Turning your empty back porch or patio into an outdoor room you love is a dream for many homeowners. As much as it is a project to look forward to, the actual planning can be a bit daunting. It can sometimes be a bit difficult to figure out where to start.
The nice thing about this DIY project is that the hardest part is the decision making process. After you figure out what your plan will be, the setup is all fun. Follow these decision-making steps when creating your dream patio, and your space will come together in no time.
1. Choose a Use of Space
With a smaller space, you may need to choose one focus for the entire area. Perhaps you’d love an outdoor dining area, or would rather have a place to spread out and lounge.
For a larger patio, you can consider a few zones. You may want to set up a table and chairs for outdoor meals and then use another area as a living room.
Once you can envision how you want to use your space, measure it to make sure the furniture you purchase will fit. As you are imagining how to arrange the furniture, keep a couple of things in mind. You’ll want the dining area either close to your kitchen door or next to your outdoor kitchen to make it easy to transport plates and food. For seating, think about if you have a visual focal point you’d like to face, such as a pond or a beautiful garden. If no focal point is present, you can plan on creating a conversation area, where chairs and sofas are grouped close together.
2. Determine a Style
Choosing the style of your outdoor furniture isn’t very different than shopping for your indoor decor. You’ll want to begin by considering your house’s style. A modern home, a mountain cabin and a bungalow all call for different styles.
Let your decor flow from the indoors out, so there is a smooth transition as you move from one area to another. One of the questions I ask myself to see if outdoor furniture matches my personal style is whether I could imagine that furniture inside my house. If the answer is yes, I’ve got a match.
3. Think Amenities
Once your furniture is in place, add amenities that grow the outdoor space into the room you want. If you plan on entertaining, you’ll want to add speakers so you can enjoy music. If you read, floor or table lamps will be needed next to comfy chairs. If curling up on the chaise for a nap is your gig, then accent pillows are important. If you’d like to show outdoor movies or watch sporting events from the porch, you’ll want to install a waterproof TV cabinet.
4. Have Fun with Accessories
Accessorizing your outdoor room is where your personality really comes into play. As a gardener, my favorite addition is always beautiful planters. If you are not a flower gardener, you can add that garden feel with no-fuss potted palms or evergreens, depending on your gardening zone. The only thing they will need is some water during dry spells.
There is a myriad of products that will turn your backyard into an oasis. If you like the sound of running water or want to block some of the traffic or neighborhood sounds, a fountain can be a soothing addition. Bring in nature by adding bird baths and feeders. Add brightness with garden flags, throw pillows or amusing string lights.
Just like the indoors, choose accessories to highlight the colors and styles you are working with. You’ll want the outdoor area to have design cohesiveness.
5. Protect Your Privacy
Hopefully, once you’ve set up your beautiful outdoor living space, you’ll use it often—both during the day and at night. Now that you are living more in your backyard, take time to make sure private areas of your house are not visible to those enjoying the patio. Prior to hanging out in the open air, this may not have been an issue.
Make sure you can close viewing vantage points from outside with curtains or blinds. This may include dressing or bathing areas, but might also include rooms you’d just rather not have your guests viewing, such as a garage full of stored items.
If you want to keep your room bright and still enjoy light streaming in from the patio, then you can add a window film to frost the window. They cling to the window without adhesive, so they are easy to apply or remove.
Don’t neglect your patio space! Use these steps to turn it into the ultimate outdoor room that you can enjoy all summer long.
Lea Schneider is a well-known organizational expert who writes on home organization and decor topics for The Home Depot. Lea’s patio furniture advice is designed to get your own creative juices flowing to enhance your outdoor living plans this summer. You can view many patio furniture options online at the Home Depot website.