There seems to be some magic in the outdoors, thinking back to playing with friends outside and your sun kissed skin, splashing in the water or maybe it is the morning coffee on the balcony, turning the pages of your book on your back porch, or beer with friends and the grill in full swing. We all have these memories of the outdoors, our hidden gem to extend our living space from inside. Life is better outside.

What do you want out of your space?

This is the first thing you need to decide is what you will use the space for, will it be for relaxing, entertaining, dining. Once you know your purpose for the space and how best you want to use it, you have a starting point. Now you can look at the function of your current space and see what needs to be considered for furniture and lighting. At this stage, knowing the time of day and natural lighting you have will lead you to make the best choices for the design of your space.

With these two elements you can start to build your questions to answer, for example if your purpose is to entertain then you need to know:

How many people will I entertain?

How much seating do I need?

Do I want it to be cozy or more formal?

Will I want to use it for dining as well when entertaining?

Be aware of the sun and factor that in for your lighting or shade needs. Sun control is important for any space outdoors and be aware of this from the start will allow your design to meet both your purpose needs and sun control. Unless you are going for a tanning spot then, by all means enjoy the full sun!!

With any project that you start out in, make sure you think about how much you are willing to spend! This will let you enjoy the process and not resent the end result because it broke the bank.

Elements that will create your design – Furniture, Lighting, final touches.

Furniture

This is crucial to your basic needs for the space. You need to have a place for your guests to take a seat, nobody likes to just stand around.

So how you do start?

First, make sure that you are considering furniture that will be able to handle the elements where you live and your needs. Do you have kids that you need to worry about melting ice cream on your beautiful lounge chairs?

Your outdoor space should be a natural flow from your indoor style and be a seamless transition from inside to out.

For those of us who love furniture with dual purposes, then look for the pieces that can be used indoors and outdoors. Having seating that can work in both spaces allows for you to maximize your entertaining needs.

Lighting

So now that you know what furniture you will use and your sun control needs the next to consider is lighting. This is key for setting the mood for the space, just think of those candlelit dinners, now you know what we mean.

It is always a good idea to consider your focal points for lighting as well. Do you want hanging lanterns or soft pendants or maybe little twinkling lights for fun? Your lighting can add visual interest to the space. Your goal is a soft, warm glow that creates a space even your neighbors will appreciate. (no complaints here!)

Final Touches

The best of the outdoors is the greenery, so incorporate that in your design. Whether you add a few simple potted plants or a featured landscape item, it will add color, texture, and life to your space. Think of using the greenery to add different elements of height for visual interest.

If dining is your purpose think of adding a herb garden. This is functional greenery and a great way to spice up your cooking. Homegrown food that you can use in a cocktail or meal adds to the experience for your friends and family. Your local garden center will guide you on the best plants for your sun exposure and green thumb level. Do not worry if you are not good with plants, there is always succulents!

When it comes to your oasis, the little details matter. To create your dream space, these are little touches that will have a big impact on the overall experience of your space. From accent pillows, throws, trays, and tableware. Think of who you will share the space with, what will you whip up for them. What little elements will you need to unwind with a glass of wine and a good book? Have fun with these pieces and make sure they are outdoor-friendly!

So now you are ready to embrace the outdoor living space to its fullest potential. We love to help you design your space, on your budget and have fun while we do it.

Let’s start something new with you!

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