Careful planning is a must for creating a truly practical and relaxing outdoor living room. You will need to consider the space requirements, comfort, architectural style, color harmony and traffic flow, just as you would with designing an indoor space in your home. Also, you may come across more challenges with an outdoor room, such as providing privacy as well as creating shelter from the wind and sun.
Tip#1 Determine size and layout of your outdoor space.
The key factor is knowing the size of your property and the type of activities you will want to accommodate. Whether your outdoor space will be small and intimate or large and spacious, you will want to create zones to separate different activities such as relaxation, cooking and conversation areas -while allowing for good traffic flow throughout the area. Consider the natural elements; sun orientation and wind direction when you establish your outdoor space
Tip#2 Complement your home’s architectural style
Designing an outdoor room that will blend with the existing architectural style of your home will benefit the overall layout and create a seamless and beautiful transition from your home onto your outdoor space. There are various directions you can go in terms of selecting patterns and colors with decorative concrete but make sure you choose a design theme that harmonizes with your home and landscape and reflects the design of your indoor rooms.
Tip#3 Create a room with a view
Designing the seating areas around flowerbeds, water features or other attractive scenery will provide a beautiful and pleasant view for you and your guests as they gather around a table or on an outdoor sofa for an outdoor barbecue or a nice evening out in the backyard.
Tip#4 Plan for privacy
Since your outdoor room will not have walls, you may consider installing a fence or tall landscaping plants between the neighbors and you. Drop down shades are another alternative for more privacy which will protect you from the sun as well as close off the space so no one will be looking in from outside. For a more permanent and year-around functional outdoor space, consider enclosing your entire patio with either a screened room or glass windows. This way, you can enjoy your newly designed outdoor room all year around without worrying about rain or loud noise.
Tip#5 Consider convenience
It is important to design you outdoor room to be easily accessible from your house. To reduce trips back and forth, food preparation areas should be designed near your outdoor kitchen. Also, consider access to power and water for the design.
Tip#6 Provide a sheltered retreat
Shelter your guests from harsh sunlight and light rain by installing awnings, umbrellas, gazebos or pergolas supported by decorative columns for a more enjoyable and intimate space.
Tip#7 Take it in stages
Designing the perfect outdoor living space takes a lot of time, planning, and can get expensive. Consider building your outdoor room in stages, especially if you are on a tight budget, starting with just a decorative concrete or pavers and concrete counter top for serving food to your guests. You can install the rest later such as the landscaping, lighting, outdoor fireplace and so on. It’s important not to overwhelm yourself with the final design and by taking time to do everything one step at a time will allow you to create the perfect outdoor room of your dreams.
Tip#8 Get help pulling it all together
Work with a landscape architect, designer and a decorative concrete contractor to turn your design ideas into a reality. The professionals are there to help you plan out an outdoor space that will match your budget, aesthetic and functional requirements.