Americans have taken a great liking to the Scandinavian lifestyle and their passion for open-air-living – however, we have put our own spin on it. Not only are we doing things outside as much as possible, but we are also expanding our indoor living space to the outdoors. So, what is it about outdoor spaces that makes them irresistible enough to be considered “essential” to a home-buyer, and how do you get there? When it comes to creating areas that are unique and homey, most of us can benefit from a creative boost. Whether you have a porch, veranda, terrace or balcony – follow these tips on creating an outdoor oasis, ideas on outdoor must-haves and where to find them. If you have a covered area, you’re already halfway there. If you have a fireplace, count that as a double bonus. Either way, even the most basic outdoor space can be turned into a fresh air destination!
How Will You Use It?
The first and most important thing that you want to ask yourself before designing what is going to blur the line between inside and outside is: How are you going to use this space? Think about your lifestyle and decide what activities are most important to you. Are you a social butterfly who loves entertaining or do you prefer to have a private retreat? Will your outdoor area act as your work from home place or will this act as another living room? Outdoor kitchens are currently on everyone’s wish list for entertaining purposes, especially if you live in an area where the weather is favorable to be outside the majority of the year. With a luxurious outdoor kitchen you can seamlessly entertain your guests without missing a beat. Shop Amish Trading Post and Casual Furniture World for large grills and full outdoor kitchen options. For a smaller option, shop Ashley Interiors by Braxton Culler for the Big Green Egg – a versatile cooking device capable of acting as a grill, oven or smoker.
Small Outdoor Spaces
Large Outdoor Spaces
Choosing furniture that’s too large can overwhelm your outdoor space very quickly. Patios come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to measure your area before picking out furniture. Once you have an idea of your patio’s size and scale, you can start to select outdoor furniture that works best. Whether it’s a small or a large space you are working with, you can transform it into a gorgeous outdoor haven that you and your family can enjoy for many years to come. All it takes is a bit of planning and creativity.
Small spaces can look elegant and offer comfortable places to enjoy the outdoors, however they can usually only accommodate one activity. Decide what this area is going to be used for and if your idea of the perfect outdoor space is for it to act as an additional living room, start looking for furniture that features simple lines, low backs and no arms. This will make your outdoor area look more spacious than it actually is. Consider shopping for ottomans as they are incredibly versatile pieces of furniture that can be used as seating, footrests, coffee tables, storage and more. Adding an outdoor rug to your area can help with adding more variety, while also giving the impression, once again, that there’s more space than there really is. Striped designs, in particular help create this illusion. When decorating, you will also want to keep an eye out for the number of legs. Too many chairs and tables will give off the look and feel of a crowded mess. Search for foldable or stackable furniture at High Point Furniture Sales or Furnitureland South to name a few, so whenever they’re not in use, you can easily stow the furniture away to make more room for your patio.
On the other end of the spectrum, large outdoor spaces provide enough room for you and your family to enjoy multiple activities. The best way to start planning is to divide your outdoor area into sections, just like the inside of your home. Whether you want a section for dining, sunbathing or something in between, there are plenty of stylish ways to divide these areas. By giving your outdoor oasis both a living room and dining room feel, it makes the space extremely versatile. You can entertain guests with a meat and cheese board, host a game night with your friends, or relax with your family by a fire and enjoy gazing up at the starry skies. Luxurious options for fire-pits can be found at High Point Furniture Sales, TDF Furniture and International Manufacturers Showroom. Or make a grand statement and think bigger than a patio umbrella. Metropolitan Galleries and International Manufacturers Showroom offer gazebos, marble structures, fountains and benches.
How Do You Make The Outdoors Safe And Accessible?
Lighting is another important function to think about, considering without it you might not be able to find your drink after dark. While all lighting should look great and provide the glow to make any given space look good, exterior lighting has an especially tough job to do. It must make your home look amazing and offer the safety and security you need to be comfortable. Provide a significant boost to your nighttime ambience and extend the hours you can spend in your outdoor space by shopping Butler Lighting. With a combination of security lights and other types of fixtures, their lighting experts can help make your outdoors just as accessible and safe as any of the other rooms in your home!
Treat Your Space Outdoors Like An Interior Space
Once you’ve got the basics taken care of – the size and function – you can now start thinking about adding the special little touches to your outdoor paradise. Furnish your outdoor space as if it is a room inside your home. That means plenty of comfortable seating, often with cushions upholstered in outdoor fabric – typically solution-dyed acrylic for durability. It also means having outenough tables to hold drinks, snacks, phones and books; as well as including elements like outdoor decorative pillows and keeping throws handy for cool evenings.
Lastly, sustainability is here to stay. We’re more informed than ever before. Not only do we want to create stylish outdoor hangouts, but also sustainable ones. Recycled plastic outdoor furniture, eco-friendly décor and natural materials for building projects like reclaimed wood and bamboo will remain popular and widely available on the market as more brands embrace sustainable practices. For now, find eco-friendly products at Furnitureland South and Priba Furniture.
I hope you consider these decorating tips as a helpful resource when navigating The Home Furnishings Capital of the World™ to create your dream outdoor space. Whether you have an intimate outdoor area or large one – Amish Trading Post, Ashley Interiors By Braxton Culler, Baker Furniture, Casual Furniture World, Capa Home, Chelsea on Green, Furnitureland South, International Manufacturers Showroom, Priba Furniture and Interiors and TDF Furniture are the places for you! If you need more guidance and expertise, take advantage of our complimentary concierge service with Christina Payne, who has twenty-plus years’ knowledge of the home furnishings industry and can walk you through a customized furniture shopping experience just for you!