Design Ideas for Outdoor Rooms

The concept of outdoor rooms has changed the entire way that people use this space. A patio used to just contain the typical barbecue set and maybe a dining room table. Oftentimes you’d just use it a few times a year. Focusing on new purposes and higher end materials has really enabled people to take back the space.

I love the idea of an outdoor room so much just because there’s been a big emphasis on downsizing homes in this economy. This means that you’re going to need to be able to make use of every square foot. Getting more into outdoor living definitely opens up your entire floor plan. Some people are even building outdoor kitchens. It’s not just for entertaining and instead can add a lot of relaxation to your life instead of just eating in front of the TV every night.

First, consider how you actually live. It’s quite typical to turn these patios into dining spaces. If you entertain a lot or love to barbecue then this can be a very practical use. However, if you’re really limited on square footage indoors, you probably don’t need a second kitchen outdoors. You can create an entire planting area if you love to garden. Add in potting benches or a refurbished hutch for extra storage. It almost acts the way that a bookshelf does indoors. It allows you to put away a lot of your garden tools, even if you don’t have extra space in your garage. It really does help with your outdoor organization but mimics expensive interior furniture too.

Buganvilia trellised on a White Pergola

Trellising a Pergola Provides Beautiful Shade

Patio Covers and Pergolas

The other key to creating an outdoor room is the use of architectural elements. This includes the posts or columns that are holding up the pergola. Pay attention to shade it casts to create a usable space. You can add in screens or trellises to provide more shade or privacy from your neighbors. These salvaged architectural details are even popular indoors in interior design. This tends to be very cottage and shabby chic inside. However, since these elements are salvaged from the exterior of homes when using them outside it’s just a staple in traditional design. This means that it blends in with almost any home exterior although of course you may need to paint it.

Built-in benches help you to maximize your seating on a small patio. There are portable versions that even have storage underneath but sometimes they are just made out of PVC. This also allows you to create more of a window seat effect. One thing that we often find in outdoor rooms is that there isn’t going to be typical outdoor lounge furniture. Instead, it’s going to mimic interior design a lot more. The bench concept does help you with this. You will need to use sturdier fabrics and you have fewer options for your colors and patterns too.

Outdoor Furniture Trends

Beautifully Covered and Furnished Patio

Covered Patios make Outdoor Rooms Comfortable

We are finding a lot of the same elements of interior design making their way outdoors. This could be a new amenity like a fireplace. This doesn’t have to be a built-in piece. Fire pits have become popular in the last few years and you’d be surprised at how cheap they are, although you do need to follow proper safety precautions.

As with any interior room your space planning is still quite important. This means choosing plans and planters that will help you to maximize the flow of the space like you would use interior screens indoors. You can use the same concept with planters. If you wanted to divide two spaces then go with lower planters. If you want to add privacy then place shrubs and bushes carefully and in a few years this greenery will almost acts like an outdoor wall.

There’s been a big surge in outdoor rugs too. Not all outdoor rugs are made for every outdoor space or climate. Usually, indoor/outdoor rugs are only appropriate for covered patios. These have to be kept away from all moisture. Instead, you can try painting one directly on your porch depending on the surface.

Colors for Outdoor Decor

You should choose both color palettes and patterns that fit within a very distressed style. These include French country, shabby chic, country, and cottage looks. Going with anything modern requires a pristine finish. While you can accomplish this easily with porch paint it isn’t going to last that long. Instead, choose a faded and muted color scheme with lots of blues and grays. This way when it gets a little bit worn from the weather as it probably will; it just looks that much better.

Most interior design concepts apply to outdoor rooms. There is a little bit more leniency with your floor plan and space plan then in interior design. It seems like every room has a purpose inside. However, since you only have one patio, you need to find the option that fits best for your family and design from there.