Making Your Outdoors Livable: How to Create the Perfect Patio Space
Our outdoor spaces are too often underused, with designs guided by the aesthetics of green grass and flowers. While this can complement your house nicely, it also leaves a lot of square footage that could be used for something more functional. Instead of just being something to look at while you’re outdoors, the exterior should be the extension of the interior. This can be accomplished through minor interventions or large-scale projects. We’ll give you a few ideas and you can decide which ones to implement, so read on to learn more.
Connecting the Interior and Exterior
One way to make your outdoors move livable is to make the interior and the exterior feel cohesive. You can accomplish this by blurring the lines between the two. Extend the materials from the inside to the outside:
- Use the same or similar flooring.
- Choose furniture of the same color and shape or similar texture.
- Include similar accessories, area rugs, lighting, etc.
If you are planning on spending time in your yard during extremely hot or even rainy days, you’ll need a place to hide from the elements. A pergola can provide shelter from the sun and it’s a perfect space for vines to climb. Unfortunately, its crisscrossed roof won’t do much in the rainy season. A pavilion or a gazebo, on the other hand, will offer full coverage. If you need additional privacy, you can add curtains, a mosquito mesh or even a wall.
Something to Gather Around
From the beginning of human history, we’ve been gathering around a fire to hold meetings, tell stories and get closer to one another. This hasn’t changed much — only today, we have cleaner and lower-maintenance options for outdoor fires. The best available propane fire pits bring all the charm of wood-burning pits but without ash, smoke or soot. Additionally, different designs can fit into every exterior and bring unmatched elegance.
Speaking of gatherings, no patio is complete without a sitting area. To design the perfect one, you need to decide on the purpose. Is it meant for reading in solitude, family enjoyment, entertaining or outdoor dining?
Then, assess the space at your disposal and decide on the furniture and arrangement. Some general ideas would be:
- translating your living room with all its comfortable cushions and rugs outdoors (but with weather-resistant furniture)
- going minimalistic with simple wooden chairs and a table
- creating a space inspired by a certain interior style (Scandinavian, industrial, rustic, etc.)
Lighting plays an enormous role in both the functionality and the aesthetic of the exterior. To make the backyard safe, install lights strategically along the pathways. You can use solar lamps, standard LED walkway lights or even create your own lights with mason jars.
Also, you’ll probably want to add additional lights to the dining and sitting areas. Depending on the overall design style, you can create bohemian magic with string lights or focus on a striking centerpiece ceiling fixture. For example, the latter could be a crystal chandelier, a stylish pendant lamp or a farmhouse wood beam chandelier. You can find many ideas at second-hand stores or upcycle your own.
The extra feature your patio will have depends on the function you’ve intended for it.
If your patio is a space for entertaining and dining, you could do well with an outdoor kitchen or at least a grill.
If you want a Zen area, consider installing a water feature, sand, stones or little bridges. It doesn’t have to be something elaborate. A simple pond, fountain or stepping stones along a sand base will do the trick.
Whatever the ultimate function of the patio is, it can benefit from spreading out potted plants. A vertical herb garden can provide both functionality and visual appeal. Accessories such as plush pillows and blankets, candles, a couple of small movable tables, hammocks, swings and artwork will add to the magic.
Over to You
These were all just ideas to spark your imagination. If you’re planning on a patio project, start by assessing your goals and wishes, then create a natural design around them to help make your outdoors more livable.