Outdoor living spaces are a nice hybrid between enjoying the comfort of the indoors and the outdoors simultaneously. Creating the right space requires thorough planning of major features so the space is comfortable and functional.
Start With The Layout
The most important part of your outdoor living space will be the layout, since it will be difficult to change major features later. Start by observing the space at different times of day and, if possible, over the course of different seasons. You will want to see which parts of the space receive direct sunlight at different times during the day, especially if the area will not be part of a current deck or patio. Having sitting areas that receive little direct sunlight, especially during the afternoon, will make it easier to keep cool.
You will also want to minimize direct sunlight in areas designated for cooking so it will be more comfortable to use appliances during the warmer months. Try reserving areas that receive the most direct sunlight for plants and shrubs that flourish with this amount of sun exposure. Another consideration with the layout will be water, gas, and electricity access. It is less costly to have these features near the house so you don't have to extend utility lines to your new space.
Consider The General Structure
You will need to consider different materials and the configuration for your outdoor living space. You likely want the flooring material to have natural elements that stand the test of time. Brick, stone, and wood are frequent choices for the outdoors. These materials also wear well, so they will look better over time. Some traditional flooring materials, such as tile, can be used in an outdoor living space if the space is enclosed. Although this material is designed to be water resistant so it can be used in bathrooms and kitchens, it may not stand up to copious amounts of water when it rains.
The canopy or roof for the space will also be important because you need to consider multiple variables. Choosing typical building materials, such as wood, will keep the area more comfortable and prevent water from entering the space so you can continue to enjoy the area, even when it is raining or not always the ideal temperature. Additionally, you don't have to be so concerned about bird droppings and it is easier to keep insects at bay when the structure is more enclosed. The caveat to this is that you decrease the amount of natural daylight in the space. Retractable canopies are a good compromise between a permanent canopy or roof and an open outdoor area. As long as the weather is nice, you might opt to retract the canopy. At meal times, you can quickly cover the area to avoid the annoyance of birds circling to grab food.
Think About Lighting And Temperature
The lighting and temperature of the space can make the area more enjoyable and allow it to be useful at various times of day. You will need to determine the best approach to lighting the area when there is little sunshine or you want to use the area at night. The options available for outdoor lighting will likely depend on how protected the area is from rain or other electrical hazards. If your outdoor space is more enclosed, traditional light fixtures can be an option. For spaces with more chance of experiencing rain, outdoor string lights and torches can work well.
These types of outdoor lighting are good for soft light, so you can continue to enjoy the ambiance of being outdoors at night but continue to see clearly. If there is ever a situation where more light is needed, having portable outdoor lights on hand can help compensate for low-light conditions. When the space is more enclosed, it is also easier to add features to control temperature. For example, a portable air conditioner may be enough to keep smaller, enclosed places comfortable. You might also want to install a ceiling fan to help circulate air, even on days when it is not especially hot.
Creating an outdoor living space is one way to enjoy the outdoors but continue to have a controlled and comfortable environment. Being meticulous about the overall design will help you create a space that is comfortable for many years to come. For additional advice, contact a company like Bear Claw Landscaping, Inc.