Since 1974, the average family size has gone down, while the average new home square footage has gone up. With families using more space, you may find that you are short on the space you’d like to have. Rather than undertaking an expensive addition or moving, you can create a beautiful outdoor area that extends your living space, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors whenever weather permits. Create a designated space in your yard, consider the type of space you would like to enjoy, and then design the perfect ambiance for your backyard oasis.

Designate Your Space

The first step in designing your backyard living space is to create a designated space. A concrete or paver patio will define the area, creating a border between garden space and living space. A cover of some kind can also help to delineate the space. A pergola or retractable awnings from your back windows can provide shade when the sun is high, or even from light summer rains. You can use planting beds in your garden, or low hedges, to separate your natural space from your living space while still allowing you garden to be enjoyed. Once you have the space you will use, you can furnish it.

Choose the Right Furniture

If you want to extend your living room, you will need sofas and chairs to lounge on.  Your personal style will dictate whether you choose sleek, wooden furniture, all-weather wicker-look pieces, or the more traditional wrought iron with colorful cushions. If an outdoor dining space is what you’re planning for, you’ll want to choose an outdoor dining table with enough seating for entertaining. You can choose a more traditional style with extension capabilities, or buy an unfinished picnic table you can paint or stain to match your taste and décor. An outdoor kitchen can be complemented by a small seating area surrounding a low table or even bar seating at a counter. Whatever type of “room” you choose, your next step will be the finishing touches that make the space feel like yours.

Create Ambiance

Once you have your space created and furnished, it’s time for the final touches that make it feel complete. String lights swagged across the space can add functional lighting as well as whimsy. Potted plants can help further delineate the space as well as adding color. If you need additional shade, colorful umbrellas can do the trick, either alone or placed within a table. Candles, tiki torches, and lanterns can take your space from day to night, creating a magical wonderland come twilight. If you are at a loss for how to finish off your space, you can get ideas from Pinterest, or even consulting a professional designer.

Not only will your additional outdoor space add value to your home, you will have additional square footage in which to enjoy your yard when the weather is nice. With the right planning, your outdoor space can accommodate multiple functions. If your house is smaller, an outdoor space may be the answer to an open space in which to entertain, or just a place to relax and take in nature.