4 Tips to Create a Comfortable and Functional Outdoor Living Space

4 Tips to Create a Comfortable and Functional Outdoor Living Space

As the weather continues to get nicer, many of us will be spending increasing amounts of time outdoors. With that in mind, it’s important to create an outdoor living space that is both comfortable and functional.

How to create an outdoor living space that works for you

Keep these tips in mind as you design your space — odds are that you will be over the moon about the end product.

1. Invest in quality seating.

When it comes to designing an outdoor living space, seating makes all the difference. Whether you just want your outdoor area to be used as a dining space or you’re interested in creating an outdoor living room, your seating will undoubtedly be the focal point of the space.

With that in mind, if you have some money to invest in this project, you’re going to want to put it into finding a good seating set. While these sets can get expensive, a decent one will last you for years to come.

When you ready to start shopping, the biggest key will be taking accurate measurements. Since you’ll be building the rest of your space around whatever you buy, you’ll want to make sure that it fits well within the boundaries of your outdoor area.

2. Plan for temperature changes.

The next important step in this process is to plan for temperature changes. Especially in the middle of a pandemic, you’re going to want to spend as much time outside as possible. In light of that, you have to consider temperature fluctuations, from boiling hot summer afternoons to chillier nights.

Take some time to consider both ends of the temperature spectrum. For the cold nights, perhaps you could get a fire pit or an outdoor heater. On the other hand, think about adding an outdoor ceiling fan or an awning to provide some relief in the middle of the afternoon.

Blankets may also be a helpful suggestion for your outdoor living space. Though blankets would need to be stored somewhere if it rains, they can go a long way towards making your outdoor space inhabitable in all sorts of temperatures.

3. Create some privacy.

Once you have those two elements down, you’re going to want to think about privacy. Unless you live quite a far distance from your closest neighbor, creating a privacy barrier for your outdoor living space is essential. Not only will it help absorb some noise, but it will also make you feel as though you are in your own private oasis.

In this case, your privacy barrier can be either man-made or natural. Some well-placed shrubbery will work just as well as a traditional privacy fence. If you’re going to go to the latter route, you want to make sure you choose a material that will hold up and your particular climate. However, if you’re choosing the former option, think about talking to a landscaper first.

No matter which option you choose, you’ll also want to do your research on any recommended upkeep before buying the materials. While any shrubbery will need to be trimmed and pruned on a regular basis, fencing also requires regular sanding and staining.

4. Don’t forget the accessories.

Lastly, when you’re building an outdoor living space, it’s absolutely crucial to include accessories. Truth be told, there will be things that will take your design from purely functional to well put together. To that end, tackle shopping for accessories in the same way you would for an indoor space.

When in doubt, it’s a good idea to start with an outdoor area rug. Put simply, an outdoor area rug will go a long way towards grounding the space. This item can also set the color palette for the rest of your design. In addition, if you have a lot of seating, consider some outdoor throw pillows to go along with it.

Finally, no outdoor area would be complete without some greenery. If you have a green thumb, feel free to decorate with plants to your heart’s content. However, even if you’re not a master gardener, you’re still in luck. These days, they have plenty of faux plants that look just like the real thing.

The bottom line about DIYing an outdoor living space

In the end, it makes sense to approach designing an outdoor space in much the same way as you would an interior room of your home. By that, we mean that you should approach your design by aiming for a balance of form and function. Without both of those aspects working in harmony, your project will run the risk of feeling incomplete.

If you don’t feel comfortable taking on this design challenge on your own, you could always consider hiring an interior designer for the job. While an outdoor space may feel like an afterthought, bringing in an expert will ensure that your project ends up looking and feeling amazing.

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Tara Mastroeni

Tara Mastroeni is a real estate and personal finance writer. She has a BFA in Media Production from Emerson College. Her work has been published on websites such as Forbes, Business Insider, and The Motley Fool. She has also been featured as a subject matter expert on Innovators with Jane King and the American Trends podcast. Find her at TMRealEstateWriter.com or on Twitter at @TaraMastroeni.