Outdoor rooms can greatly affect the value and functionality of a home, increasing usable square footage and extending “floor space” into the outdoors. It’s no wonder that more and more homeowners are adding on outdoor living spaces instead of choosing more expensive interior remodeling projects.
Choosing a Location
Don’t limit yourself here. Your back deck or patio may first come to mind, but don’t forget porches and walkways. Small areas can be made functional too and turned into convenient sitting areas.
So, How Do You Decorate Outdoor Living Spaces?
Basically, you want to look at outdoor rooms just as you would your interior spaces. Think about the activities you want to use the space for and go from there.
Whether you want to use the area for dining, conversation, watching movies or entertaining, Start with a focal point. This might be an outdoor fireplace, a movie screen or tv, a kitchen with stand-up bar or a sofa set with central coffee table.
Furniture and Flow…
Next, consider the flow of the space. Make it easy for guests to walk around and navigate the area. You don’t want furniture too cramped together. Less furniture can sometimes be more. This is why I prefer multi-functional pieces that can be moved and re-arranged to be used for a variety of purposes.
Although you need to get weatherproof furnishings if you want them to last, you can find some really nice-looking sets that would make anyone’s interior living room look like a showroom. I think these are well worth the investment
Don’t Forget Lighting
Lighting is important as well, not only for seeing where you are going but for making it easier to do activities outside. For example, with proper lighting you can read, play games and do other projects outdoors, which means you will get more use out of your outdoor room.
Table lamps, floor lamps and overhead chandeliers also make the outdoor space feel more like a real room. This helps to enhance the home’s value and appeal, not to mention make it feel more welcoming.
Decide on a Focal Point:
Once you have figured out a general layout for your room, added the focal point and larger pieces, you can incorporate accessories and start “decorating”. Keep in mind that a little can go a long way, especially when you use unique statement pieces.
Of course, you want to use items designed specifically to stand up to weather, but you’ll find that there is no shortage of wall art, sculptures, tabletop accessories, area rugs, cushions, etc.. And don’t forget potted plants.
Do You Want Privacy?
With some outdoor living rooms, you may want to create some level of privacy – or shelter from sun, wind or rain. Outdoor curtains come in handy for this, since they are easy to install, inexpensive and they can be opened and closed when you want.
Shades or blinds can also be used, depending on the feel or look you are trying to create. Looking at pictures can be very useful when trying to come up with ideas for decor style for items like draperies because photos can show you how curtains can change the feel of a seating area.
Can I Do it Myself?
You don’t need to hire an expensive interior decorator to create your outdoor room. It’s not difficult to take on this project yourself.
The key is to look for  matching designer-looking furniture sets that you just set up,  pre-built structures like kitchens, fireplaces or fire pits that you can simply install and  a few decor items that finish off your outdoor room (ie. an area rug, floor lamp and a piece of wall art – or a set of outdoor curtains, a ceiling chandelier and a few potted plants).
Your Own Style…
Don’t be afraid to add your own style. For example, do you want to create a fun, friendly space or more of a beautiful designer look? Both can be very functional and welcoming, but the more you tailor the space to you particular style, the more you will enjoy spending time there.
Next thing you know, your outdoor living room will be “the place” to hang out in, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.