We have always enjoy outdoor living areas. We know how to make the best of our summer time. At Jalcon we understand this – so we design the outdoor space with the same attentions as we do indoors.
So what can you do to create a backyard oasis that’s as cozy and comfy as any well-designed family room?
As most people are tending to ‘nest’ more, they naturally want to extend their home life outdoors. It used to be you had a gas BBQ and table and chairs and that was it. Now you’ve got whole kitchens outdoors, fireplaces, and even waterproof electronics to extend the season. The outdoor experience has evolved.
Research indicates that over 87 percent of homeowners indicate an outdoor room living area is important or very important and more than half said they already had one. Clearly more and more of us — especially those in the new home market — are looking right outside our windows to both relax and entertain.
Unlike decks or courtyards, an outdoor living room is sheltered from the elements only by a roof for rain runoff, which means it’s a far less expensive way to add an extra room.
What sets it apart from other outdoor dining or lounge areas is that it’s attached to the home, facilitating the connection between indoors and out. Think of it as yet another room, a continuation, but without traditional air conditioning or heat sources.
Most outdoor spaces now have traditional and ambient lighting opportunities and can even include outdoor television sets. For the full effect of an intimate space wrapped in nature, there’s nothing like a living room in the great outdoors.
Here, the steps to creating your perfect open-air lounge.
1. Define your outdoor space.
One of the first things to distinguish a bona fide living room from other outdoor areas is something most homeowners often forget: a rug. It anchors and defines the area as a space to lounge right away. Rugs also provide warmth and intimacy by creating a boundary between the room itself and the rest of the elements. The soft touch to bare feet is a plus and the myriad of colours and patterns allow your design aesthetic to carry over from inside the house.
Weather-resistant rugs made with polypropylene are most like their indoor counterparts, but offer the easy care of being hosed off and hung to dry. (If you’ve got kids, it’s the perfect weekend activity.) You can also look for durable, natural textiles like jute; anything made from synthetic fibres will work as they can be shaken or vacuumed easily.
2. Create the right seating.
Once your area is clearly marked, look for furniture you want to sink into. What will make this space feel as cozy as an indoor family room is the comfort level, so look for wide chairs that allow ample room to curl up your legs. Thick, lightweight cushions with weather- and fade-resistant fabrics are a good idea. These dry faster and resist mildew. But don’t judge a book (or in this case, a chair) by its cover.
3. Light it up.
Forget tiki torches and solar posts stuck in the ground. To truly mirror the intimacy of a regular living room, nothing sets the mood like the overhead and table top lighting we opt for indoors. The explosion of fire pits and outdoor fireplaces in recent years provides double-duty performance by helping set both mood and temperature, which means you can enjoy your living room even when it’s chilly.
4. Use accessories.
Look for accessories to complete your outdoor living room. Drapes made of fade- and weather-resistant fabrics help set off the space from the rest of the backyard and allow your design aesthetic to carry through from indoors. Large planters and divider screens made of weather-resistant materials further define the space, but make sure plants are placed according to the size they’ll reach at maturity. Easy-to-move garden stools and bar carts as well as consoles and coffee tables made of wood are smart choices if you like to entertain. The more surfaces for guests to rest their bums — or a drink — the better!
5. Surprise your guests.
The outdoor surroundings provide a fun opportunity to do something unexpected, like, say, hang furniture from the ceiling. Wide, comfortable swings the size of sofas. Whatever you choose to do with your outdoor space, a fresh-air living room is an easy and much less expensive way to extend your home, and your time spent outdoors and perhaps even provide the feeling of a mini vacation — just steps from home.