Your home is your castle. It’s where you spend most of your life, and where many of your most treasured memories are formed.
The reality is, coming up with the ideas for a comfortable outdoor space is far easier than actually completing it. There are materials, features, functionality, costs, and a myriad of other factors to consider. It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ll run through how to design a practical and comfortable outdoor living space for your whole family.
Think about the right furniture
Well-designed outdoor living spaces have been linked to spending more time outdoors, better physical health, and a better quality of life overall. Naturally, if you’re going to be spending more time outdoors at your own home, you will need furniture that’s sustainable—going to last through the season, durable—especially if you have kids or pets, and practical for the space you’re trying to create. Below are our top picks for outdoor furniture that will enhance your outdoor space:
- Table: The social and symbolic importance of the dining table is one that transcends countries and cultures. Research by the University of Illinois suggests that family mealtimes contribute to a reduced likelihood of substance abuse, and better mental health outcomes for children. Evidently, whether inside or outside, the dining table is fundamental to family cohesion, but also needs to be comfortable, stylish, and durable. A large table that can accommodate both family meals and entertaining will be best. Teak, acai, or eucalyptus wood are ideal materials, as they are sturdy enough to withstand adverse weather, and looks much nicer than plastic.
- Chairs: When design is your modus operandi, comfort will usually be a natural feature too. Chairs that match the style of the table, as well as the house and garden, are essential. Rattan is a favorite for outdoor spaces as it fits nicely in such settings. It is also durable and relatively resistant to deterioration in bad weather. Rattan is also less environmentally damaging than cheaper alternatives, like plastic. Rattan and other solid materials, like steel, can easily accommodate cushions. Additionally, a weather-resistant outdoor couch can be another great option for those who have the space.
Center your chairs around a teak outdoor coffee table for a place to set your drink or to lounge with your feet up. Add a colorful plant or a candle to the center.
Choose the right features
Now that you’re comfortable, you need features that suit your furniture and space. What are the best features of a well-designed outdoor space? Do you want to enjoy the bells and whistles for ultimate convenience and relaxation during your day off? Or maybe, you only want the essential features that also suit your budget.
When choosing the right features for your outdoor space, one has to consider different factors. Some factors include the climate or weather changes in your area, the activities you’re planning to do outdoors, and the size and layout of your backyard.
Below are some popular options for design and function.
- Deck: Consider an outdoor deck for an elevated space with a view. This can enhance the size of your outdoor space and be a safe thoroughfare into your backyard if you live in a raised home. Wood-plastic composites are now a popular material, as they retain a wood finish while being resistant to weather conditions.
- Spa or pool: For many, having a body of water in an outdoor space is the dream. Swimming is great exercise, and pool parties are a famously good time.
- Shade and temperature control: You want your outdoor space to be functional year-round, and that is why shade and heat are so fundamental to good design. In the hot summer months, umbrellas, awnings, and canopies will be your savior from the hot sun. In the cooler winter months, a gas-fueled outdoor heater, either the “mushroom” or “pyramid” varieties should suffice. Alternatively, the warm romantic glow of a fire pit can be an attractive option.
Garden, grass, and plants
We humans naturally take comfort in nature. There are numerous therapeutic benefits to having a garden, and quality of life and prevalence of green spaces are linked, and can even increase the value of your property. Below are a couple of ideas that can contribute to a well-designed outdoor space.
- Garden: Whether growing flowers, herbs, or veggies, having a garden is great for both your self-esteem and the functionality of your property. There is a sense of pride in successfully cultivating plants. Plus, being able to feed and nourish yourself and your family from your garden is the ultimate in sustainable living.
- Grass: If possible, you should lay or plant grass in your outdoor space. It will help increase soil stability in your garden and will reduce soil erosion from wind and water. You can also hire a bay area turf installer for fake grass as a great alternative to natural grass if you want a beautiful, long-lasting green landscape with less maintenance.
The cherry on top of all previous ideas is the lighting. This will enable you to enjoy your space at any time of the day, and helps to tie all of these elements together. Dimmable and adjustable lighting can help you create a more dynamic outdoor space.
So, what type of light is best outdoors? Light-emitting diode or LED lights have no problem in cold temperatures because they’re already built for drastic temperature changes. They’re the ideal lighting option for outdoor areas, brighter than halide street lamps. Also, LED bulbs are energy-efficient, saving you electricity and money.
Exterior lighting fixtures don’ have to match. Enjoy mixing outdoor lighting for the small balcony, patio, front door, and backyard. You can opt for opposing colors, such as brass or black, or stick to a warm or cool shade, like nickel and chrome.
When learning the ins and outs of a well-designed outdoor space, there are a handful of different elements to consider. Furniture, features, greenery, and lighting are key. By combining them in the right way, you can create a high-functioning space that is great for entertaining, great for enjoying, and aesthetically beautiful.