A cozy, comfortable outdoor living space is the key to utilizing the most of your patio or deck. There's just something about having an extension of your home that is outdoors where you can relax and hang out with the family.
I wanted to share some quick and easy inspiration for decorating and furnishing your outdoor dining area and making it just as beautiful as your indoor space.
The outdoor patio is an extension of our home because our family is out there in every season except winter. Whether it's working from home with my computer on the patio, drinking a coffee to start the morning, or just hanging out with my kids, when the weather is nice, having a patio dining set is absolutely essential for being able to make the space comfortable and where you want to hang out.
Our house is a typical home in the suburbs, and I wanted to share with you how we were able to transform our backyard patio into a cozy and inviting space with an upgraded whitewash dining set.
We've done a ton of posts on restoring teak furniture and making patio cushions for our outdoor space. However, after lounging in this space, we've found that we really needed a proper table instead of lounge furniture.
Covered Outdoor Living Space Tips
In order to maximize the use of your backyard space, there are some tried and true design tips that you can use in order to make your space not only comfortable, but look absolutely stunning with nature's earthy tones set as the backdrop.
Choose Outdoor Friendly Patio Furniture
The most ultimate type of wood for outdoor furniture is teak because it is a durable wood that is naturally resistant to the elements. It's often used on boats and ships for that reason. Teak has beautiful gold, honey tones and when left untreated, can turn a stunning silvery patina that is just as beautiful. Teak does have a steep price tag.
Another option, but less durable for the outdoors is eucalpytus. The furniture we got was a whitewash eucalpytus set, and it is absolutely stunning and stands out against the greenery in my backyard. While eucalpytus is less durable than teak, it is still long-lasting and strong. It also requires treatment in order to maintain the visual appeal.
Iron is also a great option, but poses the risk of rust. The problem with iron is that during hot months, you'll definitely need to ensure that you have cushions to sit on as well as an umbrella or protected space so that the furniture isn't hot to the touch.
Investing in outdoor spaces with good furniture will ensure that not only is it durable, but also won't be outdated in the years to come. Both teak and eucalpytus material are environment friendly, less prone to damage from the sun, and also naturally resistant to terminites and decay.
Use Outdoor Rugs to Create Distinct Space
If you have a large space where there is room for both dining and lounge furniture, use a rug to separate out the space. Most outdoor rugs are made from polypropelene or PET and can be powerwashed when they get dirty.
In our small outdoor living room, we added a neutral rug (that is washable) to divide the space between where we dine and where we grill. Make sure that when you choose a rug, the rug is big enough so that when the outdoor dining chairs are pushed back, the legs are still on the rug. If it doesn't, you'll know that it's the wrong size rug, which can cause your space to look smaller than it is.
Add Outdoor Accessories
If you want the lived-in look of an outdoor living room, add pots, throw pillows, lumbar pillows, and accent tables. Lumbar pillows on outdoor dining room furniture makes the space feel inviting. Make sure you choose outdoor friendly material, otherwise the fabric can grow mold, which is definitely something you want to avoid.
Mix and Match Patterns Outdoors
Your indoor and outdoor space do not need to match, so you can use this space to experiment with bold colors you wouldn't have otherwise chosen indoors. If you have been thinking about a design that doesn't necessarily intermingle with your indoor space, this outdoor living room would be a great place to try new designs.
Outdoor Covered Patio Attached to House
If you have an outdoor covered living space, you can also consider hanging string lights to make it a cozier space. While we have a fan built into the ceiling, we often don't use it because the breeze outside is wonderful. I would say that having a fan isn't an absolute must and could be deprioritized if you are trying to stay on budget.
Enclosed Outdoor Living Space
I've had enclosed outdoor living spaces with screened walls. However, I find that it makes the space feel smaller. We actually removed our screens a few years ago, and it made all the difference in terms of comfort and enjoyment. At least for us, the screened in space made it hard to sweep the dust that came in from the screen. I also found that not using treated wood with the screen in deck caused the wood to warp easily, especially with the midwest summer heat.
However, your experience might be different. If you find that your enclosed outdoor living space feels small and cramp, consider removing the screens.
Utilize Container Plants and Bushes
You can't be outdoors without plants. I would recommend getting planters of varying heights to break up the visuals of your space. Planters are great for decorating areas with corners. I love potted sednum, hydrangeas, and mums. If you don't mind bring plants in and outdoors seasonally, ZZ plants and snake plants are also great plants to have outdoors as well. I've shared a few of my favorite outdoor pots and planters that would look great in an outdoor living area.
Shop the Post for Outdoor Living Space
If you liked any items in this space, check out the links to the items that I purchased.
Summary of Designing an Outdoor Living Room
Being intentional and thoughtful about your design can truly make this space an area that you can bring to life. Your outdoor living room and backyard can really be a beautiful extension of your home. Being able to have an early morning coffee or late night tea while enjoying the sunset in a private haven can truly be a great start to a morning or ending to a great day. I hope you learned some tips to blend both design and function with a beautiful, neutral outdoor living space.