9 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Outdoor Living Spaces
No matter what your outdoor space consists of — a shady backyard spot, a friendly courtyard or even a narrow landing — use these tips and tricks to make it the best it can be.
Maximize Every Square Inch
Without a doubt, the most effective outdoor living optimizer is perimeter seating. Consider investing in a modular sectional strategically configured to maximize your space. To add flexibility, find an armless sectional. That way, the modules can be configured to conform to a corner or used to elongate a straight-line sofa.
Plan a Traffic Pattern
Before you even start setting up your outdoor space, consider the foot traffic in and around the area and plan accordingly. Also, you’ll want plenty of open space near the main entrance, so bank on a pathway that is at least four feet wide.
Shade is a Must
Another important element to a comfortable and relaxing outdoor living space is shade. Before setting up your outdoor space, take time to think about natural shade sources to help keep your spot cool, like existing trees and shrubs. If there are none, consider providing options like awnings, canopies and umbrellas.
Choose Versatile Furniture
When looking at outdoor furniture, try to find pieces that can serve multiple functions. For example, instead of a straightforward outdoor coffee table, you might want to go with a grouping of concrete side tables. Not only would they give the space a sculptural touch, they’ll allow multiple guests to have their own individual surface for food and drinks.
A Spot for Everyone
For larger gatherings, providing seating for everyone is not always easy. The most efficient and cost-effective way to accommodate every guest is with a bunch of throw pillows. Larger-sized pillows (22 to 26 inches) are best so that everyone is comfortable and has proper surface coverage.
Brick pavers are a great solution for a sturdy, level foundational surface in outdoor patios, porches or courtyards. They stand up well to weather and have a classic look that mixes perfectly with a range of architectural styles.
Give the kids their own designated play area by transforming otherwise dead space into activity spots. Versatility is important so that the space can be used in a variety of ways. To that end, seek out maintenance-free, stackable play tables and indoor-outdoor cushions for a comfortable solution that can be changed up easily based on the chosen activity.
Optimize Vertical Space
While small or narrow outdoor spaces can limit your options, rest assured that just about any outdoor spot can be made into a lounge area or functional living space by taking full advantage of the available vertical space. For example, if you don’t have space for a sofa, consider taller seating options instead, like basket chairs paired with petite decor that won’t overwhelm the small space.
Decorate in Layers
When it comes to making outdoor spaces feel warm and welcoming, the key is decorating them like indoor spaces — with layers. Most well-decorated spaces incorporate plants and potted flowers, as well as textured elements like rugs, and decorative accessories for color and pattern. Don’t forget the lighting!