Want to add square footage to your home without obtaining a building permit? You’ll feel like you’ve created an addition when you design a comfortable outdoor living space on your deck, patio or porch. New materials – such as woven wicker, updated fabrics and cast aluminum – have lead to pieces that mimic your indoor style with the added benefit of allowing you to enjoy the nature just outside your door.
From sofas to sectionals, chaise lounges and cocktail tables, it’s easy to create an outside area that feels like a natural extension of your home – perfect for entertaining or just relaxing after a long day. Take a look at what we recommend:
1. Go for the cushions
Furnishing with cushions is the foundation of building a room that feels like an indoor space. From chairs to sofas and sectionals, cushioned furniture is designed to be fade-, stain- and mildew-resistant, and you can leave these pieces outside. Group seating pieces together just like you would in your indoor living space.
2. Play with the color palette
Use the tones you have inside to create a natural flow onto your deck or patio. Or go for a bold color that gives the feel of a tropical oasis. Keep in mind that earth tones might blend in a little too well with the outdoors, shrinking the look of your furnishings, and dark colors will hold the heat of the sunlight. Consider using bold, brightly colored accessories for a feeling of fun and whimsy.
3. Think about the “floor”
Consider using an outdoor rug. Made from a polypropylene material, it is made to stand up to the elements. And just like a rug serves in your indoor rooms, it will give the area a pulled-together feel.
4. Take advantage of greenery
Bring your landscaping onto your patio or deck by using hanging baskets, pots and planters. Choose flowers and plants that mimic those in your lawn; the cohesive materials will make your yard feel like an extension of the space.
5. Give the illusion of walls
Create the feeling of a room by installing a pergola, lattice wall or awning. In addition to providing shade and privacy, you can use it to support climbing vines. An umbrella over a dining set will also give the feeling of enclosure.
6. Consider the lighting
Strings of white or colored lights aren’t just for the holidays; they can create a starry effect when used outdoors during a summer night. Also consider landscape and deck lighting or torches that will softly light up the area and enhance the atmosphere. Lighting that points upward accents the architecture of the structure, while a light pointed downward creates a cozy glow.
7. Include the ambiance of a fire
Consider using a firepit. A popular outdoor accessory, you can find freestanding firepits or firepits that are incorporated in table groupings. An evening fire will instantly transform the space into an inviting gathering area as well as warm up the cool nights of Michigan summer.
Decorative items bring an indoor room to life and the serve the same purpose outside, as well. Play with decorative throw pillows, bowls and candles.
9. Crank up the music
Outdoor speakers bring the party outside. Relax in style with your favorite tunes. You can install outdoor speakers or use a portable speakers.
10. Add water
Complement the design and feel of your outdoor space with the calming trickle of a fountain. Its sound is soothing and will add another sense to your outdoor space. You could also choose a birdbath that will attract feathered friends.