The days of old-board back decks and the annual chore of slapping some more stain on those cracking, splitting planks are over. Outdoor living is hot, and as the temperatures climb this year, you might turn to your own home's exterior with an eye toward making something sizzle.
When it comes to outdoor living spaces, designs are trending upscale and the ideas and options for your perfect summertime escape start at your sliding back door. Here's a shortlist of some things to consider as you design your private outdoor paradise.
Just like every other seasonal escape, part of the experience is in the getting there. How you and your guests go from your inside kitchen or dining room to the outside living space you design can play a huge role in its overall impression.
Notice how the tile inside the kitchen matches the outside.
The outdoor kitchen and living area.
Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre
, of Ontario, makes an excellent suggestion: its experts recommend using the newest array of tiling and floor-surface products to blend the colors and patterns of your interior space with that of the outdoor living area you design. The idea is to open the whole house up by linking the look of what's inside to what is out of doors.
The Main Event:
Your outdoor living space is not limited to wood, bricks, plants and a hot tub. Like choosing a resort or a place to stay while away, you want to anticipate what you'll want to do over time. Consider whether this outdoor space is meant to be a cooking spot with some attendant seating, a cocktail patio, a secluded garden, or maybe even an entertainment space with gaming equipment and electronics.
The folks at Stone Works Canada
, in Ontario, give a lot of thought to new ideas in outdoor spaces — they of course suggest a fireplace or super-chic patio heater to extend the ambiance (and the season) of your design. However, other designers report that the newest, trendiest outdoor living spaces they've seen include plasma TVs, fully wired sound systems, and solar power to run it all.
Or maybe your speed is a more tranquil concept, a palazzo-like garden with a bench in the sun
. The point is: work out the concept and create something that represents it. Your space will impress because it's intelligent and consistent, and you'll save money by not spending on features you later decide just aren't for you.
The Finishing Touches:
Once you've figured out the underlying approach you're going to take and how to link it to your interior living space, it's time to really cut loose. Lighting and decorations are the playground of the mind, when it comes to outdoor living space design. From sleek to wicker-traditional, check out these options at HomeDepot.ca
, and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Canada
opens your exterior concept to a world of color and texture.
With these ideas in mind, you must be on your way to a hip new outdoor room. Come up with something fantastic? Send along your best shots of designs and ideas from what you accomplish. Who knows, maybe you'll start a new trend!
By James O'Brien