Bringing The Inside Outside

Optimize Your Outdoor Living Space

Angie Lewis, Writer
Reading Time: 4 minutes
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Summer will soon be knocking at your door, begging you to come outside and spend time in its warm sunshine. The nicer weather means hosting family barbecues and parties, kicking back in the shade with a good book or floating around in the pool, allowing the stresses of everyday life to slowly drift away.

Outdoor Seating - Sectional

Is your back yard ready for all of the summertime fun? More specifically, take a good look at your patio furniture. Perhaps certain pieces should be spruced up or repurposed, while others may need to be replaced altogether.

Whether you’re dealing with a big or small project, don’t let the details intimidate you. With the right preparation and planning, you can transform your outdoor living space into an oasis where everyone can relax and enjoy themselves.

Choose Your Aesthetic

Before you dive into an outdoor renovation and end up feeling like you’re drowning in all of the possibilities and decisions, take some time to think about how you envision your new space. How will you be using it? Do you spend more time entertaining or relaxing? What kind of seating do you need? Does it need to be kid- and/or pet-friendly? Do you prefer clean, modern lines or playful, colorful textures? Do you like harder surfaces, such as wood, or softer ones, like cushions?

Addressing these questions should help you narrow down the outdoor seating options that work best for your family.

Get Trendy

Once you’ve honed in on your desired aesthetic, start putting your ideas into action. Looking at this year’s trends can help.

For instance, the biggest trend of 2017 is bringing the indoor look outdoors. This theme incorporates plush sofas made from durable fabrics, side tables, ottomans, vibrant-colored throw pillows and outdoor rugs. To protect their outdoor living room, many homeowners also opt for a patio cover, which can be either a hard cover or soft awning.

Outdoor Seating - Benches

This year’s outdoor furniture also blends wood-grain finishes with worn surface textures and pairs neutral colors with pastels for a washed-out effect. When it comes to dining tables and chairs, classic wrought-iron tea garden furniture is always in style. 

Go Green

Adding a new chair or replacing an entire outdoor living room can be a great opportunity to bring in materials that look great and are also good for the environment. You can make your own (try these ideas from WooHome) or purchase eco-friendly furniture from shops such as Breezesta and Viesso, which offer “green” seating options in a variety of styles and colors.

Create A Warm Front

While you’ll probably focus on furnishing your back yard, don’t forget to pay some attention to the front of your house, too. Curb appeal counts – it’s the first thing your friends and neighbors see, so making a good impression is a must.

Be sure to keep the area clean. As for décor, don’t over-decorate. A simple rocking chair or swing can generate a warm, welcoming feeling for all.

Stay On Budget

Outdoor Seating - Wicker

Whether money is no object or you follow a strict budget, options are available for every wallet.

High-end luxury furniture sites such as Frontgate, offer posh designer couches, mosaic dining tables, cushioned hammocks and even a hanging daybed.

However, affordable, luxurious-looking options are available, too — especially if you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves and do some of the work yourself. Pinterest provides countless design inspirations for do-it-yourselfers, such as repurposing an old tire into a cushioned seat and building a lawn chair using wood pallets, among others.

Plus, check out money-saving suggestions from Better Homes and Gardens’ Budget-Friendly Ideas for Outdoor Rooms, DIY Network’s 10 Outdoor Rooms on a Budget and HGTV’s 25 Budget-Friendly Ideas for Small Outdoor Spaces.

Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. Concentrate on small areas and budget your time and money for the items that will best fit each space.

Have you recently redone your outdoor living space? We’d love to see photos! Post them in the comments below.