Tips on Creating an Inviting Outdoor Living Space

Traffic flow, specific zones and decorator touches are key to creating an inviting outdoor space.
Via Citrine Living

Outdoor living used to only be the domain of those who lived in mild climates, but today, folks are making the most of their decks and patios even if only for a portion of the year. Outdoor spaces are the perfect places for family to gather, to entertain friends or to relax at the end of a hard day.

Know The Flow
Indoors or out, all spaces need traffic patterns to function well.  Outdoors, you can plant shrubs and trellised plants and use hardscape materials to help indicate the boundaries of the space. Outdoor living spaces feel more inviting when there's a familiar sense of a “room” and not just furniture placed in an open yard.

Zone Out
A single indoor room can contain many zones such as a cozy reading area, a place to watch television and a table for the kids to play games. Outdoor rooms should operate in the same way. You probably have only one patio, but you can arrange furniture to create the zones you need. A dining area is probably the most important outdoor room. You might also use kid-sized furniture to create a special play area, or maybe nestle two beautiful deck chairs together for a place to watch the sunset. Be careful not to overcrowd the area with too much furniture.

Via Style by Emily Henderson

That Decorator Touch
Getting your outdoor space to look like the one from the magazine isn’t as impossible or as expensive as you may think. A few tricks of the decorating trade will help:

•  Establish a focal point. Even an outdoor room should have a wow factor that draws the eye. A patio rose planted in a striking pot, a piece of sculpture or an amazing outdoor sofa will do the trick. The point is to give the eye somewhere to land.

•  Show your personality. Outdoor furnishings from the big box store are functional and affordable, and also a little bland. Discover treasures for your outdoor rooms at yard sales and flea markets. Think outside the box. Mixing a few unique items in with traditional furnishings will give your space that decorator feel.

Via Centsational Girl/Savvy Southern Style

•  Pop those colors! Find pillows, plant containers and other weather-friendly accessories to add unexpected bits of color here and there. And if you can’t find them, make them. With UV-resistant spray paint, you can turn a dingy old plastic chair into that brilliant pop of color that will make your outdoor room designer perfect.

Function and safety are always the most important elements of an outdoor room. Before you start arranging furniture, make sure you deck or patio is in good repair. 

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