Exterior Design Tips for an Outdoor Living Space

Riverdale Detail6Making the Most of the Summer Sun

A little investment and imagination can make the garden and patio the perfect living space during the summer months.

Most of us take pride in periodically remodelling the interior décor for our homes, updating furniture, colour schemes, accessories and soft furnishings to make the living space a place where we want to spend time, and are happy to entertain friends and guests without embarrassment.

At this time of year, though, it can be far more comfortable to spend time enjoying the fresh air and sunshine while it lasts. If yours is one of the many households where the exterior décor is limited to some ancient plastic chairs and a precarious wooden bench, now is the time to revitalise that outside living space.

With just a few adjustments and the addition of some contemporary furnishings such as the rattan furniture sets that are so fashionable this year, you can create an outdoor space that is comfortable, inviting and will be the envy of your friends and neighbours. Here’s how:

Year round use

One of the reasons we sometimes stint on the exterior décor is due to the fickle nature of the British climate. So why not prepare now to make your outdoor living space suitable for year round occupation, with a cosy fireplace? This provides a dramatic focal point, as well as making your exterior space inviting whatever the temperature.

Even in summer, a fire can be just the thing on a cooler evening. There are plenty of ways to go about it, from a basic hole in the ground to an ornate marble fireplace. Or how about an elevated fire bowl for a touch of drama?

Opt for comfort

A wooden bench might have that rustic look, but let’s be honest, it is not something you would choose to sit on for longer than half an hour or so.

This is why rattan is such a good choice, giving a great blend of comfort, longevity and a natural look. And you can quickly and easily stow the cushions out of the way when they are not in use.

Treat it as a room

cosy corner in the gardenMany people assume exterior furnishing begins and ends with a table, some chairs and perhaps a parasol. Think more broadly, and treat it as if you were designing any other room. That means a variety of furniture, set out in a way that sets the area off to its best advantage and is conducive to comfort and conversation.

By adding extra seating, and positioning it properly, you can create the intimate feeling of a living room.

Define the boundaries

Sometimes it is not so easy to create that indoor feeling if you are sitting on a wide open lawn. Try to establish some kind of enclosure, to define the boundaries of the “room” – this could be in the form of a brick or gravel foundation to delineate the area from the rest of your outdoor space, or even a low wall.

Enjoy your extra room

Follow these tips, and you could find that the most popular room in your home is not actually inside at all – enjoy the summer in your new found living space.