by Lisa Peck, ASID

Slogging through the end of March here in Minneapolis can be difficult. Many of us need a cure for cabin fever. We dream of spending time outside, hiking, playing, living and entertaining during our short summer. Many of our clients are motivated to create a wonderful outdoor living space to extend the footprint of their home during the summer and expand the enjoyment of their home beyond it’s walls. Today on the blog we are sharing the 10 tips for designing outdoor rooms.

10 tips for Designing Outdoor Room

                                 Design credit LiLu Interiors, Photo credit Susan Gilmore

These are the ten  most important things we consider for our clients when designing outdoor rooms. Whether we are working with existing gardens or collaborating with a landscape architect to design new space these tips provide an invaluable guide on what to consider. And just planning ahead may help cure your cabin fever.

Outdoor Cooking Spaces

                                      Photo credits @azpaintsupply,  @jfisherinteriors, @renvatorauctions, @cameohomesinc

Outdoor kitchens are a great way to draw the crowd outside in the summer. Whether you are considering a simple grill area or a completely kitted out kitchen make sure to include a cooking area in your outdoor rooms. Remember to use low maintenance materials. Decide if you would like the kitchen to be a side note or the focal point of your outdoor space. If you intend to cook at night make sure you have great lighting and you will extend your grilling season.

Outdoor dining rooms

                                 Photo credits  @harperandlark,  Susan Gilmore, @wdarch_inc

You have a great place to cook. Now think about the dining experience. Design your dining space by thinking about the experience you would like to have. Do you want the space to feel like a room? Do you want to feel like you are at a resort poolside?

Consider how you intend to use the dining space and how many guests you want to accommodate. Creating the perfect experience in a space is a focus of our design work at LiLu Interiors.

Outdoor living rooms

                                    Photo Credits @globalinteriordesign, Susan Gilmore, @londonhomeandinteriors, @sassafrashome

With today’s materials you can create comfortable seating areas where you will enjoy lounging for hours. Arrange the lounge furniture in a conversational way if your goal is to create a lively atmosphere. If you are wanted to focus on a outdoor movie screen, observing a Ping-Pong or billiards game or lounging fireside consider a different furniture plan.

outdoor fireplaces

                                        Photo credits @johnbaranellodesign, Susan Gilmore, @suzannbozorgiinteriors

An element of fire outside extends enjoyment after the sun goes down. A fireplace with elaborate detailing feels more like an indoor space and a fire pit will feel more casual and might create a marshmallow roasting tradition.

Outdoor ceilings

                            Photo credit @cafedesignblog @teknikal_home unknown    @arkitekenstradgard

Just because you are outside doesn’t mean you can’t create the feeling of a ceiling. These inspiration images show how doing something as simple as stringing party lights and as permanent as building a pergola can create an outdoor ceiling feeling.

Water Features

                        Photo credit @sousasgardens @pond_koi_turtle_ @poppy_ornamen_taman_ @shawnacoronado @extravagant.homes

In designing any space, you should consider how you are engaging all five senses. For sound you could just install an outdoor stereo but for the ultimate in Zen relaxation, we recommend a water feature.

 

Outdoor lighting
                                                Photo credit @wdarch_inc @louispoulsen @apletonlighting @imaginelightingco

Lighting the outside space can create emotion, draw you to certain areas of your property and simply provide a secure feeling. When lighting outdoor space, we try to create a hierarchy of lighting. From simple path lighting, to lighting a room can create a sense of space.

privacy plantings and privacy fences

               Photo credit @dreams_and_houses @marylynnmabray @picturperfectlandscaping

Privacy is a must in most outdoor spaces and it doesn’t need to involve an unattractive privacy fence. From well-planned shrubbery to vines or truly beautiful fences the options are endless. We must caution however, if you are creating an enchanting outdoor space, your neighbors could become intrusive.

 

creating a sense of entry in outdoor spaces

                        Photo credit @joshchandlerdesigns @jsminterior @annlundquistdesign @gabriel_gibson_decoration

Just as your home has a front entry, you must think about creating a sense of entry into your outdoor rooms. From gates to stone markers there are many options. Narrowing the entry and then allowing the space to open up into a room is your best bet when designing outdoor rooms.

sclupture and topiaries as outdoor art

               Photo credit @salasnob @nicsauve @tradgardsrundorna

Layers are beautiful indoors and out. Don’t forget to invest in some artful touches to delight the soul in your outdoor rooms.

Need more help designing your outdoor space? Call us at 612-354-3271.