How to Create an Outdoor Room

piv house outdoor room

How to Create an Outdoor Room

If you are fortunate enough to have a terrace, a porch or some backyard space, spending a lot of time at home can be a much nicer experience, especially in these pandemic times. But how you design that space makes all the difference. A lot of times, you’ll see a beautiful garden with very organized furniture, which looks pretty, but when you actually go and sit, it’s out in the blazing sun.

If you want an outdoor space where you’ll be comfortable lingering for hours, you need to address some basic questions: “Can you be protected from the sun? Can you put a drink down? Can you put your feet up?” In short, you need to think of it as another room in your home — an outdoor room — and furnish it accordingly. Here’s how to make the most of it.

PIV House by Murseli Architects+Partners
PIV House by Murseli Architects+Partners

1. Choose Your Function

An outdoor room won’t serve any function particularly well if it tries to do everything, so start with an honest assessment of how you plan to use the space. If the terrace will be a place for alfresco dining, you’ll need chairs that will allow people to sit upright and a table high enough to eat at — a very different arrangement of furniture than a space for casual lounging, where sofas and low tables may be more appropriate.

Or maybe it’s just a space for hiding from everyone, which would require greater privacy and perhaps just a single chaise longue. If your outdoor space is large, planning several different seating arrangements can accommodate multiple functions.

PIV House by Murseli Architects+Partners
PIV House by Murseli Architects+Partners

2. Tie It to the Indoors

When you’re trying to decide on the style of an outdoor room, look to your home’s interior-design scheme, to reinforce the connection between indoors and out. Try to blend the materials and make them all uniform so that you don’t have anything super jarring, and it’s all very harmonious. Your interior-design scheme can also inform material and color choices for outdoor furniture, accessories and even plantings.

Project by ANdaras Studio
Project by ANdaras Studio

3. Create a Floor

Demarcate the area of the outdoor room — and make it feel like a destination that stands apart from the rest of the terrace or yard — by changing the flooring material where the furniture will be placed.

You can use the softness of an indoor-outdoor rug to make your veranda feel like a room. It is surprisingly easy to keep clean. You just vacuum it like a normal rug.

A section of wood decking, sush as WOODEE by Alumil, could also be used to underpin a seating area, within a large expanse of pavers.

Woodee by Alumil

4. Add a Ceiling and Walls

If there is no roof or overhang above your outdoor space, you can at least create the impression of a ceiling, both for the intimacy a sense of enclosure provides and for protection from the sun. Bioclimatic pergolas, the latest word of shadow structures by Alumil, are the perfect choice.

Everybody feels most comfortable when they’re tucked under something. Putting a seating area beneath the canopy of a tree can make it a great outdoor ceiling. In the absence of a tree, you can add a trellis over a seating arrangement, which might be covered with willow or bamboo. An umbrella would also work, although it won’t be as sturdy or durable.

It’s also possible to add a sense of privacy by introducing tall plantings around the perimeter of an outdoor room. On a terrace or balcony, tall planters filled with leafy or flowering plants could be used to similar effect.

Bioclimatic Pergola by Alumil
Bioclimatic Pergola by Alumil

5. Furnish as You Would Indoors

Many successful outdoor rooms have nearly as much furniture, and as many accessories, as indoor rooms. That means plenty of comfortable seating, often with cushions upholstered in outdoor fabric such as Komodo Collection for the whole family, or the RAP sofa for you and your loved one. It also means having enough tables to hold drinks, snacks, phones and books. You can find everything you need for your outdoor room at Almex Contract Furniture. Add outdoor throw pillows in the same way you would use indoor pillows in the living room, and keep throws handy for cool evenings.

If your outdoor room will serve as a dining space, you need to think about it like you’re in an indoor dining room. Consider the maximum number of guests you’re likely to entertain and make sure you have an appropriately sized table and enough chairs. Then think about how you will serve meals.

A strategically placed buffet or console table can hold platters during dinners or function as a bar for cocktail parties. We suggest you the Break Bar by Almex too. After guests leave, that same piece of furniture can serve as a pedestal for potted plants and decorative objects. Finish the space with vases, bowls and candleholders, which can be changed and rearranged over time. If the outdoor room is next to an exterior wall, consider adding mirrors, pieces of sculpture or wall-mounted planters. We are in love with the LED mirror La Plus Belle of Flos by Abiesse.

Komodo Collection by Almex Contract Furniture
Komodo Collection by Almex Contract Furniture

6. Illuminate the Space

Lighting is an important functional consideration — without it, you might not be able to find your drink after dark — but it can also provide a significant boost to nighttime ambience, and Abiesse offers a wide range of outdoor lightings for your veranda.

Some methods of adding light are simpler than others. You can hang a candle chandelier from a tree branch or have lanterns with candles to create a romantic atmosphere. Plug-in string lights and portable LED-based candles and lanterns are other easy options for adding light that don’t require hiring an electrician.

If you want something more permanent, decorative pendant lamps can be suspended from pergolas, and sconces can be installed on nearby walls. Whether you choose portable lamps, hard-wired decorative fixtures or landscape lighting — or a mix of all three — consider outdoor lights with a warm-white color temperature of about 2,700 Kelvin such as La Linea of Artemide by Abiesse.

Exenia Outdoor Lighting - Abiesse
Exenia Outdoor Lighting - Abiesse
La Linea Artemide

Source: nytimes.com by Tim McKeough

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