Ideas + Advice

Decor Tips

Transform Your Outdoor Living Space

Most backyards have the room to extend your home's living space with a deck, patio, gazebo and/or outdoor cooking area. Not only do such spaces help you grow your square footage, but they add value to your home and allow you and your family to enjoy the fresh air and nature. How do you accomplish this and make your added outdoor space family-friendly? We have a few ideas.

1. Choose the right outdoor furniture for your home's architectural style

Matching your outdoor furniture to the architectural style of your home is essential to creating a beautiful, harmonious backyard living space. For instance, if you live in a Tudor-style home, you'll want to use heavy wood or wicker patio furniture. If you live in a colonial home, you'll want wood furniture or metal furniture with classic lines. And, if your home is modern, you can add to your exterior appeal with bright colored cushions and resin, metal or rope furniture with sleek, modern lines.

2. Lighten the mood

Outdoor lamps, lanterns and other lighting do more than help you see at night – they give your backyard a warm and inviting appeal. For a touch of outdoor elegance, place a couple table lamps with colorful shades on an outdoor dining table or bar; or, hang a set of outdoor string or tea lights in an especially darkened area for a pop of dazzling sparkle – and to up the romantic ambiance.

3. Create a living space that will work for all seasons

The more often you can use your outdoor living space, the more cost-effective it will be. If you live in a part of the country where the weather is chilly in the spring and fall, consider a fire pit or free-standing heaters to extend your outdoor season. If you live in an area where the summers are scorching, consider a retractable awning or umbrella to provide shade, or a small wading pool or other water feature.

4. Lay down an area rug (or two)

Large rugs help to define a living space and make your outdoor living area look like it has "rooms." Today's outdoor area rugs don't have to be taken in and out; they are designed so that moisture runs right through them and so that colors stay true for years. Transforming your outdoor living space into a welcoming and useful family oasis doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Simply add a focal point, like a gazebo or pergola; make sure that your patio furniture complements your home's architectural style and add some sort of outdoor kitchen/bar area to make your outdoor living space more enjoyable for your family and friends year round.

5. Add an outdoor bar cart

Being able to entertain outdoors is one of the joys of the summer season. Not only does it keep your kitchen from getting hot and messy, food served outdoors just has a certain casual (and delicious) appeal. You don't have to spend a fortune to add an outdoor eating and cooking area. Setting up a bar cart next to your grill can help make your space more appealing.

outdoor bar cart

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