Bringing the outside in is a typical move in interior decorating. Like for instance, a home can look great when tree stumps are brought inside to serve as a rustic side table, or a when trio of ferns planted in pots is arranged in a corner for a touch of greenery inside. But only a few people try to bring the inside out, like making a living room out of an outer portion of the house.
You may not always have the opportunity to go to beaches or travel or attend to concerts during vacations – or perhaps you don’t even have vacations – so do yourself a favor and create a little summer haven in your own home. During the summer or simply anytime you want time for relaxation, make it more relaxing, fun and convenient by carving out a living space in your outdoor area. Here’s how you can transform your deck, porch, patio or backyard into a living room.
- Choose an accessible space.
Having your outdoor living room next to a tree shade or a swimming pool might be a good idea, but it would be a lot convenient for you if you choose a space that is adjacent to (or at least really close) to your house. But if the tree shade or pool is near your house, then it’s perfect! You have chosen a good spot. Making your outdoor living room near to your house makes everything accessible. Need more guacamole with that chips you’re munching on? Then just walk right to the kitchen. Feeling cold and want a sweater? Then just walk right into your room. Walking back and forth may tire you a lot and would make you want to just settle at your indoor living room. Remember, your goal is to relax and lounge on the outside world. But if you want to have this room away from your house, then it’s really up to you.
- Keep it cozy.
Perhaps you have a huge deck or a huge patio. While it’s great (and lucky for you) to have a large space to live by, you don’t have to set-up a large living room out of it. The absence of walls and the huge space can make you feel exposed, so the space won’t feel personal anymore. Outdoor living areas must have at least one solid or semi-solid wall to make the space more compact and comfortable. This is why it would be best to choose an area adjacent to your house’s exterior walls or fence. The floors should also be made of stone or concrete or wood, so it would feel more like your original living room. If the outside of your home is plain grass, then you might have to do some flooring work first before you can set up an outdoor living area.
- Add a roof.
If you have chosen a spot that is still covered by roofing and ceiling or has an awning or any type of roofing above it, then you have no problem with this. But if your chosen area under bare wind or maybe trees, then you would need to have a type of roofing. If it’s not possible to add a permanent roof, use a retractable awning or even a very large umbrella. Building a pergola would be a fantastic idea, and you can cover the beams with vines and plants so you can really be in touch with nature. You may also consider enclosing your room with a gazebo.
- Bring out the furniture.
Now, here’s the fun part – transforming the outdoors into a room through a set of furniture. The key to having a living room that people would actually want to spend time on is by using a cozy set of furniture – not just any concrete seating or a metallic chairs that are cold and doesn’t have the ability to cuddle your back. Sure, these things are easy to clean and not-high-maintenance, but cushy furniture and plush textiles are what makes a cozy living room. Don’t be afraid to also have soft chairs, loungers or sofas outside, just make sure that the fabric is made for outdoors and are UV-resistant. Bring out some bright throw pillows to liven up the room and to add comfort. Add a coffee table to hold your snacks and stuff. You may get some ottoman for the outdoor living room too if you like stretching your legs and putting your feet up.
- Make it feel like home with accessories and decorations.
One purpose of the outdoor living room is to be an extension of your indoor living room. Try adding some of the details you have from your indoor living room to the outdoor one. Define the seating area with a woven area mug. Add in some pots and planters on either side of the main couch for visual interest. Anyway, greenery must naturally be a part of your outdoor living room. Perhaps you can add a vertical garden if you want to. Place a bamboo screen behind your couch to serve as a backdrop. Bring some globe lights and hang it on the walls or on the pergola, if you have it. Then install a striking overhead lighting that would definitely make a statement.
- Give yourself some privacy.
Since the room is outdoors, total privacy cannot be ensured. Make anyone who wants to hang out in your outdoor living room – whether it’s just on the porch or in the far back of your backyard – feel the comforts of home, so give it a bit more privacy. You may decorate with billowy curtains and stylishly hang it from the roof, arbor or a rod – just make sure that you choose a drapery suitable for the outdoors. You may use screens that you can move around for privacy or block bright sunrays in the morning or afternoon. You may pick some bamboo or woven grass blinds that roll up and down so you can shield yourself from the sun and from peeking neighbors. Or you may plant shrubs or dwarf trees to make a natural, living and permanent screen from the real outside world.