The line between indoors and outdoors continues to blur as many of us want to take our indoor comforts and solitude outdoors. This concept is becoming more realistic as many manufacturers of home products develop more and more appliances, furniture, lighting and accessories that can be used indoors or out.
People are driven to find peaceful sanctuaries as a prescription for our stressful lives. Outdoor patios and porches are becoming more sophisticated and refined, and are becoming a living extension of the indoor spaces. Three season indoor spaces are also making a come back.
Creating or renovating an outdoor space has many elements. Landscape design, stonework and carpentry are all critical components of designing your outdoor haven. Outdoor furnishings, lighting and accessories are also an essential element in your overall plan. As you begin the process and consider space planning and design be sure to include the entire family. You will be amazed at the wish list that you come up with.
Your outdoor space should accommodate all your needs throughout the year. Do you entertain outdoors? Make sure that there will be enough seating for your larger parties. Do you spend time outdoors in the evenings and at night? Make sure that you have adequate lighting and bug control included in your plan. Is the outdoor grill seasonal for you or all year round? Where you place the grill and whether it has a protective roof will make a difference depending on how you use it. Do you plan to have your family meals outdoors often? If so make sure that your dining area comfortably accommodates your family and then some.
Outdoor furniture has greatly evolved from the folding, vinyl strap versions of the past, to beautiful pieces made of teak, steel, rattan, and wicker. Many pieces look just like indoor furniture but are constructed and designed to stand up to the North Eastern outdoor elements.
Fabrics are being manufactured to resist fading from ultraviolet rays, to resist mildewing from damp conditions and to resist odor absorption. These types of fabrics are a must for any upholstery or drapery that will be used outdoors or in a screened-in location.
Lighting is also a very important aspect in creating an inviting outdoor space. Be sure you incorporate various types of lighting in your outdoor space just as you would in your indoor spaces. Landscape lighting, overhead lighting, ceiling fans or decorative side lighting are good ideas. Torches or tiki lighting can also be a charming and functional element to your lighting plan. Developing a creative lighting plan can help you create a space with increased ambiance and functionality.
Remember to create a space that is perfect for you and your needs. This is a space where memories will be made so consider it an important investment. I like to call an investment like this an emotional anchor: a space where your family gathers, shares and remembers forever.