Creating An Outdoor Living Space

When creating an outdoor living space think of the outdoors as an extension of your home, a place where you can experience the same things you enjoy indoors. Your outdoor space can be as elaborate or as simple as you like.

Whether you enjoy entertaining large groups or just need a place to relax and unwind with immediate family and friends, start planning your space ahead of time to ensure that you include exactly what you want.

Garden Rooms:
Thinking of areas in your garden as separate rooms provides a starting point for developing a plan. Sketch a layout of your existing space and decide where to include a "living room", "dining room" and "kitchen".
Develop your plan to include the comfort and style of low-maintenance fabrics, lighting and furnishings that function both inside and out.

The Kitchen:
For many home owners, outdoor living often centers around cooking out, so why not include all the conveniences you come to expect from your kitchen? A portable cart can double as a preparation station as well as provide storage for utensils, or if you have the space consider a more permanent storage solution.
An outdoor sink mounted near a water supply can eliminate the need for transporting food from kitchen to patio and can also provide a handy place for washing utensils and garden tools.

Pay special attention to where you place your grill for easy access to supplies as well as to your guests.

Dining Room:
The outdoor dining area can reflect your corresponding indoor space whether it be formal and elegant or informal and cozy. Outdoor dining sets are available in a variety of styles to suit your particular needs. Choose from teak, mahogany, cedar or wrought iron for durability, or try resin for a less expensive alternative. Take the opportunity to showcase your green thumb with a center piece of cut flowers from your garden.

Living Room:
Indoor living spaces don't often give us a choice about where to entertain our guests. Most living rooms are the first point of entry to the home. In planning your outdoor living space, you can choose where you want your guests to visit and relax. A comfortable seating area can include padded benches, chairs and side tables.

Doorways and Pathways:
Use your imagination to create interesting transitions in your garden. Archways, arbors and pergolas provide excellent room dividers, while stepping stone paths guide your guests leisurely from room to room.
Whether your entertaining includes a wedding party, evening soiree or relaxed gathering of friends and loved ones, a little preparation ahead of time will go a long way to ensure that the event is a great success.