Having a 4th of July party? Figuring out where to put that new grill for Father’s day? Trying to get your outdoor living space just right? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Whether you’re just starting to plan your space, or you’re adding the finishing touches, these pointers will come in handy.
Planning your layout is your first step; figure out how the space will be used. This includes drawing out your pathways, listing the pieces of furniture you will need or where you will place what you have, making sure that there will be room for every piece to function as planned, and creating your map. Here are some examples of things to think about to get you started:
- How big is your space? How will you get the maximum use out of it?
- Do chairs have enough room to pull out? Are walkways large enough?
- If you have a grill is it placed far enough away from the seating area?
- Is there shade you would like to take advantage of? If not is there room for an umbrella?
- How does the light hit the outdoor area during the times you are most likely to be using it?
- Can you plan in such a way that the space is aesthetically pleasing from views inside the house?
You want to be sure you really think this through so you’re not dragging chairs and tables around trying to accommodate guests and their needs every time you use the space. Get creative, and discover how you want the space to flow.
Every outdoor space needs a focal point- a fire pit, table, garden, pool, hot tub, or a bar area, just to name a few. This is where you and your guest’s attention will be directed, and most of their time will be spent. Decide what it will be and include it in your layout planning. The focal point needs to have interesting pieces incorporated. For instance if you go with the garden perhaps focus on a fountain or sculpture. You may have multiple focal points, if this is the case be sure to plan the area for each one so that the space is not overwhelmed.
Style is one of the most essential aspects of your outdoor living space; it will dictate the feel of the area and will guide you not only in your décor, but also in your landscaping. Styles can be tropical, bohemian, traditional, modern, rustic, or whatever else your heart desires. The possibilities are endless, whatever you decide make sure that it does not clash with the style of your home. For instance a rustic log cabin home with a traditional English style outdoor living space complete with classic statues and rose gardens might not flow that well. If you don’t have something in mind browse some ideas to help you decide.
Once you have chosen your style you can begin to pick out your plants, a tropical area will call for some palms and hibiscus. A rustic area will call for some pines and perhaps ferns. Branch out here (pun intended) and have fun with it. Planting in layers, meaning the tallest plants in the back and the shortest up front, can help provide depth to the garden. Do keep in mind your climate and when the plants will flower. You don’t want to end up with a beautiful garden for a few months and a barren waste land the rest of the year.
My favorite part! Really embrace the style you’ve chosen, if you went with bohemian lots of pillows, bright rugs, and colorful patterns can help complete the look. Incorporating pops of color is always a great way to enhance a space. Throw pillows, lighting choices, accent pieces, and flowers are go-to ways of accomplishing this, but don’t forget that you can also use colored pots to add color that will stay year round. Lighting is also a great way to enhance the space; solar lighting to accentuate the garden, candles for the tables, and hanging lanterns are just a few options to keep in mind. Once again there are plenty of resources out there to get ideas from; there are even lots of DIY projects that can save some money along the way.