Designing an outdoor room is a lot like designing a room inside your home. Design principles such as balance, mood, scale, proportion and unity still apply, with the added challenge of managing unpredictable natural elements. While there are many ways to enjoy the outdoors – lounging in a chair by the pool, sitting among your flowers on a garden bench, watching the neighbors stroll by from the rocking chair on the front porch – there is something special about creating a room that is fully considered from a design perspective, but just happens to be outside.
Here are our favorite ways to elevate your current outdoor space into a beautifully designed outdoor room.
Choose a Focal Point
Ask yourself how you plan to use the outdoor room and let your design revolve around the function. Will you entertain in the space? Play games with your children? Dine al fresco? Once you’ve determined the main function of the space, make that the focal point and choose furniture, fabrics and accessories just as you would for an indoor space. For an outdoor dining room, start with a beautiful teak table with dining chairs upholstered in fade-resistant Sunbrella fabric. A retractable awning over the dining space keeps the room cool during the mid-day heat and can be opened after the sun goes down to reveal the stars above.
Take Control of Light and Shade
Part of the joy of being outdoors is feeling the warm sun on our skin and the wind blowing through our hair. But when the sun gets too hot, a covered porch offers the perfect retreat from the elements. A simple covered porch can be elevated to the status of outdoor room with the addition of retractable power screens. A custom-fit power screen made with easy-to-clean Sunbrella shade fabric allows you to enjoy the comforts of an outdoor living room all year long.
Don’t Be Afraid to Accessorize
Adding accessories is the easiest and quickest way to elevate your current outdoor space into a bonafide outdoor room. Decorative pillows in coordinating Sunbrella fabrics make the outdoor furniture just as cozy as your living room sofa, and stylish lanterns serve as reading lamps at twilight. Be sure to incorporate other accessories that you would normally see inside, such as a Sunbrella throw for when the breeze picks up, a Sunbrella rug for softness underfoot and hanging artwork that bring your personality into the design.
No roof? No problem.
An outdoor space doesn’t have to have an awning or a roof to be considered a room. A large slate patio serves as the blueprint for this outdoor living room in the middle of the backyard. Comfortable love seats are arranged in a symmetrical layout to encourage conversation and a large, stone fire pit provides warmth while performing double duty as the coffee table. Side tables add both interest and function, and marine-inspired lanterns serve as living room lamps when the sun goes down.
*originally published on: http://shine.sunbrella.com/post/125528127127/designing-an-outdoor-room