Whether you have a sprawling space with plenty of room for outdoor recreation or you want to optimize a more intimate area, well-planned outdoor entertainment and relaxation areas include more than just landscaping. Your outdoor room should be an extension of your home that invites visitors and family members to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature.
Work the Design of Your Outdoor Room Around the Terrain
An outdoor room is more than just a covered patio. The most delightful spaces blend with the surrounding greenery instead of intruding into it. Try to stick with natural materials, like stone or wood flooring, that mellow and improve with age and hold up under weathering. An open, retractable wood slat roof let’s the sun in, and the addition of louvered panels makes this an all-weather option. The lack of walls keeps any structures feeling open and fresh.
A nice transition to your outdoor space is a covered walkway leading from your home. The space it leads to can be formal, like a gazebo or outdoor kitchen, or more casual, sectioned off with shrubbery or lattice fencing crawling with flowering vines. If you have less room for outdoor structures, a garden border with spaces for a wooden garden bench or two will work. Design ideas for garden benches range from the basic, two-seat bench to an elaborate, carved three-seat padded bench with armrests and a high back. A nice shade tree is even more picturesque with a five-sided tree bench placed beneath its branches.
Planning is Everything
You may have a specific idea in mind for your perfect outdoor room, but how realistic is your plan? Your renovation needn’t be expensive, nor do you have to build a new structure. If you have an existing patio or a covered carport that sees little use, it’s easy to convert these spaces for more pleasurable pursuits. Simply clear out any clutter, take an objective look at the space and brainstorm ideas for how to use it better.
If you’re starting from scratch, make a sketch of your entire back yard, as well as any space along the sides of your home, if they have potential. Note where existing fencing, trees and structures like sheds, wells or flower beds are. Decide what to keep, what to enhance and what you can get rid of to make room for something better.
As much as your space will allow you to enjoy the sunny weather, don’t forget about lighting and climate protection. Lights can be as basic as tiki torches, and you can fill them with citronella oil to keep gnats and mosquitoes at bey. Solar lights are an energy-efficient option. They can charge all day and come on automatically when the sun goes down. They don’t require a lot of setup, and you can install them almost anywhere.
Heating isn’t as big an issue as you might fear. Even if you locate your outdoor room farther away from the home, you don’t have to have a whole heating system wired. Stand-alone kerosene heaters are very cost-effective, and they’ll keep you toasty in the coolest weather. You can also install a fire pit if your space is more rustic. There are fire pit bench seats that will keep you off the cold ground while allowing you to enjoy the blaze safely.
Choose Your Structures and Accessories With Maintenance in Mind
Your flowers, trees and other landscaping are fairly self-sufficient with proper watering and weeding. However, the same is not true for structures and outdoor furnishings. You need to consider accessories that look good from season to season with minimal care or maintenance requirements. You can protect the interior of outdoor rooms with removable canvas or plastic covers, if you like, or even a retractable roof. For furnishings like benches and tables, consider the material. Some popular choices include:
Bamboo and Wicker
This is a very traditional choice, and these materialism are very attractive. However, they can be very delicate and don’t stand up to heavy weather. If you don’t tie them down or bring them in during high-winds, you risk damaging your investment.
Woods like cedar, yellow pine and teak cover the color spectrum from blonde to red, and they only look better with age. With proper treatment to weatherproof them, they will provide years of enjoyment. They’re also sturdy enough to stand up to high winds and heavy rain.
Concrete can be basic or ornamental, and it’s a traditional selection for garden benches, wishing wells and retaining walls. Depending on it’s use, you can allow it to become mossy and weathered or seal it to preserve its integrity.
Putting it All Together
The best thing about creating your outdoor room is the pride and pleasure of putting it all together yourself. You can find a range of quality outdoor furniture online, including wooden picnic tables for sale from businesses like The Charming Bench Company that range from traditional to contemporary. Purchase them unfinished and ready to customize, or pick out a model that’s already painted or stained and treated.