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Top ways to get the most out of your outdoor living space

27th Apr '17 • By Exterior Expressions

Here are a few of the best ways to make your outdoor space pop.

Outdoor Living Spaces

There are tons of ways to make the most out of any outdoor living space, and many of those methods involve a lot of the same planning and organization required to create a lovely interior space. Outdoor spaces have a lot of potential, especially if they are realized in a comprehensive and meticulous fashion.

Focal Points

As with interior decorating and arranging, the outcome should include several or possibly just a single focal point around which everything else flows. These focal points can be just about anything that typically acts as a centerpiece of a outdoor area, like a fire pit, a water features, a picnic table, or an outdoor games tables. It is possible to create multiple focal points with enough space and a large enough budget, but those points should be spread out to avoid the problem of clutter.

Focal Point

Establish Flow

Once you've decided on your focal points, it's important to maintain a sense of organization that instills natural flow in the aesthetic. Make sure to clearly define pathways between pieces of furniture by including stepping stones or other physical paths. If there are multiple focal points, try to align them such that one point doesn't block or impede flow to the next point. For an optimal outdoor space, your guests must be able to move about just as easily as they would in your living room.

Outdoor Living Organisation

Visual Appeal

Boosting the visual appeal of your outdoor space is another method of increasing the livability of the area. This can easily be accomplished by standing back from the space and taking a comprehensive assessment of the area. If the space gives a dull impression due to a lack of color, which is all too common in outdoor spaces, try incorporating some new paint or possibly some potted plants to break up the flatter colors. If the space appears much too cluttered, try spreading the elements a bit, or removing some altogether. The visual appeal of any space is just as important as the actual utility and comfort it can provide.

Visual Appeal

Seating Options

One of the biggest complaints about outdoor living spaces is a lack of seating options. This can easily be rectified in a number of ways, such as incorporating different styles of outdoor furniture or by simply adding to an existing collection of options. Outdoor furniture options aren't limited to wood, either. There are a number of comfortable outdoor sofas and love seats that are designed to weather the great outdoors. Benches, rocking chairs, and even porch swings can add a flare of creativity and improve seating all at once.

Outdoor Seating

Affordable Upgrades

Some of the easiest ways to boost the overall quality of an outdoor living space is to make smaller, highly affordable additions at a slow, steady pace. This will help maintain a budget while also working to improve the outdoor space with things like stand umbrellas, throw pillows, runners, outdoor rugs, and anything else that can work to accent an existing style of decor. Check out shopping venues like flea markets and yard sales for killer deals on things you won't find anywhere else, which can also provide a rustic and individualistic style to the space. Pots and planters, smaller tabletop water features, bird feeders, accent lighting, and so much more is available to maximize the appeal and comfort in your outdoor living area.

Affordable Upgrades

Accentuating Features

Many smaller upgrades are excellent, but their relatively cheap cost can create a situation where you might be tempted to over-accentuate the area, creating a place with tons of clutter. The goal is to find the elements that aren't necessary, yet boost the overall quality to a new level without instilling a sense that too much is going on. This can be accomplished by paying attention to colors, textures, and features in the space, and then by simply working to add secondary elements that bring those primary elements into greater focus. For instance, a fire pit might remain the primary focal point, but you can increase the comfort and appeal of that focal point by adding comfortable seating accented with colorful patterns that blend well with the fire pit motif.

Accentuating Features

Making your outdoor space something that you can be proud of isn't a difficult task, but it requires patience, a keen eye for creativity and flow, and the desire improve the quality of your space. There are thousands of photos of example outdoor spaces online that can be used for inspiration, and following these tips will give you a great start. 

Ryan Bridges is a contributing writer and media specialist for Exterior Expressions. He regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and landscape blogs, based around the transitional challenges which comes with outdoor living space and landscaping.

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