Outdoor Living: Creating Livable, Enjoyable Outdoor Space

Many individuals are converting an area of their home to an outdoor living space. Many do this to entertain guests. However, some just enjoy the idea of having an outdoor area for their family. People enjoy the pleasant evenings outdoors.

Decks, porches, patio’s, gardens, and even garages are being converted over to an outdoor living area. In the last few years, more individuals have been setting up living rooms and outdoor cooking areas. Today you can purchase all types of things to use in an outdoor area. People are investing in outdoor rugs, furniture, lights, cooking appliances, bars, refrigerators, lounge chairs, and tables. Some have even set up elaborate entertainment centers outside.

You can really enhance your outdoor area with plants as well. Many individuals use flowers and plants in strategic locations to make the outside area even more outside.

Many of these areas are screened in to keep insects away. They have roofs with Casablanca fans. They use outdoor upholstered furniture. Today more than ever before furniture is being designed for outdoor use to handle the elements.

So how do you determine where to set up an outdoor living space and what type of furnishings should you use? Once you pick a spot, make a plan for how you want to set it up. Be creative. If things don’t work out, you can always change them. Here are some helpful ideas.

You first need to consider the size of the area. It has to be big enough to meet your needs. Sometimes you don’t have much of a choice because your space is limited. Look for things like proximity to a restroom, water availability, and electricity. Is the area in a part of your home that faces the southwest? If it does, you can expect extra sunlight. You always prefer a shady or cooler area. If you have an area with lots of trees, you will get that shade. You will also get bird droppings, insects, and falling leaves and branches.

A fantastic idea is to be able to see this area from the inside of your home. For example, I have a large atrium door. My area is accessible from both the kitchen and the master bedroom. This extends the indoor ambiance. I have a roof over the deck area so that I can use it even in rainy weather. Many individuals will go to the use of the large umbrellas to cut down on the hot rays from the sun.

Some individuals will use a form of outdoor heating and fireplaces to add to the area. You can purchase fire pits of all types. Many run on propane and are very easy to keep clean. A little warmth on a cool evening can add to your outdoor experience.

Another factor is lighting. You can use anything from Japanese lanterns to rechargeable LED lights. I have even seen some that use Neon lights to add class as well as lighting to their area.

Flooring can be anything from concrete, brick, wood, aluminum, and stone. If it sits above ground level, used AstroTurf or outdoor rugs are used.

Some individuals enjoy cooking so much that set up a kitchen living space type of area. Besides a grill, they may have a preparation table, refrigerator, and even a bar area. When it comes to bars, there are all types. Some even come with high back chairs.

Another good idea is to have a small outdoor table similar to a coffee table. I have even seen these type of tables with a fire pit in the center. It is great for entertaining.

The one major factor to keep in mind is that you need to use furnishings that are designed for outdoor use. They have all kinds of synthetic pillows and cushions designed for outdoor use. You can find these at any Lowe’s or Home Depot stores. They have chairs made out of plastic that are easy to wipe down before you use them.

The one constant battle every summer is that of insects. Spray several hours before you entertain guests. Use citronella candles in strategic locations. If your budget allows, think about screening in the areas. I remember that back in the early 50’s, many individuals use to screen in their back porch areas to keep insects away. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. Cost is a major factor. You also take away the idea of being outdoors. Lighting can also be a major factor with insects. You may want to place your lighting far enough away from your area to attract insects to those lights instead of your area. You do whatever works for you.

With the rising cost of gasoline, more and more individuals are finding that they prefer to stay home and entertain their guests. Providing an outdoor living area is a great way to do it.

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