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From alfresco offices, through to gardens bars and cinema rooms, we are all getting increasingly creative when it comes to using our outdoor space as an extension of our homes. Here, we offer our top tips for creating an outdoor living room that can be enjoyed all year round.
1. Create a focal point
Most indoor living rooms have a central feature which the other pieces of elegant garden furniture are placed around. This might be a fireplace, a painting, or a feature wall. Replicating this in your garden is simple to do and can be very effective in creating the illusion of a cosy indoor space outdoors.
There are a host of ways to create a focal point in your outdoor living room. Living walls, walls covered by vegetation, are one of 2021’s biggest garden trends and create a dramatic point of focus in any outdoor space. There are plenty of plants that will thrive on living walls, including grasses, herbs and even fruit and vegetables.
For those looking for something more low maintenance, an outdoor fireplace or chiminea can also act as an effective focal point.
Small touches go a long way when revamping an outdoor space, and the addition of a few carefully selected soft furnishings and accessories can instantly transform an area from ‘garden’ to ‘outdoor living room’. From rugs, cushions, and candles, through to coffee tables and lamps, there is now a huge range of elegant outdoor furniture to choose from, all of which have been designed specifically to create an indoor feel whilst withstanding outdoor conditions.
It is also important to be mindful of the fabrics that you choose. Opting for outdoor furniture and accessories in an elegant, complementary colour pallet with varied textures will add an extra touch of style to the space.
3. Consider lighting
Good lighting is essential to allow you to enjoy your outdoor living space long into the evening. But the type of lighting you choose will have a big impact on the atmosphere you create. Incorporating soft lighting, such as large candles, and outdoor lanterns, will be effective in creating a relaxing feel for dinner parties and evening drinks.
It is also important to consider the routes between each zone in your garden. Lining pathways with festoon lighting or lamps is a great way to generate intrigue and guide your guests through the space.
4. Add entertainment
Adding activities for you and your guests to enjoy is a sure way to liven up your outdoor living room. Outdoor cinemas are continuing to rise in popularity and are easy to recreate at home. Simply add a projector, a speaker and hang up a plain white sheet for the perfect movie night in your garden. For extra ambience, add some fairy lights, comfortable seating, and plenty of cushions to relax on.
Garden bars are another fantastic way to add ‘wow factor’ to your outdoor living space and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. In fact, Google searches for ‘garden bar’ have almost doubled in the last 12 months. There are a range of high-quality bar structure available to buy online. simple add stools, lighting, and your favourite tipples.
Weatherproofing is crucial to ensure that you can enjoy your outdoor living room come rain or shine. Sails are stylish alternatives to traditional pergolas for providing shelter from showers, and double up as an effective shade from bright sunlight during warmer days.
Fire pits and bowls are becoming increasingly popular and are effective in keeping the chill out of the air whilst creating a warm and cosy atmosphere. However, there are a range of alternatives for those looking for something more unusual. For example, free-standing infrared lamp heaters can look incredibly stylish and are a more environmentally friendly option for heating your outdoor room than gas heaters or log burners.
If you’re planning on using your garden all-year-round, its also essential to opt for weatherproof furniture. Hard-wearing materials, like high-quality aluminium, can withstand all weather conditions, making them an ideal option for outdoor living rooms.
For more ideas on getting the most out of your garden, read our top tips for recreating this summer’s biggest garden trends.