3 Time-tested Elements for Outdoor Living Space DesignPergola Depot
Trends in outdoor room design have evolved over the years, but core elements that still remain to create the framework for your outdoor space include patio flooring, natural boundaries, and structures such as outdoor pergola kits, gazebos, pagodas, and similar wood structures.
One of the first steps is to define the borders of your outdoor room. Measure off the area and make your wish-list for the space. Are you trying to preserve the natural aspects of your surroundings? Do you want to be sure you don’t obstruct your view or are you trying to create more privacy? Are there space or building restrictions? Answers to these questions will lead you to one of your first decisions on how you’ll create the border of your outdoor room.
Create a Border with Patio Flooring
The border and boundary of your outdoor room can be created with hardscaping using patio pavers, stamped concrete, decking, or many other materials. The flooring defines that it is a space and is the first step to frame in your outdoor living room, open air kitchen, or poolside retreat. There are many options for hardscaping, whether it’s a wood or composite deck, flagstone pavers, or concrete. Concrete flooring can be stamped or stained to resemble stone or brick.
In addition to the flooring of your patio space, adding stylish accents and furnishings not only creates a welcoming feel, but can also help mark the border of your space. Rugs and carpets that are rated for outdoor use can identify the dining area, reading nook, or outdoor bar. Add some sofas, wooden benches, and chairs with colorful throw pillows to enhance the outline of your room.
Since an outdoor room can range from a small New York City patio with an attached patio cover and dining area to a Arizona poolside retreat complete with gazebo or screened porch, the choices are varied for how to frame in your outdoor room. No matter what size your space, natural boundaries and landscaping play an important part in tying together a postage stamp size yard all the way up to a sprawling oasis.
Natural Boundaries and Landscaping
If you’d like to create a distinction that there are two separate (but connected) areas to your outdoor space, you can incorporate a deck or patio pavers directly out your living room slider. To make it even more seamless as you move between spaces, consider choosing similar natural looking flooring material inside and out, or line the walkway leading to the outdoors with greenery or flowering plants.
Plantings can identify the border of your space and further enhance your outdoor room. Add some greenery to your patio by incorporating potted plants in planter boxes or ceramic pots. If you have a larger backyard space, add a border to your patio with trees and shrubs that will thrive in your climate and sprinkle in some annuals or perennials.
Plants soften the edges you create with your flooring and make the space warm and comfortable. You can choose plants based on your average amount of shade or sun, and whether you want the room to be more formal or relaxed. For example, consider hostas or ferns for a natural border in a shadier area, and add a hedge of evergreen shrubs that are easy to maintain, and can even be trimmed to give your outdoor room a more formal feel. Sunny spaces have several options for planting trees and shrubs and also lend themselves to adding outdoor structures to help create a shady retreat.
Outdoor Pergola Kits and Other Outdoor Structures
Outdoor structures such as outdoor pergola kits, gazebos, or garden arbors offer another feature that can frame in your outdoor room as well as provide a retreat from the midday sun. Pergolas can be softened by adding removable outdoor curtains or planting colorful climbing plants nearby or in pots that can be taken inside during the colder months of the year. Both can help frame in your outdoor room with a soft touch.
To protect your outdoor enthusiasts from the rays, consider adding a retractable canopy to your pergola that can be used to create shade and add a touch of color to your outdoor room design.
As you’re looking out your back window imagining your outdoor room, keep in mind how you’ll use the space. Where are the borders, and what features would you like to incorporate to frame it in. Structures? Plants? Other features?