Huge open floor plans, high ceilings, and abundant natural lighting would be the dream of any interior designer when they walked into a room. It allows for limitless creativity and the ability to adapt any style of interest that could be desired. Those are the specifications that come naturally with most outdoor garden areas and yet many people then choose to furnish and design that area like a 8’x8’ spare room and use a single umbrella centered in that room as the biggest offering of an amenity towards comfort.
To make the most of your garden or outdoor sitting area, forget that it is outdoors for a few minutes and consider what you would do with a room of equal size. Most people dream about entertaining outside and having groups of family and friends over to entertain but then do not really set up the area in a way that facilitates that. By considering what rooms inside your house are most used and why, you can make a plan on how to turn the ample room outside of your home into enjoyable and well used living space instead of simply a lawn that needs mowing and watering on a regular basis. Nobody enjoys your beautiful landscaping if they are never outside to look at it.
Double Your Living Space
In most areas not directly in the middle of a city, there is more square footage of lawn and garden than there is inside your entire home. While many would gladly have a home twice as big if they could afford it, they neglect that they already have more than twice as much room as they are using. There are a few reasons for this that make good sense – inclement weather and seasonality make the outdoor space less accommodating sometimes but in many climates there are at least 3 seasons where the majority of days make the outdoors as suitable as the indoors for relaxing and entertaining and a lot of days more so.
If you are going to double the size of your living space, stop thinking in terms of a patio table and chairs and use you mind to recreate the rooms you have inside to the garden.
Dining Room and Kitchen
This is most easily accomplished because this is where most people start (and stop) their planning for the outdoor area. A table and chairs to have a picnic lunch at or tea in the afternoon with a sandwich and perhaps a grill and a cooler. This is also the answer to why you do not use your garden area more often. Consider how much time you actually spend in the kitchen or dining room inside. You go there to cook and eat and then you and your family or guests leave the room. Since this is the extent of the planning of many for their garden sitting areas, it is unsurprising that it is only used a few times a month for a couple hours each time.
The majority of every evening and weekend spent relaxing inside your home is spent in your living room. Why is that? You probably place the most comfortable furnishings there. They are certainly more comfortable than the hard four legged chairs around the kitchen table that you all run from as soon as you finish eating. If all you have to offer outside is the chairs around the patio table it is unsurprising your family and guests all head to more comfortable surroundings as soon as the dinner is completed. Find some well-padded lounges and benches and place them a few feet from the patio table and both you and your guests will happily move there instead of leaving at the end of the meal. Some examples of outdoor furnishings that fit this description can be seen at Shackletons.
The other component of the living room that makes it the designated room is entertainment. Thanks to the wonders of technology wireless outdoor speakers that match the landscaping and can be placed in the garden are readily available and relatively cheap. Whether it is music or the football match, adding sound to the outdoors will not only make entertaining easier and more comfortable, it will make talking more comfortable so voices do not carry to the neighbors or across the yard adding a more intimate feel.
If you want to be the most popular home in the neighborhood on summer evenings consider the Inflatable projector screens. Portable and fast to set up, projection TV’s make every Friday and Saturday Movie night for the kids or a 3 meter showing of the game to keep the men engaged.
While actually spending the night sleeping is usually better kept to the bedroom, a couple well shaded hammocks or loungers in the corners of the yard make napping and reading during the afternoons easy.
[The post is brought to you by Shackletons]