Being around nature is important, but we often don’t get enough time outside because it’s just too impractical for us. Without anywhere to sit, put down a laptop, or even rest a drink, it can be really hard to justify spending time there.
If you’re having this problem, perhaps this guide on how to create the perfect outdoor living space will give you a nudge in the right direction – and thanks to the nature-focused minds at Olive Grove, we’ll be giving you opinions from the experts.
Add Some Shade And Shelter
This is probably the most important step since it defines the shape and size of the space you’re going to create. Whether you use a roof extension, a gazebo, a shed, or a simple canopy, protecting your living space from the elements makes a big difference in how often you can use it. Leaving it open to the sun can be nice, but not having any shelter at all will usually backfire when the weather changes.
Choose Suitable Furniture
It’s tempting to build an outdoor dining room by putting some regular furniture outside, but not all of them will be built for that environment – you never know when the snow or rain could leave a chair soaked through or a light irreparably broken.
There are plenty of furniture brands designed to endure outside weather, many of which are just as good as their indoor counterparts! If none of them take your fancy, you could always put together your own – a small tower of patio tiles or a large overturned pot can be used as a small table, for example, which saves you having to shell out for something new.
Mix In Some Plants
An outdoor living area shouldn’t just be “indoors, but outside.” You should use the fact it’s outside to do something new, and adding some plants is a great way to take advantage of the extra space you’ve got.
The type of plant is up to you – you could use a hedge to create a natural wall or some potted bushes to fill out space in corners. Depending on the climate, you could even go for something more exotic, like palm trees or living topiary statues – not only do they draw the eye, but they’re something that you simply couldn’t put into a regular indoor room.
Add Some Heat
Outdoor fireplaces are a rare sight, but they can make a big difference in how and when you use your outdoor spaces. Whether you install a big electrical fireplace or build your natural firepit, the added atmosphere and functionality means that you’ll be able to relax by a roaring fire during a cold night.
This can extend to barbequing, too – a dedicated barbeque or roasting firepit can give you an easy way to cook and eat an entire meal without having to slip in and out of the house constantly.
If you want to translate an indoor design into an outdoor area, then some “walls” can be an integral piece of the layout. If you’ve got the space, why not use hedges or curtains to cut off the barbeque from the seating area, or the children’s’ playing space from the adults’ meeting spot.
Privacy is also important, so adding a wall to block sight-lines can lead to a much less stressful atmosphere when your neighbors are around and can help keep specific parts of your garden away from the public eye.
Keep Things Bright
Lights can be one of the biggest problems for any garden owner since they’re not always reliable and have to endure all kinds of weather and wear. Solar lights can add some nice ambiance to the garden as the sun is setting, whereas electrical lights are a great way of adding some constant light to one specific area.
Natural lights are also an option but aren’t as efficient – having candles, burning torches or firepits can create an excellent atmosphere, but are best reserved for special occasions since they’ll need to be replaced once they’re burned out.