Originally posted on: https://exteriorremodelingtoday.com/how-to-improve-your-outdoor-living-space-in-2023/

As the weather warms up, our thoughts shift to outdoor life. Flowers in bloom and the aroma of outdoor barbecues entice us to gather on the porch or patio with friends and family. With the help of these recommendations, you can construct your ideal outdoor living environment.

Before you begin constructing your dream outdoor living space, you first need to figure out its purpose. How will be using this outdoor living space? Do you host a lot of dinner parties with many guests, or are you looking for a cozy and quiet spot to relax and unwind by yourself? Its important to know the answers to these questions before you begin working on improving your outdoor living space so that you can plan accordingly.

When designing your ideal outdoor space, you should also consider the layout. When designing your house, you most likely used a floor plan to determine the overall layout of your home. You should use the same attention to detail when planning the layout of your new outdoor living area in order to make the most out of your space. You should also keep in mind the surrounding environment and design your outdoor living space with that in mind as well.

Design your outdoor living space

It’s important that you decide how you want to use the space before purchasing any plants or furniture. Do you intend to organize outdoor dinner parties throughout the summer? If so, do you see a guest list of four people or forty people? Or do you see yourself curled up with a good book and a glass of iced tea, watching the birds sit on your cherry tree? Perhaps this is where the kids play catch and the family has fun. With the appropriate pair of bistro seats for outdoor eating and a trellis to turn a brick wall green with ivy, even the smallest of city balconies can have a rich personality. Once you’ve decided how you want to use the area, choose the chairs, plants, and accessories that will make your vision a reality.

Figure out your outdoor assets

Every outdoor place has its own unique set of advantages, so you might as well capitalize on them. “Look for the power center,” advised Jan Johnsen, author of “Gardentopia: Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces.” “You work around that after you identify your power place,” she remarked. If you have a roof deck with an amazing view, make the most of it by arranging the furniture to draw attention to it. Is your backyard sheltered by a New York brownstone? A shade garden, pleasant seating, and soft lighting will help to set the tone. In a more spacious outdoor living space, a good focal point for it could be something that everyone can enjoy, like a nicely designed pool.

Plants, paths, and furniture can be used to divide a big outdoor space into various regions, all serving different purposes. If your only outside area is a narrow city balcony, make the most of it by creating an attractive spot. A barren concrete floor might be warmed up with interlocking deck tiles or an outdoor rug. Hanging pots may offer greenery without taking up crucial walk area; a trellis or screen could provide privacy and personality; and a few tiny, but comfy pieces of furniture could entice you in. Not every room has an obvious focal point, so take your time finding yours.

Select your outdoor furnishings wisely

When you stand on your balcony, you may have a beautiful view, but if you fill the space with a daybed, will you be staring at a brick wall instead of the skyline? Examine your views from seated and standing postures, then choose furnishings that function from both angles. Examine the area from inside your home as well to determine what patio features will be best for your space. From the living room, what can you see? When you’re enjoying the outdoors, an outdoor sofa with big cushions may look beautiful, but if you have to cover it for the winter, it may be an eyesore for much of the year. If that’s a worry, look for furniture that doesn’t have cushions or has compact ones that can be readily stored.

Keep outdoor seating to a minimum to allow for movement – folding chairs may always be used to augment it. Allow ample space for staging and food preparation if you have a barbecue. Also, be certain that the grill is not too close to your house. Barbecues must be kept at least 10 feet away from a wall or a deck railing in New York City, and not beneath eaves or overhanging branches. Access to water or a fire extinguisher is also required. Consider a miniature grill, such as the Big Green Egg, if room is restricted. Check with your local rules to ensure that grills are permitted on your property.

Make your outdoor living space an entertainment hub

If you’re planning on using your outdoor living space as a place to host guests, consider making your backyard an entertainment hub. There are many ways to make your outdoor living space more entertaining, like by adding an outdoor TV and speakers to host the Super Bowl. Another nice addition to your entertainment hub could be heat lamps, as it can get chilly during the football season!

To keep your party going late into the night, build a fire pit on a stone or gravel surface and surround it with low, comfy seating like Adirondack chairs. Choose a tabletop-style one, such as the Outland Living Fire Table, and the space may also be used for cocktail hour. Consider a small one, such as a Solo Stove, if your space is limited. Check local ordinances before installing a fire pit. In New York City, for example, fire pits in private dwellings are prohibited. Install a hammock between two trees for a peaceful haven. Alternatively, hang a sitting hammock in the corner of a porch, transforming an unused space into a secluded retreat. Maybe even build a treehouse or secret refuge for the kids to provide them with a safe haven that blends in with the surrounding and make a trail out of mulch or stone slabs that leads to a bench or chair in your preferred location.

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