Considerations for the perfect outdoor space
So you’ve got a lush garden space, greenery to look out upon with weeds, growing weeds. Now what do you do? Some would say tidy it up and keep it a clear space for an outdoor playground for the kiddies, add a trampoline or perhaps even throw a few chairs + a table outside for when you invite guests around. All scenarios that we considered before stumbling upon a pergola plan.
I wanted a space that felt comfortable, a space that could be used year round and in most weather conditions – que a roof negotiation and heaters. Nothing quite makes my heart happy like gathering friends around and letting the night slip away over fresh food + spirits. There’s no coincidence that for generations food has been used as a means to fellowship and catch up with friends + loved ones. They go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly, or in this case like the comfiest couch and most carefully considered throw pillows. Total heart swoon.
In a recent survey on millennial home buying habits, the desire to have outdoor space was the very item that came ahead of emotional and financial readiness as the most important reason to purchase a home. In a generation with more outlets than ever vying for our attention is it really a surprise that the serenity + freedom of an opened aired space is the most coveted piece of a house?
So whether you’re contemplating building a space for your garden or giving it a spruce up, we’ve come up with a few things to consider before you begin.
1. Consider the weather conditions. One thing we can’t predict when setting a date for an event is the weather. If you live in a primarily sunny spot of the world say, Florida, you might be able to be a little more flexible on necessary components like say, a roof or covering. In climates that are warmer and the weather is less sporadic aspects such as a sail might be an ideal covering solution. However, in a wet and temperamental climate like England when you can awake to variant weather conditions, options to maximize the use of the space throughout the year must be considered. There are clever ways of implementing coverings to your deck without spending a fortune. We opted for perspex sheets to slot into our pergola and settle in as the roof in order to keep our space dry in wet weather, meaning rain or shine we can entertain outdoors. We’ve also opted for outdoor heaters in order to keep the space comfortable in the winter. Win-win. If you’re not precious about using the space year-round then you might leave it be, but if you can’t bear the thought of letting rain cancel a BBQ or birthday party then you must consider how your space can be used in all kinds of weather.
2. Don’t neglect the decor. It can be easy to think that because it’s an outdoor space it doesn’t need the same consideration as an interior room. Wrong all around. It’s still important to sketch out what you dream of your space looking like. To see the space really come alive it’s important to consider colour schemes, lighting aspects, gardening components and even the deck stain colour – all which play an important role in pulling a space together.
3. Comfort is key. If you envision this space to be a place where guests hangout and conversations linger then make sure your space is comfortable. It might be tempting to buy cheap seats to cut costs and create lots of sitting space, but just make sure you consider the comfort. These things will pay off with happy and relaxed guests.
4. Add intimacy. The more intimate a space can feel the better. If you have a sprawling open space break it down into cosy sections. Perhaps designate one end of your deck as a lounge area and the other as a dining area with table and chairs for eating? Whatever the case make your space feel intimate, which will allow your guest to get comfortable. Toss in some throw pillows and foot stools for optimal satisfaction.
5. Don’t forget the icing. Memorable hospitality comes from those unexpected touches. Put yourself in your guests shoes and think about what they could possibly want to make them ultra relaxed, things like blankets to hand out on a cool evening or candles that will guarantee to keep the bugs away. Creating the right ambiance is also key, light some candles and turn on the appropriate tunes to set the scene. Add in those special touches that will make your space unique.
Our outdoor area is currently under construction but watch this space for a detailed tour upon completion.
What are your ‘musts’ for an outdoor space? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!