Imagine kicking back in your outdoor room with a bowl of popcorn, snuggled up under the stars in a blanket, ready to watch a movie on your iPad … But oops, your iPad isn’t charged and there’s no outlet around.
A missing outlet? That’s a classic design fail. And it shows why an outdoor room is all about the details. Each small option you choose adds to your overall enjoyment of the space and prevents the details from driving you nuts.
We’re talking about all the little things: outlets, lighting, seating, storage, design, decor, and more. Here’s a list of add-ons you’ll be so happy you included in your outdoor space.
In our tech-infused world, outlets are a big deal. Add weatherproof outlets to your outdoor room and you’ll always have a plug handy when you need it. This includes standard outlets, high-voltage outlets for appliances, and USB outlets for mobile devices and other technology.
If you want to be a superstar host, keep multiple types of chargers or a universal device charger on hand. That way, when someone says, “I forgot my charger,” you’re instantly their hero.
Lighting for an outdoor room should go far beyond standard uplights and floodlights used for visibility and security. Accent lighting is about setting the right mood for your outdoor space.
Consider adding a variety of outdoor lighting types, including:
- Walkway lighting along pathways
- Task lighting for cooking areas
- Directional reading lights near comfortable chairs
- Relaxing lights on dimmer switches
- Romantic mood lighting
- Colorful and bright kids’ playtime lighting
- Motion-activated safety lighting
- Holiday light displays
The right seating will invite you right into your outdoor room day after day. On the flip side, the wrong seating will feel uncomfortable and uninviting.
The best way to ensure you have the right seating is to include flexible seating with plenty of options. Include outdoor furniture like patio chairs, padded lounges, outdoor sofas, benches, footstools, rockers, and even a swinging chair or hammock.
It’s a good idea to have some built-in seating, like a low bench surrounding a fireplace or fire pit, but also plenty of seating that can be easily scooted around the space. This allows you and your guests to easily shake up the floor plan and adapt to everyone’s needs.
Ample Storage Space
If there’s one detail you’ll regret forgetting, it’s storage space. Ensure you have plenty of room to stow away things you use less frequently like blankets, extra pillows, holiday decor, sports gear, and games.
Great storage keeps everything out of sight but easily at your fingertips when needed. Opt for footstools with hidden storage, benches that contain under-seat storage, and built-in cabinets and drawers in the kitchen area.
Minnesota weather doesn’t mess around, so make sure everything you select for your outdoor room is tough enough to withstand cold, ice, snow, wind, mold, heat, sun, insects, and rodents.
Here are some tips for seasonal details:
After a long Minnesota winter, you’ll be ready to fully enjoy your outdoor room again. Consider adding a covered zone where you can enjoy the space even if there’s still snow on the ground. Careful landscape design with zone-appropriate spring flowers will also add a note of early cheer.
Even in summertime, northern weather can be harsh. Roll-out covers, screens, and sunshades can help you manage the impact of multiple types of summer weather, including the blazing sun and sudden thunderstorms.
As fall creeps in, make sure there are plenty of blankets nearby in your storage space. Use candles for mood lighting and visual warmth. Consider including an outdoor heater and add an extra outlet for it.
A well-designed outdoor room is still usable throughout a harsh Minnesota winter. Create a covered and heated zone where you can relax and enjoy the winter view. Include weather-resistant storage that keeps ice and snow safely at bay.
Speaking of winter warmth, have you seen our Elements Fire & Water table? Manufactured only right here in Minnesota, it’s cool to the touch but keeps your guests toasty warm. It’s also a beautiful conversation piece that adds function and style to your outdoor room all year round.
Adding All the Details
We understand that it can be a bit tricky to ensure you’re including every detail in your outdoor room design. That’s why we’re offering help from the professionals.
In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, reach out to Architectural Landscape Design, Inc., a residential design-build company that specializes in beautiful and functional outdoor rooms. We’ll help you design an outdoor space that’s perfect, right down to the last detail.