Creating an outdoor living area

Whether you have a patio, deck or a grassy area outside your home you can create a functional outdoor room to enjoy all summer long.  Your outdoor space can turn into an expansion of your home.  With so many furniture options available you can surely find something that fits your budget just perfectly.  Chances are that any store you walk into is sure to have some sort of outdoor space display or theme to help with ideas!

When creating your outdoor room, think of the space as you would a room in your home.  Think about the functionality and how you want to enjoy the space.  What is the purpose of the space?  How much seating is necessary?  What do you envision doing in the space?  When purchasing furnishings be realistic with what will actually fit in the space (you don’t want to overcrowd the area).  If the outdoor area is large enough consider creating separate seating areas.

Have fun and don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with color and patterns.  An outdoor room can handle bold colors that you might otherwise hesitate to use in your home.  Think about bold patterns for throw pillows and  outdoor rugs.  You can also introduce bold shapes into the space with the various lighting options such as lanterns, hanging lights and lamps.  Use nature inspired accessories to help make the space inviting (candles, flowers, plants).

And remember to always keep the functionality of the space in the front of your mind.  If you plan to entertain often in your outdoor room, what would make it easier for you to entertain?  A prep station or area for when you are cooking?  A bar area or small refrigerator for beverages?   Is additional lighting necessary?  Do you need to create shade with the use of outdoor curtains or overhead canape?  Would you love to include a fire pit in the space?

Before buying anything, do your research to find your inspiration.  Search the web, look through magazines, and check out stores that are known for their displays of outdoor areas such as Pottery Barn, Target, and Crate and Barrel.  Take a look at House Beautiful, Country Living and HGTV websites (just to name a few).

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