8 Tips for Creating an Outdoor space you actually want to spend time in

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Great outdoor Living Room (image via Absolute Interior Design Blog)

1.)    Treat your outdoor space as if it is indoors.  Make sure you have traffic patterns that allow for good traffic flow so it is easy to get around the space and define those spaces.  Set up a sitting area that will act as your outdoor living room.  Love to grill?  Set up an area with your grill and some added counter space, maybe a bar.  This can be your outdoor kitchen.  Add a hanging chair or lounger to a back corner for reading a book or sneaking an afternoon nap, an outdoor bedroom. 

2.)    Always make sure there is at least one area that has shade.  Some may already have a patio cover attached to the home, but if you do not there are many other options.  Make use of umbrellas, stretched fabric to create shade, or even curtains to block the sun.  Just make sure there is a place to enjoy your outdoor space in the shade.

3.)    Maximize your space by picking furniture pieces that do double duty.  Choose a bench for seating that also has storage underneath.  Instead of a coffee table, choose an ottoman that can be used for extra seating when entertaining.  The more furniture you have that can double as something else the more functional, versatile, and organized your space will be.

4.)    Always incorporate a fire pit into the mix.  This is a great way to warm up your space when nights get chilly.  Besides, who doesn’t love to sit around the fire and have a drink or better yet, make some s’mores!

5.)    Dress up your walls – As we said earlier, treat the space as if it were an indoor space and you wouldn’t ignore your walls inside so do not ignore them outside either.  Add some art to the walls or shelving with some accessories.

6.)    Do not be afraid of color.  A great way to do this is to keep the main pieces neutral so you can mix up the feel whenever you choose.  Change your throw pillows, curtains, or wall art to add or change colors in your space.  This will also allow you to change the feel of your space with the seasons.

7.)    Use outdoor rugs to define spaces.  A rug can really ground the “room” and define each area.  This is also another great way to add color to the space.

8.)    Lastly, some of the best times to enjoy your outdoor space are with friends at night so do not forget about lighting.  You do not need anything incredibly bright, but you do want to add a nice glow to the space so you are not sitting in the dark.  Think about using decorative lanterns, string lights, hanging candelabras, and tiki torches.

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Great use of a fire pit and outdoor lighting with tiki torches and lanterns. (Image via PBC Style)
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