Post photos of your home decor or interior design ideas.

Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor Living Spaces
Outdoor living spaces are not merely defined by two chairs and a table in the patio anymore. There is a lot more that makes it a designer space, where you can relax or entertain. Here are the elements that go into enlivening outdoor spaces.
Puja Lalwani
The concept of an outdoor living space is not new. It in fact, has been around for a long time now. However, it definitely has evolved over time, to make way for new design elements to be added into the space, and to make home decorating wholesome and complete. An extension to the home, an outdoor living space adds a lot of character to a house, and gives you an additional place to relax, unwind, entertain, and enjoy the beauty of nature. Personalizing such a space to suit your taste then, becomes not only imperative, but a natural next step. Here, we give you some ideas on designing and decorating these external spaces, where you can take a break and simply unwind.

Elements of Outdoor Living Spaces

A lot of elements go into making an outdoor space as beautiful as it should be. The choice and type of these elements vary based on personal taste. Usually, following a theme when designing or decorating any space enables you to define it appropriately. Whether traditional, rustic, modern, or contemporary, just like your home, your outdoor living space too can reflect your personal taste and choice. Whatever theme you choose, take a look at elements you should keep in mind while decorating this space.

Where this particular space is located is a matter of importance. Is it a patio or an extension to your kitchen or dining space? Is it a space beside a pool or is it a large balcony in your living room? Based on these factors, you can create a gorgeous setting outdoors. Based on the location, you will decide the remaining elements that will go in to designing this space.

What kind of covering do you envision for your outdoor haven? You could choose to have a simple awning, a thatched roof, a pergola through which the sun's rays can filter through and give you enough warmth on a cool morning, a gazebo from where you can overlook your entire landscape, or a deck with a simple railing to demarcate the area from the rest of your outdoor space. All these elements can lead you to designing outdoor living spaces based on different themes.

Flooring used for the outdoors has to be resilient, but this does not mean it will not be beautiful. You have a variety of hardwood flooring that is suited for the outdoors. You could also opt for bamboo flooring for a more eco-friendly material. Use stone or slate for a rustic exterior. Use mosaic in an outdoor living space with a pool, to give it a tropical feel. These and many more are flooring options for you to use to define your outdoor space. You can also have a central motif on the flooring, to give it a unique appearance.

Again, as is any other element, your use of outdoor furniture will be determined by the overall style of the space. However, what kind of seating arrangement you want to have is variable. For instance, some people prefer full-fledged sofas with cushions as seating for their outdoor spaces, while others prefer light bamboo furniture for the same. Don't stick to just one type of seating; use different types of seating. For instance, you could have stools, bean bags, floor seating with throw cushions, a hammock, and even a swing. Of course, a coffee table is imperative in the entire setting. All in all, don't clutter the space, imbibe variation, and make the space comfortable with the use of furniture.

More often than not, people prefer dim yellow lighting in an outdoor space. Irrespective of the expanse, the dim lighting creates a warm, cozy feel to the space. How you induce this lighting can vary. Since the outdoor space is more decorative than utilitarian, use fancy light fixtures to define the space. Wall mounted fixtures, hanging lamps and lanterns, and string lights are all the various types of lights you can use to light up this space. You may also use candles as a form of outdoor lighting.

Additional Elements
  • Curtains: Curtains and drapes just have that quality about them, that make them such beautiful elements to use both indoors and outdoors. Apart from outdoor curtains, blinds are also an option. These do not function as coverings as such. They are mere decorative elements in the larger picture.
  • Fireplace: An outdoor fireplace just makes an outdoor space so much more homely. If you are unable to mark a spot for a fireplace, try to design a bonfire around which all of you can sit and warm up. It also makes for a great space to entertain your guests.
  • Plants: How can plants be left out of outdoor living spaces? They are absolutely essential. Use a hedge or a trellis on a fence for privacy, design a walkway lined with plants leading to the particular space, or simply use pots with plants to create a focal point in the space. Whatever your choice, you just can't leave these out when designing your outdoor haven.
  • Wind Chimes: When wind chimes tinkle with the cool breeze that sweeps your living space, it pleases the ears and the mind immensely. Use wind chimes in strategic locations, and of various shapes and sizes to highlight the space.
  • Water Features: A small water fountain or a large one, a full-fledged fish pond or an aquarium, are all great water features you can use to enhance decorated spaces outdoors. The sound of running water is found soothing by many, and having a fountain fulfills this purpose. Some people even like to have mini waterfalls in a corner made particularly for this purpose.
There are a lot more ways in which you can personalize these external spaces. It all boils down to personal taste, your creativity, and the extent to which you wish to go to, to make it the ultimate space for you to bask in!
The beautiful Tashkent
Wind chime made from shells hanging on roof
White gazebo
Gazebo inside view
Two glasses of white wine beside bed at sunset
Inside of wooden gazebo under construction
Gazebo in a field
Luxury infinity swimming pool at tropical resort