specific needs. Enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or frequent entertaining are two activities which may produce radically different designs for a space. Budget is another important area to factor in when determining the scope of and the materials used as part of a designed outdoor living space.
Common Outdoor Living Space Designs
The design of an outdoor living space makes all the difference in the world. Often, homeowners will set up outdoor living spaces in "zones," with a separate zone for food preparation, lounging, watching television and eating. Zones are established by clustering furniture and occasionally by setting up screens. Creating a zone for each purpose ensures that the outdoor living space is multi-functional.
Large outdoor living spaces can be subdivided in as many ways as the homeowner desires. In small outdoor living spaces, two zones (one for food and one for socializing) is enough. Keeping these zones flexible helps ensure that each zone can be changed as needed. This enables the space to grow with the homeowner.
Trends in Outdoor Living Spaces
Plans for an outdoor living space have shifted. Previously, people bought a table and chairs for a space and that is now being replaced by a loveseat and loungers. The choice of furniture is changing the living space to an outdoor living room. Fire pits and fireplaces are attractive features for homeowners looking to enjoy the outdoors during cooler weather. Many fireplaces offered use natural gas as an alternative to firewood. Outdoor kitchens have become a popular trend in areas like South East Calgary or other parts of the country. Upgrading grill models are an inexpensive option when compared to more elaborate outdoor kitchens with refrigerators and sinks. There are a range of designs and accompanying price tags for owners looking to create a space that can accommodate relaxing, entertaining and enjoying a home-cooked meal.
An Extension of the Indoors
The line has blurred between indoor living areas and the outdoor living space. Homeowners may choose to continue the aesthetic and style found inside a home or choose to go with a theme to guide their design, such as Outdoor Boudoir, Beach House Retreat or Moroccan Oasis. One design option of incorporating a fireplace is offered by Marc Atiyolil, designer and editor-in-chief of Home Trends Magazine. This outdoor living space uses nature inspired materials with a modern edge. A simple fireplace is surrounded by a white stone accent wall; chairs have wood accents to coordinate the fireplace with a cedar-toned deck. Throw pillows add a pop of color. Choosing a theme will help in finding colors and materials to support the overall idea and fit within a homeowner's budget.
Make the Most Out of Your Space
Canadian homeowners can use an outdoor space in multiple way to solve their needs. Many outdoor spaces are used year-round, as they now include screened-in gazebos and sunrooms. New design solutions, such as customized benches, traditional fencing patterns in modern materials and fabric sails, can help homeowners stick with a theme and address their specific needs within an outdoor living space. Browse landscape and outdoor living space photos and speak with a designer to learn more about the transformative possibilities for a specific outdoor space.