Tips for Creating an Outdoor Living Room

Author: Touré Foster

Posted in: Patio Construction

Tips for Creating an Outdoor Living Room

Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to get outside and enjoy it. Instead of spending time with the family and binge-watching shows inside, move your family room outside and take advantage of the comfortable temperatures and fresh air! Last month we addressed designing the perfect small outdoor space. Now let’s take it a step further and create a more versatile outdoor living room

Outdoor rooms are more casual versions of your indoor living spaces. For us living in the Northeast, once spring hits, we tend to be drawn to that more relaxing space outside. It’s hard not unwind outdoors when you are close to nature and can observe you landscape transforming from winter to summer.

What to consider for your outdoor living room

Before we get into specifics about how to create an outdoor living room, answer some of these questions.

What is the purpose of your outdoor room?

Where does the sun hit your yard at various times of the day? This will factor into your location based on what you want to use the room for:

  • Entertaining – You may want more shade than sun so you can be comfortable entertaining any time of the day. If you plan to include a firepit or an outdoor home entertainment system, you will need a wall to mount the system and have your seating facing a shaded wall.
  • Relaxing – You may want a bit of both sun and shade in this case. If the weather is cooler, a bit of sun will make the room pleasant and you can start on a safe summer tan. When the heat of summer is upon us, you’ll want shade and maybe a fan or two to move the air.

How big of a space will the room need?

Will you need to take the entire backyard for this project or will a smaller area be enough? If you still want a backyard lawn and landscaping, create something smaller and convenient to the house. You also need to take into consideration your budget for this project. Can you start with something small and practical and expand in the future.

Once you have determined your goals and budget, read on to discover three easy ways to transform your yard into a comfortable and practical outdoor living space! Not only will you be able to extend your living space, you’re also adding value to your home.

1. Install a pergola

First and foremost, you need something to keep the rain out of your outdoor family room. There’s nothing worse than relaxing or entertaining family or friends outdoors during the summer and then it starts to rain!  A pergola is a cost efficient, functional solution. It allows you to extend your living space onto your lawn because it provides coverage from the elements. Aesthetically, the pergola defines your yard, as it adds an interesting focal point. And what’s even better, the investment adds value to your home. Because there’s a growing interest in outdoor living spaces, potential buyers will pay more for a home with a dedicated space to entertain outdoors.

2. Add a TV

Nothing says family room like a big, flat screen TV. Purchase a TV for your outdoor space so you can cozy up and have a family movie night. Or you can invite friends over for the big game. Just remember to find a safe place to put your TV. You’ll want it protected from the elements and it’s important to pick a good spot where everyone can see it.

3. Furnish and decorate the space

Now’s the fun part. Once you install the pergola and add the TV, it’s time to furnish and decorate your outdoor living room.

First, you’ll need seating. Buy some couches and a couple large, comfy chairs. Second, get an all-weather rug to tie in the living room look. You’ll also want to purchase a coffee table and side tables to hold drinks or appetizers. You can even get a fire pit table, which is perfect for cool nights. And when it’s not in use, it can double as a coffee table. Next, think about lighting. You can bring out a couple lamps and/or string lights along the walls.

Now that you have a functional living room, it’s time to decorate. Get some pillows for the couches and chairs. Buy a couple of throw blankets to complete the look and to keep you warm on those cool nights. Purchase some candles and add a lantern or two. You can sprinkle some potted plants around the space to add pops of color. And a great feature of the pergola is that you can add climbing plants that will grow up the walls and over the roof. They’re functional in that they create shade, but they’re also a pleasing look for your space.   

Now you know these three tips, you’re ready to start the outdoor living room project. Make sure you install the right foundation for the space so you don’t have drainage or settling issues. Contact us to help you get started.