Bringing the living room outside
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Jun 10, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Bringing the living room outside

Ideas for functional outdoor spaces


Have a boring backyard, a plain patio or a derelict deck? One of the biggest trends in home renovations over the last few years is the creation of the outdoor room.

A few minimal additions may be all it needs to transform an ordinary backyard into an outdoor kitchen, open-air living room or rec room that adds to the comfort to your home and extends the time you spend in the yard.

Lucy Fanson, designer at Patio Palace in Windsor shares her advice on how to turn any outdoor space into a backyard oasis.

1. Decide what you want to use the space for – sitting, lounging, eating or entertaining – and what you may want to add. Consider setting up a lounging area with comfortable seating that has the function of a family room or a dining area with your barbecue and an outdoor fridge.

2. Consider the size of your space: Any space can, no matter the size, can be converted into an urban retreat. If you only have room for two chairs, you can still create an intimate spot to escape. If you have more room to work with, the options are limitless but Sanson suggests starting small.

3. Outdoor heating: Outdoor fire pits, patio heaters and fireplaces enhance the look of the space and extends the life of your outdoor room and the time you spend there. Units usually run on propane or can be converted to natural gas.

4. Add to existing furniture every year: Avoid the expense of a total reno and by at least one new piece to your existing outdoor furniture, furnishings or accessories every year. You may be surprised how a new piece of furniture, a curtain for your gazebo or a planter can change the look of your outdoor room.

5. Comfort: The more comfortable your outdoor space is, the more likely it will be used. Add comfortable furniture that enhances the functionality you are seeking. Outdoor furniture options could include chairs, dining sets, lounges, hammocks and swings.

This story was updated from an earlier version to correct Lucy Fanson's name.

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