Now that Spring has arrived and Summer is right around the corner, I've joined the bajillions of people who are sprucing up their outdoor space(s). In the past (meaning pre-blogging days), I just filled a few pots with flowers, tidied things up and called it done. All of you have inspired me so much that I want to put more effort in my outdoor spaces this year. Specifically, I want my deck to feel more like a room instead of just a place for some potted flowers and a table with an umbrella.
spending hour upon hour on Pinterest doing a little research, I put together a few pointers for creating an outdoor room that have helped me and I hope you will find helpful too.
The Basic Elements
Determine how you want/need your space to function. That will dictate what type and the amount of furniture that you'll need.
Do you only want a place to relax and enjoy being outdoors? If that's the case, arrange your furniture with the view in mind. It could be arranged to enjoy a focal point or to enjoy nature's beauty.
Or do you want a multi-functional space? Whether your space is small or large, one level or two, grouping furniture together according to it's function will enhance the feeling of having multiple outdoor rooms.
Consider adding "walls" to your outdoor space to further the idea that this is meant to feel like an outdoor room, not just a wide open space.
A row of planters filled with shrubs or plants will give you an instant wall with no construction necessary.
You can always choose to build a wall where nothing currently exists. You don't have to have a roof and the design is limited only by your creativity.
The addition of drapery panels is a great way to define your room and create intimacy. You don't have to have a roof or pergola - there are many ways to diy a way to hang drapery panels (do a search on outdoor curtains on Pinterest).
Umbrellas aren't just for covering a table. They're one more way to define a space. I'm planning to have two umbrellas on my deck this year.
Grouping different sized planters together is another way to define the different "rooms".
Make it Comfy and Inviting
Add a rug (or two). Nothing says “this is a room” like an area rug. An area rug helps to ground and define a space. The design/style of the rug that you choose will go a long way toward pulling your outdoor room together.
Pavers make a great "rug" if your outdoor room is in the yard.
Whether you prefer a trickle or a gurgle, the sound of running water is so soothing and relaxing. I think it can even fool you into thinking it's cooler when you're near it. The selection of portable outdoor fountains is huge today.
Have you ever taken a nap outdoors? If the setting is shaded and peaceful, it is divine! When thinking about comfort, a long, nicely cushioned couch would be a perfect addition to your room.
Soften up the hard edges by making sure there are lots of cushions and pillows.
Create interest by mixing styles and finishes of furnishings, fabrics and accessories.
Create ambiance with lighting - fireplaces (portable or built-in), tiki lamps, candles and outdoor lamps.
Music playing in the background adds another level of ambiance. Consider adding outdoor speakers or simply invest in a portable cd player that you can bring outside when needed. How about speakers concealed in a planter?
Create layers of decorative elements using plants, textiles and accessories. Vary the shapes and heights.
Don't forget your feathered friends. If you enjoy watching birds or other wildlife, consider incorporating a feeder into your space. This cool "birdalier" is just a repurposed chandy hanging from a crook meant for a hanging plant. Click on the link below to see it.
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Meet Me Monday at You Are Talking Too Much
Your Cozy Home Party on Monday at Cozy Home Scenes
Motivated Monday at Be Colorful
Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie
Tutorials and Tips Tuesday at Home Stories A to Z
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
DIY by Design on Wednesday
Wild Wednesday at Chatty Chics
Uncommonly Yours on Wednesday at Uncommon Designs
Show and Share on Wednesday at Southern Lovely
Show Me Extroidinary on Thursday at The 36th Avenue
Grace at Home on Thursday at Imparting Grace
It's A Party on Thursday at A Creative Princess
Share Your Creations on Thursday at Kristen's Creations
Tickled Pink Fridays at 504 Main
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Feature Friday Free for All at Five Days...5 Ways
Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence
Potpourri Friday at 2805
Weekly Top Shot on Saturday at The View From Right Here
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Overflowing with Creativity on Sunday at It's Overflowing
Sew Darn Crafty Sunday at Sew Many Ways
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
Simply Klassic Sunday at A Simply Klassic Home