Considering a garden as an outdoor room is nothing new to garden designers. The concept is just now making its way into the public consciousness. But just what are outdoor living rooms? Are the places where you try to recreate your indoor living room outdoors? No, not exactly.
Are they places like your deck, patio, or terrace where you just plop down a set of furniture and hope that you’ll feel like spending time out there? No, that won’t do either. An outdoor living room is a space outside of your house, built with materials suitable to the outdoors, where you will actually want to spend time! It’s also a state of mind, the idea of living life outdoors.
Now for your frame of mind: stop separating the outside of your house from the inside of your house, try to think of your property as all one place. Look at your outdoor space, look at your yard, and take inventory of what you have naturally in that space. Hopefully, you have some kind of natural elements that can be the focal point of your new outdoor living room such as a large tree, a hedgerow, a nice slope, or a beautiful view. In urban locations, your yard could be a barren rectangle, with nothing in it but some dirt and weeds, but there may be other qualities you could start with, such as a lovely angle of the morning sun, maybe a nice brick wall on one side creating a microclimate, or even an interesting urban view of some kind.
Spend some time out there and identify just what are feels the best to you. Bring a chair outside and just sit in it in different spots until you get a feeling of being in the right spot. There must be an easy way to go from inside to outside and back inside. I can’t stress this aspect of the design enough so. Smooth transition between inside and out is how you start feeling like your outdoor living room is really just another room of your house; an extension of your home.
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