Learn to create beautiful outdoor spaces to extend your living areas
More and more people are thinking outside the confines of walls and rooms to designing an outside living space. Here is your easy how to guide to designing the best outdoor space for your patio furniture. Use these tips to create an patio environment that you will love.
Amazingly, many of the interior design and decorating principles apply to the outside spaces as well. The first step is to decide what medium you will use to create an patio enclosure. Options include gazebos, stones, hedges or plants. This brings order to a huge area of chaos.
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Using the word “chaos” does not infer mess or neglect but rather undefined open spaces. By enclosing the area, you are designated and defining your outdoor living space creating a feeling of calm and ordered peace. It also helps to simplify your design requirements.
As with an inside room, begin by mapping out the space on graph paper. Think in terms of related space. Too small in an expansive yard, and it will appear and “feel” fractured. Too much patio and furniture in a small space will easily become cluttered and confining.
Unlike an indoor room where common rooms are square or rectangular in shape, outdoor spaces have no such limits. Take advantage of the natural nook and crannies that nature provides. Add benches, trellises, fountains and even archways to add some geometric variety and inviting retreat spaces.
Focusing on these little curves and natural attractions should come second to your main outside enclosure. Choose a coordinated color pallet. Include everything outside that makes an indoor gathering comfortable and relaxing; chairs, tables even lighting needs to be configured into the overall design scheme.
Balance and the resistance to clutter is also an important aspect to consider. If you are working with a large area why not make designated “rooms” for specific functions. Create a path to the eating area leading to a gazebo while another path could open up to a comfortable patio furniture sitting area with a themed water feature.
The location of your patio furniture will also need to be an area that is flat which allows for effective water drainage. Pooling water in your outdoor retreat is never an attractive feature!
When building your patio, work from a high spot, down. A standard measurement to keep in mind is 1 inch of slope for every 10 feet of surface area. This will ensure that water does not collect on the patio surface.
Another vital aspect of choosing location for your patio is to anticipate the hottest days. Though you may enjoy the heat of the sun on your face, especially during spring, it can become awfully uncomfortable in the middle of those “dog days of summer”. If possible choose a space that provides a great mix of sun and shade.
Create shade on your patio by using umbrellas, gazebos, awnings or beautiful pergolas. The more common pergola easy growing climbers are: Bougainvillea, Clematis, Sweet Peas, Boston Ivy and Climbing Hydrangea Vine.
Where and how you place your patio furniture is so important to the overall comfort of your outdoor living space. With a little bit of planning you will have a lot of summer comfort to enjoy!
by: Sue Kippner
Watch this video for information about outdoor living spaces and your patio: