It’s summer time; this means we have the opportunity to extend our living spaces into our exterior environments, and embrace the warm weather.
Summer is a time for entertaining family and friends, and relaxing. Doing this in your own backyard is a great way to bask the warm weather and take advantage of that extra square footage that can be forgotten.
Don’t let the numerous options overwhelm you when it comes to making your perfect outdoor oasis or backyard entertainment space. Here are a few tips to aid you though the process, and allow you to create that space that will make you feel as though your home grew a couple hundred square feet.
The goal is to make your outdoor space feel as though it is part of your living quarters; therefore you want to break the barriers between indoor and outdoor. There are plenty of ways to achieve this; the simplest is to utilize your interior colour palette into your outdoor fabrics and furnishings. This aids in creating that seamless transition between indoor and outdoor. Consider cushions, table accents, and lighting into your outdoor space. Utilize coordinating fabrics and colours from your indoor living area into your cushions, and accents. You can do this by choosing more vibrant hues of your interior colours, using contrasting colours; such as orange accents outside if your interior palette has a lot of blue hues, or using the same hues, shades and tones as your interior colour scheme. It is amazing what some upholstered seats or throw cushions can do visually to your exterior space.
Lighting often goes forgotten on your patio or outdoor area. Don’t let lighting be an afterthought, consider solar lights, or a hanging outdoor fixture over your entertainment area if you have this option. Another option for outdoor lighting is to incorporate candles. Candles can be incorporated in many creative ways, adding light, serenity and visual interest.
In order to get the most out of your patio or outdoor space, it needs to be inviting. Sometimes the best way to do this is to add a hanging swing or hammock, or even a vintage chair re-purposed with an outdoor fabric upholstered cushion. Who wouldn’t want to spend time in a hammock with a book and some (spiked) lemonade?
Last, but most definitely not least, you should always consider function while designing your exterior living space. Will you be entertaining family and friends? Is your space going to be for your own enjoyment and relaxation? Will you be cooking outside? Do you have pets? All of these things can affect how you design and decorate your space. If you are hosting large parties and cooking, you will want to consider your BBQ, pizza oven, or other outdoor cooking appliance, and how that will fit into your space. Consider location of your cooking utilities, dining area, fire pit and play zone, just as you would with your interior space. Consider comfort of your guests, including having areas that are shaded, and seating that is comfortable for them. Water can help make the space inviting and comfortable as well. Whether it is ice water in a pitcher with some citrus fruit, a water fountain feature, or your pool, water adds peacefulness to your space.
Overall, your space should reflect you, and appeal to the functions that suit your lifestyle. Make the space comfortable for both you and your guests, add colour through furnishings and greenery, and consider lighting and water features. This will give you that perfect space to escape too, embracing the outdoors and extending your interior to the outdoors. Send the kids to the backyard, and enjoy!