The Functional Value of Your Outdoor Living Space

Is it possible to have a room in your house that pleases everyone?   Even more importantly, can you have that room outdoors?


As you may already know, in order to create a cozy outdoor living space for your whole family to enjoy, it can become quite a challenge.  But it is even harder to create an outdoor living space that is both functional as well as comfortable.  But with the right planning, it can be done.  Here we have presented a few simple ideas that will help you add that functionality, comfort and value to your outdoor living space.

Tips for Improving Your Outdoor Living Space

Traffic Flow Does Matter:  One of the main issues to think about when you are creating your outdoor living space is traffic.  For example: how many people are in your household, and how many of them can be in the outdoor living space at the same time?  As you may have already guessed, traffic flow does matter.  So if you are not into creating a traffic jam, it is best if you plan on making obvious paths from your home to your outdoor area.  That way you can direct traffic with visual clues.  The path you create can be made from paving stones, shifts in hardscaping materials, or even from different types of plants, which visually direct people into an area.

Seating Options:  Another issue you want to think about is seating.  It is essential to provide enough seating space in order to create comfort for everyone.  This factor is really important when planning a party; ensure that you include as many possible options that will accommodate your guests.  Also think about the types of entertaining you’ll be doing and the appropriate seating.  Lounging beside the pool requires a different type of chair than sitting at an outdoor dining table having dinner.  Consider function, but never sacrifice comfort.

And always have a plan for unexpected guests or a group that’s larger than you normally entertain.  Think outside the box, too – a retaining wall of the right height and width can double for extra seating.  And you can make it even more comfortable when topped with some cushions.  Oversized pillows and extra cushions are good to keep on hand – either easily accessible in the house or kept in an outdoor storage area.

Increasing Visual Appeal in Your Yard:  If you have an outdoor feature that you feel should be highlighted, why not draw attention to it?  Increasing the visual appeal of your outdoor living space can be accomplished by adding small accents to the area itself.  A bubbling fountain can bring the focus to your prized roses.  Hanging containers overflowing with brightly colored flowering vines can be hung from your pergola to bring attention to your patio.  And at night you can show off your outdoor living areas with landscape lighting focused on those areas you’re proud of or will use the most after dark.

Multi-Functional Furnishings:  Smaller outdoor living spaces typically have very little room for much outdoor furniture, so it is very important to save as much space as possible by using multi-functional items.  For example:  a bench may have a built in storage compartment while simple furniture pieces can also be used as décor items.  Some fire pits come with inserts so they can double as a serving or coffee table when the fire isn’t being used.

Speak with us here at Architectural Landscape Design where we can help you plan out the perfect space for your yard, and make sure everyone in the family loves it. Here are additional ideas you can use to perk up that outdoor space.  Then give us a call for a free initial design consultation – we’d love to help you love your yard even more this year!