When it comes to creating a great outdoor room, think of your garden as a whole new space to decorate. It's actually easy to incorporate your garden into your living space to increase your home's livable square footage — if you know how to do it right.
Maximize indoor-outdoor flow by increasing the width of door openings. Design it as you would the living room, with lighting, rugs, comfortable seating, and places to put down drinks. Keep it simple, but make sure that the furniture is in proportion and matches the space. Suitability is everything.
Walls aren't necessary for creating an open-air living room. All you need is a covered outdoor space — a place where you can relax, doze off, daydream, cook, eat, or entertain. Here are some of the best ways to bring the comforts of your indoor living spaces to the great outdoors.
1. Install a pergola.
A garden without a pergola is like a room without a rug. Square outdoor areas call for vertical interest to break up the landscape, and inspire new seating and planting patterns around it. Go for a simple pergola silhouette using rustic timber poles.
2. Add banquette seating.
A built-in banquette will allow more people to be seated in a small area. Not only do they look streamlined, but they can also act as outdoor storage too.
3. Define your color palette.
For harmony, use the same tones, colors, and textures to create a theme. So, if you use a bronze finish on furniture, don't go for copper lighting.
4. Style the space.
Now, put it together and mix incongruous elements in the little touches. Hurricane shades, the right cushions, and a pretty tablecloth will give your outdoors the personal stamp — the first thing people notice.
5. Replace wall lights.
It's hard to go wrong with a wharf light or lanterns that will complement all facades.
6. Gather your pots.
Terracotta pots with topiary will add instant structure to your balcony, patio, or terrace.
7. Add greenery.
Grow climbers on trellises against a wall. To anchor the house plant, put a low row of hardy trees against a terrace wall. But don't let shrubs grow over the windows. You're the boss, not the bushes.
8. Dissolve the indoor-outdoor divide.
The ultimate luxury is a house that erases the barriers between outdoors and the inside of the house. Sliding doors disappear into the background so that your home and the garden are connected seamlessly. Bliss!
9. Go monochrome.
A one-color palette creates a serene backdrop and plays up textures in the garden. A dash of black creates instant contrast, calls attention to the garden's green contours, and makes everything else pop.
10. Don't spend thousands.
Shop around for inspired designs in all-weather rattan, bamboo, timber, and metal that would look at home anywhere in the world.
11. Get a fire pit.
Installing a fire pit or fireplace is a lure because it creates warmth and light. It scores extra points because of the hypnotic quality of a flame and crackling wood.
12. Embrace symmetry.
Balance, such as a row of shrubs, is visually soothing. Plants in rows against a wall of the house make outdoor spaces feel deliberate and restful.
This article was originally written by Melissa Penfold. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.