Outdoor living areas have become an extension of the home’s interior, with many homeowners creating outdoor living rooms and dining areas so they can relax and eat meals outside just as they do indoors. But homeowners thinking of creating outdoor living spaces should consider a few tricks of the trade before beginning their projects.

  • Strategically place the space. Property often dictates where the outdoor living space will go, but it helps to keep in mind that the outdoor space is more likely to be used if it’s easily accessible from the inside of the home. Whenever possible, plan the outdoor living space so it’s easily accessible from the home’s interior, preferably from the kitchen so it will be easier to carry meals outdoors when dining outside.
  • Emphasize comfort. Many homeowners look at their outdoor living areas as places to kick their feet up and relax, so comfort should take precedence when planning the space. Forgo the plastic patio chairs of yesteryear for furniture that’s more sturdy and roomy so you won’t feel cramped or sweaty on warm summer evenings and afternoons. In addition, don’t forget to shade the area. Some homeowners choose to build pergolas, but if the outdoor living area is near trees, they might provide sufficient shade from the often blistering summer sun.
  • Keep the design consistent with your home. In addition to providing an outdoor respite from the daily grind, an outdoor living space can also increase a home’s resale value. However, homeowners who have one eye on R&R and the other on resale value should keep the design of their outdoor living space consistent with their home. One of the goals when designing an outdoor living space should be to create a seamless transition from the home’s interior to its exterior. The best way to do that is to keep designs of living spaces consistent.
  • Don’t forget the fire pit. A fire pit provides a great focal point for an outdoor living area. Instead of sitting at the dinner table, families and friends can gather around the fire pit and relax with some s’mores and share stories. But even when guests aren’t coming over, a fire pit makes for a great place to relax and let the time go by. First, homeowners must decide if they want a permanent or portable fire pit. If you are ready to make an enduring change to your yard and landscape, then a permanent fire pit is the way to go. These can be made of stone or brick and are often very durable. Permanent fire pits can be incorporated into landscape designs to create a professional patio look, while portable fire pits are freestanding units that can be moved around the yard on a whim. Homeowners also must consider a fuel source. Wood can be inexpensive, especially when gathered from around the yard. If you want to have a roaring fire but don’t want to maintain it, then a gas-fueled fire pit is better. Gas fire pits will give you a greater number of design options, but there are still plenty of choices with wood fire pits. From bowl-shaped pits to rectangular-shaped pits to barrel-style pits to chimineas, there are designs to fit most preferences and size constraints.

With more and more homeowners transforming their homes into their own private sanctuaries, outdoor living spaces continue to grow in popularity. By employing a few simple tricks of the trade, homeowners can create the outdoor areas of their dreams.

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