Building a deck, porch, three-season room, or patio can be the first step in creating the outdoor living space of your dreams. How you choose to furnish and accessorize your new space is what can take your dreams to the next level. Whether you’re in the midst of planning a new structure, or if you are staring at the blank slate of an already created space, we have some tips to help you make it attractive and functional.
Maximize Your Outdoor Seating
Seating is a key component of any well-designed outdoor area. When choosing furniture, look for pieces that can be used in multiple ways. You may want to use built-in or freestanding furniture, or opt for a combination of both.
If you are in the design phase of your project, there are a number of built-in seating options to consider. One popular choice—especially for decks and patios—is the addition of built-in benches along the perimeter of your space. These provide ample, permanent seating while also keeping the interior of the space open for other uses. Another option is to build a wide cascading staircase from decks and porches to the ground. This type of stairs can add visual flair to the space and double as overflow seating for guests, when needed.
If your outdoor area is already built and you are choosing new furniture for it, consider multi-functional furniture pieces. Ottomans and footrests can be used as extra seating or as side tables. Coffee tables can be used for dining and narrow console tables can be placed against a wall and used as a gardening homebase or for barbecuing.
Encourage Easy Traffic Flow
Traffic flow is important to keep in mind when arranging furniture. For ease of movement, you’ll want to plan four-foot-wide walkways to and from your home’s entrance and the entry points to the yard from your deck or porch. If you’re buying a dining table or deciding where to place it, ensure there are at least three feet of space around it for accessibility. For more ideas, bookmark this excellent furniture arranging resource, which comes complete with sketches of different layouts.
Create Zones of Activity
Think of your porch, deck, patio, or combination space like an open floor plan. Consider who will be using the space and how they may use it. Will you want spaces for lounging, cooking, or dining? Do you have young children or pets who will need a play area with a gate or other safety features? Using these details as a guide, you can create different zones for each of your desired activities. Ideally they can flex to accommodate different needs.
Plan for Comfort
There are a range of design elements that can increase the comfortability of different outdoor living spaces. Will you want a porch roof, pergola, or umbrellas to protect against rain or the hot sun? Do you need screens or windows to keep out bugs or cold air? Will fans, heaters, or outdoor fire elements help keep your space cozy and warm? Do you want ambient or direct lighting, or a combination of both? In addition to these structural features, what kinds of design accents will help create the vibe you want? Will you use cushions, pillows, area rugs, throws, or candles? How will this space coordinate with the rest of your home’s aesthetic?
If you want help planning the deck, porch, patio, or three-season room of your dreams, Archadeck of Raleigh-Durham can help. Call our team today at 919-973-1523 to request a design consultation. We look forward to working with you!