There’s no better way to add extra square footage to your home, than to make use of your outdoor areas.
It’s cheaper than a renovation with the added bonus of enjoying the fresh air. But maybe you’re overwhelmed at the idea of how to select outdoor furnishings that won’t be ruined by the elements? I understand. I want to show you just how easy it can be to create beautiful and functional outdoor living environments that you can enjoy (almost) year-round.
The big idea is to design is just like you would your living or dining room but with special ingredients. Curtains, rugs, lighting, and comfy seating all have a place outdoors. Depending on your your choices, you may have to store or cover items during long periods of snow or heavy rain, but generally speaking, they are designed to take on the sun and rain. Read the product descriptions to be sure. Now...let's take a look at each design element a little more closely.
Note: All images linked to original sources
#1 Hang Curtains
There is something enchanting about watching curtains in the breeze. Try hanging weatherproof curtains to anchor a seating area.
#2 Add Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor Lighting is a key to creating a space that feels warm and inviting. And when the sun sets, the party can go on. Look for lighting especially designed for the outdoors. If you have electricity already in place, you can hang string lights in a day. A professional electrician should help you install hardwired lighting. And finally, lanterns filled with candles (real or electric) will create a dose of whimsy and romance to any outdoor room.
#3 Put Down a Rug
Add a serious dose of color with an outdoor rug. In my opinion, it's a must have for a space that feels put together. Look for one especially designed for the outdoors. They are always made of synthetic materials such as polypropylene, olefin, polyester, or PVC; and are infused with UV inhibitors to inhibit fading in the sun. To extend the life of your rug, do not allow it to sit in standing water.
MARIETT RUG FROM LULU AND GEORGIA, 5X8 $438
#4 BRING IN COMFY SEATING
For some, it's an act of faith to spend money on furniture you know will see the wind, sun, and rain. You have to trust it. Outdoor furniture is designed to repel water and not fade in the sun so just go for it. Having the additional lounge setting will dramatically improve your quality of life. You will believe me the moment you have your first afternoon siesta or al fresco dinner. If you don't have a covered area, you'll want to also get covers (usually available with the furniture) or plan to store them in a dry location during long periods of rain or snow.
#5 DON'T FORGET THE ACCESSORIES
Accessories make up the last 15% of any room and won't feel complete without them. Sprinkle in a small cocktail table, an outdoor pouf to put your feet up, lanterns filled with candles, a few pillows, and a stack of blankets for after the sun sets.
Now...what are you waiting for? You have the whole summer ahead of you! When you get the right ingredients for an outdoor living space, you will have a place you can enjoy for years to come. There are few things I enjoy more than having a summer dinner with my family on the back patio or drinks with friends while the kids play. Having a space to enjoy comfortably for hours is key to inviting more of those moments into our lives.