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Creating an Outdoor Room

Budget Ideas for an Outside Living Space


Creating an Outdoor Room
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When it comes to creating an outdoor room or living space, you can spend as much – or as little – as your budget allows. But regardless of your decorating budget, there are certain design ideas that you should incorporate when creating your outdoor room. The good news is that most of these don’t cost a dime.

When creating an outdoor room, the most important thing to remember is that it should be an extension of your home. You should approach creating and decorating this space the same way you would an interior room, keeping the style and the function of this area true to you and your home.

Beyond that, the sky is the limit! However, when defining an outdoor room or entertaining area, keep these steps and tips in mind to enhance your outdoor living space.

1) Define your purpose.
The first thing you need to decide is what you want to do in your outdoor space. This will help you plan and avoid a lot of future problems. Plus, it will help you decide how much space you will need.

For example, if you want to be able cook or grill, it may make sense to set up your area with an easy path to your indoor kitchen, or choose a placement for your outdoor area with access to gas and/or water lines. Of course, if you want to create a place for an outdoor serenity garden, you will want to choose a location away from the neighbor’s playground equipment.

2) Choose a location for your space.
As I mentioned above, this location should fit the purpose of your outdoor room. Some other things to consider when choosing your room’s location are the types of plants you want to use, how much shade you or your plants will or will not need, water drainage in the area and more. Be sure to also consider existing lighting.

3) Define your space.
Several elements should come together to define a space when there is none. For example, you can easily create the illusion of walls and intimacy by the placement of screens, plantings, pavers or furniture. Since a space really begins to feel like a room when it has a surface other than bare concrete or grass, begin with flooring. And flooring can be simple – an outdoor rug, handmade pavers or gravel can work just fine.

Don’t be dissuaded by a small space. Many times a smaller area is easier to design than a large area. If you are dealing with a large area, unless you need outdoor dinner seating for 20, consider dividing it into more intimate zones.

4) Consider your elements.
Traffic noise? Mask it with a water feature or tabletop fountain. Cold climate? A fire pit can extend the usage of your outdoor room for many more months. Need more lighting? String lights and lanterns are super inexpensive and will add a nice glow to your evenings. Plants are an inexpensive way to hide something you don’t want to see and can also help block noise.

5) Add furnishings and decor wisely.
Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. For example, candles melt when hit with full sun. Umbrellas are useless if your area is in shade or is covered. And if you don’t intend to serve large meals outside, you don’t need a dining table. I recommend you avoid the prepackaged furniture sets that often have pieces you end up not needing.

Also, be honest about how much time you are willing to invest in maintenance. Most people don’t have the time or energy for the upkeep of outdoor fabrics and upholstery, huge water ponds, plants that need constant pruning or other high maintenance features.
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