Outdoor Living Ideas Increase Square Footage

Outdoor living ideas are about transforming your yard into a getaway from the hectic pace of modern life, a safe place for children to play and a relaxing space to cook, dine and entertain. From the front entry to the back property line we will explore easy makeovers that convert uninteresting yards into outside ‘rooms’, expanding the square footage of livable space for your home. Curb appeal Let's start with curb appeal. Decorating the entry to reflect the style of your house makes a great first impression. It is important to coordinate paint colors with colorful plants that are aromatic and inviting to the touch. Making the front door a focal point with pots of flowers, updated lighting, attractive address numbers and a place to sit creates an inviting entry ‘room’.

Introduce indoor comforts with patio furniture. How about creating separate ‘rooms’ for cooking, dining and/or relaxing. There is a wide array of furniture available in different materials for these activities. To further enhance the feeling of livable space there are weather resistant lamps, ceiling fans, colorful cushioned furniture and carpets made from recycled plastic.

Open Air kitchens are another example of outdoor living ideas. These can be as simple as a portable grill, a table and an ice chest, or as grand as a full scale kitchen with a built-in grill and hot plate, wood burning oven, refrigerator, hot and cold water sink and food prep station. And then there are open air fire pits and fireplaces, a great place to socialize or roast marshmallows, hot dogs and s’mores.

Gardens are primarily about plants, the beauty and aesthetics of plants, plants in the ground and plants in containers. Besides plants, include at least some of the following design elements: Paths, a terraced are, seating, shelter, water, heat and light. In this section we will focus on garden projects, both big and small that can be completed in one, two or three week-ends.

No matter what size the yard, there are outdoor living ideas that will improve the quality of your life, no matter what the budget.