Summer is the time of heat and, in some parts of the country, voluminous rain. But it’s also the time of year when hot days transition into sultry nights, that are perfect for relaxing and entertaining out-of-doors. With the large, oversized lots available at a number of LGI Homes’ new homes communities, many homeowners are taking advantage of these fully-fenced backyard spaces to extend their living areas into the outdoors, creating what some designers and landscapers call “outdoor rooms.”
The essence of an outdoor room is that it is an inviting, comfortable space that draws visitors and residents alike into the outdoors, where they can appreciate the life, weather and beauty of the garden. If you’re interested in expanding your living space and enhancing your quality of life through an outdoor room, here are a few points to keep in mind:
If you’re afraid that your outdoor space is too small to entertain, remember that unlike the indoors, outdoor rooms tend to be intimate and quiet spaces. A few chairs artfully arranged with potted plants and small side tables can compose one of the most elegant—and space-efficient—outdoor rooms.
Outdoor rooms should pull people out from inside the house. Comfortable seating, a place to put a book and drink, some color from flowers and plants—every need and every sense should be appealed to.
If your backyard space is large enough, you can break your yard into a number of smaller outdoor rooms, each with its own vantage point and purpose. A single chair and table under a shady tree can be placed across the yard from banquette seats by an outdoor fire pit, while a swinging seat by a small fountain can beckon from the back fence. Keeping the rooms small and focused encourages guests to wander from room to room, enjoying the variety of flowers and plants you have in your yard, and experiencing the special focal points within each space.
Don’t forget about flowers and plants! Even if you’re not much of a gardener, your local nursery can help you find low-maintenance plants that can add beauty and dimension to your backyard. In particular, look for easy-growing plants that attract bees or birds, which can liven up your yard and increase your enjoyment of the outdoor room. Even small container plantings (easily changed out if one happens to die!) are enough to add color, perfume and motion to your landscape, which make your room more pleasant for visitors.
Whatever the size of your yard, whatever your budget, it’s easy to increase your liveable square footage and create an outdoor area where guests and residents alike can enjoy food, drink, conversation and nature. After all, isn’t that what summertime is all about?