Home Tip Tuesday: Creating an Inviting Outdoor Space

Your outdoor living space is simply an extension of your home.
Via Centsational Girl/Pottery Barn

Outdoor living spaces have come a long way since the days when placing a potted plant next to a wicker love seat was considered “decorating.” Decks, porches and patios are now the site for stylish furniture and accessories that rival those inside the home. It’s not necessary to fill every corner of your outdoor space in order to make it feel inviting, but many of the same rules for indoor decorating apply.

The Function of Furniture 
Even a small deck can serve more than one function with the right furniture selection. The key is to select pieces that are the right scale for your space. For most entertaining, a dining table, a conversation area and a cooking area are the three main zones that are required. Use an outdoor rug to help define areas even if furniture must be placed close together.  If space allows, extras like fire pits and lounge chairs are a nice touch, but it’s more important to have adequate, comfortable seating with a side table or two for holding refreshments. When it comes to furniture placement remember, there’s nothing inviting about a guest’s chair falling off the edge of the deck or sitting with your face inches from a smoky grill. Place furniture away from steps and rail-less edges to allow safe movement around the outdoor room. 


Keep It Private 
Striking the balance between privacy and open space is especially important for outdoor living. You want to enjoy the view of your yard and garden—or the scenic view beyond if you’re fortunate enough to have one—but you don’t want the neighbors to see and hear everything you do.  Use standing umbrellas, vine covered trellises planted in large pots, rolls of bamboo fencing, strategically placed shrubbery, a pergola or even curtains as privacy screens to help create a cozy nook or two in your outdoor room. 

Plant Some Accessories 
Artistic accessories add a finishing touch to any room, but dusting and cleaning outdoor knickknacks can soon become tiresome. Keep it low-maintenance by relying on potted plants and flowers to add color and life to your outdoor room.  Fragrant herbs not only increase the enjoyment of the space, but they’re also a practical addition for the adventurous cook in the house. Larger plants such as patio roses or dwarf fruit trees can be used to help define walkways and create more visual interest with their varying heights. 

Via ATG Stores/Pinterest

Don’t get left in the Dark 
Lighting increases the beauty and safety of your outdoor room. Basic house lighting is a start, but it’s not enough. Make sure stairs are well illuminated, light up dark corners with uplights and hang strands of party lights overhead to create a festive scene. The selection of solar lights available today makes it easy to provide functional and ambient light wherever needed.

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