It doesn't matter what size your home is – from an apartment to a luxury seaside retreat – having a place to step outside and enjoy the fresh air is a must for most people. It is not surprising that interior designers are seeing more requests for a piece of outdoor tranquility, and they are delivering.
Creating an outdoor getaway can be done on your own as well. There are a number of books, magazines and websites to guide homeowners as they transform the look of their exterior space. Investing even a small amount of time and some new furniture will greatly increase the value of a home, should you decide to sell.
Outdoor living can consist of a simple table and chairs with a patio umbrella, to a completely new living space with furniture that is every bit as cozy as the family room inside. Of course, the patio furniture would have to be weather resistant, but in recent years, manufacturers have released exceptionally trendy looks to suit all ages and budgets.
When considering the addition of an outdoor living area, it is important to know how the space will be used. Will you be entertaining large groups, complete with meals? Would comfortable conversation areas be more suitable? Do you want a large-screen television and sofas for watching the big game or the latest movie release?
The choices for outdoor flooring range from well-groomed lawns to wood decks to designer slate installed over a concrete base. This factor is something that should also be considered in the early stages of planning how you will use your outdoor space. Is there a pool near your deck? Would slippery conditions be a hazard for yourself or your guests? In this case, non-slip flooring is essential.
Top it off
Even though it is wonderful to enjoy the sunshine, hot days require a shady respite from the heat. Outdoor living spaces can be just as enjoyable when they are created inside gazebos, in the shade of tall trees or temporarily covered by retractable awnings.
Outdoor lighting sets the mood
Well-planned lighting is essential in creating a completely relaxing environment in your outdoor living room. From strings of soft white lights artfully set in trees or along roof lines, to flood lights for illumination in cooking areas, having a mixture of light styles will bring a new look to your home.
Fire and water finish the charm
The addition of a water feature will ensure a sense of relaxation as you and guests enjoy the gentle sound of flowing water. It can be as small as a table-top model or a custom-designed waterfall over natural rocks in your landscape. As the sun sets, the lighting of a bamboo tiki torch or a selection of candles will complete the mood and allow any stress of the day to melt away.
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