Designing and decorating a house doesn’t include just the inside of your home. In fact, most house designs these days include outdoor living spaces of all shapes and sizes. Some outdoor living spaces are just simply that: Extra space outdoors such as a patio, deck, or porch. Other outdoor spaces are actually used as rooms of their own though, and these can include a sunroom, gazebo, or an enclosed porch.
When planning any outdoor space for your home, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration. In most cases your outdoor space should compliment or enhance your existing house design for example, and this is particularly true for any space that’s viewable from the street or outside your property.
Making sure your outdoor living space is attractive from the street is only half of the design consideration though. Your new outdoor living areas should also look attractive and appealing from inside your home too, otherwise it will eventually start making you unhappy or irritated each time you catch a glimpse of it from inside the house.
Choose the location of your outdoor living spaces wisely too. It will do you no good to design a home with a beautiful view of nearby moutains for instance, only to eventually add a sunroom which blocks that view.
Knowing what your primary use for the outdoor space is before building it is another important consideration. If you want a place to barbecue and entertain friends for example, you’d probably want to build an open deck instead of an enclosed porch.
If you’re planning to create an outdoor kitchen on the other hand, whether you choose to have it attached to your home or not you’ll need to be sure there is adequate electrical outlets for your appliances. You’ll also want to design the room with appropriate lighting so you’ll be able to use it at night time as well as during the day.
Another consideration is the amount of space you’ll need. If you enjoy having large groups of people over for a barbecue or pool party, you’ll need a much larger deck or outdoor kitchen than if you generally entertain just a few people at a time.
Usually there are two types of outdoor living spaces: Spaces which are fully or partially protected from the weather such as a sunroom, porch, or gazebo, and spaces which are open to the weather such as a garden area, deck, or open patio.
Which type of living area you choose will determine the limitations of your design style. It might not be wise to put electrical outlets on an unprotected open deck for instance.
The style of living area you plan to add to your house will also determine your decorating choices too though. You could add regular chairs and couches to an enclosed sunroom for example, since that furniture is protected from the elements. A garden space however, is best decorated with outdoor furniture such as wicker or iron.
So when planning your own outdoor living spaces, make sure to choose your location wisely, decide what you’ll use the space for, determine how large your space must be, and consider what type of decorating you’d like to use within that new space.
© 2008, Kathy Burns-Millyard