Your home is not about rooms and interiors alone; it also includes outdoor living spaces such as the patio, lawn, garden, and backyard. The outdoor spaces of our homes give us a chance to imbibe fresh air and light. They provide us fresh air and light and some much-required relaxation in serene settings. They also provide a good setting for entertaining guests, exercising, bonding over games with your family, or spending balmy summer evenings in the outdoors. Despite spending relatively lesser time here than the indoors, the time spent amidst the greenery in our outdoor spaces, rejuvenates us in double-quick time. Designing and fitting your home’s outdoor spaces with fittings that are functional and aesthetic, is an investment for good times and healthy living. Come, make your home, a sweet home indeed!
Types - Outdoor Living Spaces
Lounge Spaces – Lounge areas are a great way to utilize the free outdoor space available in your home. These spaces can be developed to the front, sides or rear of the home. Combine a dash of creativity with design principles, outdoor furniture items, and accessories – to literally transform outdoor living space into delectable lounge areas positioned on a lawn, or around a pool.
Patios and Decks – Old-time favorites of home owners, they combine indoor comforts with the sense of freedom that outdoors signify. Patios and decks merge naturally into the contours of the home, whichever side you want them in.
The Outdoor Kitchen – Cooking outdoor can be fun! And the outdoor kitchen can make it happen. Having one in your home is a great idea if you’re looking to have intimate get-togethers with chosen friends, especially in the days before winter sets in.
Design Elements for Outdoor Spaces
Whatever size, shape or budget you have, remember that your outdoor spaces are a combination of the elements – air, water, fire, earth – with generous amounts of shade added to the heady concoction. All it needs is a bit of ingenuity to work on factors such as placement, dining and seating areas, the cooking area, ensuring protection from the elements, and tweaking the ambience just right.
Placement is All: Locating the outdoor spaces within as much proximity as possible of your home’s doorway is a great way to optimize the use of outdoor spaces. Outdoor spaces that are directly connected to the indoor living spaces give the illusion of an extra-spacious living room. Similarly, create imaginary traffic pathways that subtly move traffic in the right flow patterns. By artfully deploying flagstones, seating walls, or other items of furniture, you can smoothly navigate people in the outdoor spaces.
Seating and Dining Comfort: Use separate patios or decks to distinguish between seating and dining areas. You could also consider demarcating them with smart arrangement of furniture or chairs. Here, seating walls are an effective solution for setting up sitting areas, steer traffic unobtrusively, and save space in your outdoor spaces.
Cooking up Fun: If you subscribe to the credo that good food available at hand makes outdoor dos all the more enjoyable, welcome to the world of outdoor space cooking. Outdoor kitchens are available in different capacities, ranging from elaborate cooking units to more compact and functional stoves. And then you have an assortment of barbecue grills and wood-fired pizza ovens to choose from. Ultimately, there’s nothing to beat an alfresco meal, isn’t it?
Let Ambience Set the Tone: Creatively apply elements of light, sound, and aroma, to conjure up a bit of magic in your own outdoor space. Little things like strategically placed candles, fire pits, or an outdoor fireplace can dramatically enhance the ambience. Similarly, you could use water fountains to please the eye with their dancing patterns, and soothe the ear with their musical patter as they splash over round pebbles. Complete the effect with aromatic flower plants in full bloom as the day ends and the night begins. For those who believe in something that’s more in the eye, tasteful music playing on surround sound speakers is a good option.
Stay Safe from the Elements: A little extra sunshine, or a spot of rain, or even a strong gust of wind can mar the best of days in the outdoors. It makes sense to factor in protection from the elements should they decide to play spoilsport all of a sudden. A covered deck or patio is a good idea to relax under when there’s too much sun in the sky, or even if it’s raining for that matter. Fixing a windbreak or screen to your deck will prove adequate against the wind should it decide to speed up just when you’re getting down to some fun in your home’s outdoor space.
Outdoor Space Essentials for You
An assortment of furniture, accessories and materials are used to give the outdoor spaces in your home, a distinctly unique personality and style. Basically, deployed for functionality, safety, convenience and style purposes, these essentials include hardware components such as fences and gates, garage and outdoor storage, greenhouses. The functional aspects of outdoor materials range from outdoor seating such as sun loungers and outdoor chairs, outdoor shades such as canopies, umbrellas, stands, and bases, and outdoor tables.
Start with a focal point – Create a focal point for your outdoor space, and build around it. The focal would normally be a dominating component such as a fountain, fireplace, a vista or pool. Once you’ve decided upon the focal point, create the outdoor living space around it. Surround the space in a protective framework of trees and shrubs.
Water drainage is key: Protect the foundations of your home from water damage by installing an effective drainage system capable of drawing away excess water away from the building foundations. Lay out a drainage trench along your home’s edges. The trench must be between 6-8 inches deep, and filled with sand and pebbles. This arrangement will effectively steer water run-outs away from the building foundation.
Go Durable: Since the furniture will be at the mercy of the elements, choose furniture and accessories that are made of durable materials such as wrought iron, aluminum, teak wood, and resin wicker. Apart from durability, these materials are resilient and adaptable to most furniture styles.