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THE MELKA GARDEN CENTER OUTDOOR LIVING BLOG
Creating your Ideal Outdoor Living Space
Written By Guest Blogger: Robert Knox
Having an outdoor living space can make your yard more enjoyable and add perceived square footage to your home. It doesn’t matter what amenities your yard has, you can usually find a way to make it a more enjoyable space. With a little bit of thought and some sweat you can transform part of your yard into a cool space that can fit your needs. The following steps will assist you in this process and make the outcome something to be proud of.
Find a Spot
The first step in creating an outdoor living space is finding a place to do it. This will largely be determined by your current landscaping. You should also consider how you want to use the space. If it will be an extra space for entertaining then you probably want it close to the house so people can easily move through spaces. While a place to read may be better suited further out in a sunny area. Make sure you are designing your space with a purpose and that will help you to make some of the decisions about placement and aesthetics.
Consider the Elements
Another important thing to consider before breaking ground is the weather. You will need to decide how to protect your space from the elements and if it will be something you use year-round. If you want to be able to enjoy outdoor living in the late fall and maybe into the winter you should include a heat source like a fireplace, firepit, or propane lantern. If it’s strictly a summer space, then you may want to find a way to incorporate shade and consider how to best avoid insects possibly with a screened in area.
What’s Your Centerpiece?
Along with a distinctive purpose you should choose a centerpiece. A fire pit or fireplace is a great option, but a large table, a pool or hot tub are all good options as well. Once again, this should reflect the purpose of the space and keep in mind the elements.
Next is to determine what you want the aesthetic of the space to be. Make sure that you keep in mind the use of the space as well as the surrounding area. Choose colors that complement the rest of your yard as well as your home. If you will be building an area that is to be a seamless continuation of your interior spaces then choose colors that are already found within the adjoining space. If you are planning a soothing place to escape then choose calming, muted tones. Also think about light fixtures as they can add a lot of character to a space instantly.
Flooring is an important detail to look at. With outdoor living spaces you have many more options than just tile, hardwood and carpet. You can use grass, pavers, concrete, wood, gravel, bamboo or a combination of them all. Think about drainage and the kind of footwear that will be worn in the space.
When it comes time to decorate, look through your home and see if you can bring out any items you aren’t using inside. If you have a closet stuffed with junk now is the time to look through it and see if you can give old items new life. An old bench can be painted and some antique pots can add a lot of interest. Don’t be afraid of color. You are outside, so there should be something whimsical that you can accent with flowers and other vegetation. Curtains can be another fun element that people don’t think to include outside. Something soft and sheer can add just enough privacy and will still flow in the wind. Keep in mind that you may need to have a place to store items like cushions and curtains during the cold winter months.
Rent Some Equipment
If you choose to add a structure like a fireplace or pergola you will find it easiest to rent some large equipment for a day or two . Even smaller projects like pouring concrete can be made easier with a rental. You don’t always need to hire someone for the big jobs, but definitely evaluate your abilities before getting in over your head.
Make sure to keep your outdoor living space personal. You want a space that fits your family and your style. As beautiful as model home outdoor spaces can be, they often don’t function in a manner that suits everyday living. outdoor living spaces are a great way to get outside and enjoy your beautiful landscape.
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