With summer just around the corner, there is nothing better than spending time outdoors surrounded by close family and friends. A well-designed outdoor living area will extend the walls of your home, creating an inviting outdoor space to relax, entertain, and enjoy the beautiful weather.

These simple tips will help you create a stunning outdoor space that is both welcoming and functional.

1.  Ensure Privacy – A beautiful sitting or dining area is not as relaxing if it is visible to neighbors or high traffic areas. Fences, garden walls, shrubbery and trees all provide privacy and help establish a serene atmosphere. Lattice, pergolas and arbors adorned with fragrant climbing vines are creative ways to help define outdoor spaces, screen views of neighboring homes and add instant character to your space. These privacy elements can also become beautiful focal points or provide transitions from one area to another. By ensuring privacy, you are creating a more intimate and relaxing atmosphere where you will want to spend ample amounts of time.

2.  Offer Shade + Define Space – It’s important to have protection from the elements, but shelter also helps add character and define the space. Many homes offer covered patios, however additional choices include gazebos, pergolas, canopies or even patio umbrellas. These elements add a level of luxury and interest while also providing function. By offering relief from the sun or the occasional summer shower, you are able to maximize comfort for you and your guests. 

3. Carefully Considered Furniture – With the goal of creating an outdoor space that is an extension of your home, choosing the right furniture is essential. From a teak sofa tucked into a corner of a coastal home, to a black wrought iron dining set on the terrace of a high rise, the style and layout of the furniture will set the tone for your space. Many of the best outdoor spaces provide good flow, but are intimate in scale.

By keeping the furnishings simple, functional, and consistent with the style of the rest of the home, you can easily create a setting for memorable gatherings. With the vast selection of outdoor furniture finishes and fabrics, achieving the style and comfort you would get indoors, in your outdoor living space is more simple now than ever before.

 

4.  Add the Element of Light – Whether light shines from a beautifully lit fireplace or strategically placed candles, lighting sets the mood and brings warmth and romance to your outdoor experience. By combining a variety of lighting sources you can make your outdoor living area a magical space after dark. Be sure to illuminate access to the house with porch lights and task lighting for outdoor kitchens and grill spaces. For dining and conversation areas, candlelight, wall mount down lighting, and chandeliers create an inviting and relaxed mood. Steps and walkways should also be illuminated for safety and added ambiance. Traditional string lights and solar lighting are an easy and cost effective way to create ambiance. Solar lights placed in potted containers adds soft lighting to your sitting area, while traditional string lights in taller trees and shrubs can instantly add romance. Lighting in any fashion will add to the ambiance, elevate the mood and enhance the experience.