Tips for a serene space
By: Sunshine Menefee
Being outside can be very relaxing and is good for your health. Extend your home by creating a small oasis in an outdoor room to bring some peace to a hectic life. Use these 12 stunning outdoor rooms for inspiration and carve out your own little heaven.
1. Set for a long evening with friends
This sublime space beckons friends sit down for a spell and enjoy the comfy crackle of the fire. With three distinct areas, it is set for a lovely evening entertaining your closest friends. Start a soiree with a great meal and bottle of wine, then move to the loveseats for more relaxed and comfortable seating. As the night air cools, move to the conversation in front of the fireplace to keep cozy and warm.
To get this look yourself, create different “rooms” in your outdoor room to give it a more home-like atmosphere. Individual areas allow for the space to be multi-functional and ensure you’ll use it more.
2. Entertain in style
Stylish furniture is a must for the ultimate outdoor room. This room proves that outdoor furniture can be durable and elegant. By using pieces that mix wrought iron and upholstered cushions, it works hard to be functional, yet comfortable. Neutral tones keep it elegant and the pops of color add a little personality.
Your room can be just a practical and inviting if you focus on a durable frame for chairs and lounging pieces. Soften them up by adding sturdy outdoor fabric cushions. Make sure the fabric is rated for outdoor use and has the UV test hours listed. Cushions that use fast drying foam inserts are a must to ensure they won’t hold water and harbor mold.
3. Feed them…and they will come
If you plan on enjoying your outdoor room for any length of time, food will be in the plans. An outdoor kitchen makes cooking a breeze. No more trekking in and out of the house to dine. Even if it’s a simple as a grill, cooking in the great outdoors is liberating. This room makes entertaining easy by adding a bar for guests while the grill master is hard at work.
Make sure there is a counter or table nearby to catch those steaks as soon as they come off the bar-b-q. Keep a fridge stocked with beverages to quench your thirst on a long summer afternoon. Use cabinets and counters made for outdoor use. A nice view never hurt anyone either!
4. Live a lush life
Mother Nature helps us detox from the stress of life and provides a soothing comfort. Gardens help you feel connected to the earth and are good for your overall health. Lush, green surroundings are a must for an outdoor room. This rooftop oasis is filled with oxygen-oozing plants that block unsightly views and sounds.
Container gardens are a quick way to bring life to your outdoor room. Fill your patio with plants of different heights, textures and colors to create interest. You get extra bonus points for tucking in a few fruits and vegetable plants. Small trees provide needed shade. If space is limited, look for plants that are labeled compact.
5. Add serenity
Surrounding yourself with familiar items in your home is very comforting. The same is true for outdoor rooms. Using items that bring you joy will ensure you get the most use out of your room. This room could easily be a cozy den inside.
Decorate your outdoor oasis like you would any room in your home. Consider how you want to use it, and bring in things that will help. Add a coffee table in front of a sofa. Tuck a table beside two chairs for holding drinks and magazines. Keep your favorite things close at hand for convenience.
6. Linger longer
Keep the garden party going by adding soft lighting. Having the right lighting sets a relaxed atmosphere and allows the conversation to keep flowing. Soft lighting sets just the right mood.
Get that twilight glow by stringing lights across the ceiling or throughout nearby trees. Or mix and match pendants for a more eclectic feel. For a statement piece, use a candle-lit chandelier. Don’t overdo it though. You don’t want the lighting so bright you have to turn away from it. Well-placed illumination will leave your garden enchanted.
Outdoor beds are absolutely dreamy. They suggest the ultimate relaxation of a mid-day cat-nap with a warm breeze blowing. Suspended beds, like this one, sway gently in the breeze and give a hammock-like feel.
Your outdoor bed can be simple or extravagant. Upcycle wood pallets to make a simple bed frame. Toss on a few outdoor throw pillows and you’re done. Or dig out an old bed from storage. If extravagant is your wish, splurge and buy a new bed that comes with a canopy so you’re shaded on the hottest part of the day. Always use outdoor fabric and foam for lasting quality.
8. A midsummer’s dream
From the relaxed shape of the plants to the loose gravel to the strung lights, everything about this room says soft and romantic. The sheer curtains give a feminine touch as they billow in the breeze. Afternoon tea never felt so good.
Make a room of your own with curtains. Hang curtains to create an instant room and give a sense of intimacy and privacy. Use pebbles or grass for the flooring to really boost the idyllic feel. Add lush, flowing flowers and vines that aren’t too structured. Complete the room with wicker or bamboo furniture.
9. Surround nature
Rooms built around existing vegetation are a nature-lover’s dream come true. Trees can be great statement pieces and provide many benefits. They are also great conversation starters. Beauty should be celebrated and put front and center!
You don’t have to have a blank slate to design the room of your dreams. Save any trees that healthy and build around them. Don’t put material right up to the tree. Make sure to leave enough room for future growth.
10. Retreat for two
Your outdoor retreat doesn’t have to hold 20 people. Keep things intimate by carving out a small space for two. This welcoming nook is perfect for an enjoying a glass of wine and good conversation with your favorite person.
Keep things cozy by making the area smaller. A trellis or pergola is perfect for this. It defines the room, gives privacy, and adds architectural interest. Add a few lanterns with candles. Outfit the room with a small table and set of chairs.
11. Warm up
Don’t let cool weather deny you your relaxation. A warm fire makes any space more inviting and is essential for a three season outdoor room. This fireplace makes a statement with it’s large mantel and facade.
Make the fireplace the focal point of the room. Cozy up to it by adding a seating arrangement in front. Don’t’ forget to add cushions. You’re going to be out there a while! If using a fire pit, place chairs all around it for sure-fire good time.
12. Cool down
A water feature is a great addition to an outdoor room. The sound of trickling water is very lulling and suggestive of a mountain fresh stream quietly gliding by. Add one of these for instant tranquility.
The sound of water flowing is important to capture. While small ponds are nice to look, engage all your senses by adding a waterfall feature. It also helps keep water circulating and healthy. Surround a fountain with plants to bring some color and texture.
Outdoor rooms can be extravagant or simple. The important thing to remember is that is’ about relaxation and recharging your internal batteries. Make it comfortable for you and you’ll be enjoying it for a long time to come.