Have you ever wished you could have a larger living space, but didn't want to move away or remodel to get it? Maybe you want to enjoy the good weather more, or you have company coming, and your living room feels too small. Whatever the case, you can solve the problem by creating an outdoor living space.
Decide on a Purpose or Theme
The first step to creating an outdoor living space is to decide what purpose it will serve. Do you primarily need dining space, or simply a place to sit and visit? Do you hope to designate the space for game night, or as a place for little ones to play with toys? Your answers help to inform your decorating and layout decisions.
Establish the Footprint
Now that you know how you want to use your new outdoor room, create the footprint based on the size you need and the space you have available. Decide how you want to demarcate this area. If it's grassy, do you want to leave it that way, or would you prefer to add an outdoor rug? If you're creating this new space over concrete or gravel, you may want to add synthetic grass, a carpet, or decking material.
Create the Illusion of Wall Space
Establish the borders of the area by adding wall material, whether that consists of temporary room dividers, drapes on simple PVC frames, a living wall, or something else. If you already have a privacy wall or hedge, consider using that as one of your walls. You can also build a chicken wire wall on a simple lumber frame. The wire makes it easy to add climbing plants, fabric, or picture frames to add to the illusion of a solid wall.
Design Seating and Conversation Areas
To ensure that your outdoor room serves its purpose and doesn't end up being wasted space, choose furniture that fits your intentions for the area but also allows for flexibility. For example, if its primary purpose is dining, incorporate a small corner nook with two comfortable chairs and a small side table. If you're short on space, make the dining area convertible by using several small tables instead of one large banquet table. If you're designing your space as an outdoor living room, consider arranging several small conversation areas using comfortable chairs, loveseats, and small area rugs.
Build a Cohesive Decor
Now it's time to decorate. Using a common color, texture, or theme throughout your new space is a great way to tie everything together. Not everything has to match, but your decor should have a common thread. If you don't know where to begin, take a look at the fabric you used on your faux walls, upholstered furniture, or area rugs. Is there an accent color or motif you could repeat elsewhere in the room? If you used drapes as room dividers, can you create coordinating throw pillows out of the same fabric?
Creating an outdoor living space is a fun way to create more room for entertaining, and you may find, now that it's done, that you want to use it as much as possible, even when you don't have company. You can extend your outdoor living season by adding wool blankets, a woodburning stove, or a propane patio heater. You may also want to build a pergola to protect against rain and snow. The possibilities are endless!