Daydreaming of outdoor living spaces

Outdoor living spaces extend the living area of most homes in the summer and year round in the warmer climates. Here in Florida the backyard becomes the gathering place for the whole family almost year round. From outdoor living rooms to outdoor kitchens, it’s almost like having an entire second outdoor home.  Creating the ideal outdoor living space is a matter of knowing what functions your family needs and building around them.

outdoor living room

via flickr

The best-designed outdoor living spaces incorporate something for every member of the family. Furnishings have gone beyond the metal fold out lawn chair to smartly styled woven seating with gorgeous cushions. The outdoor kitchen is more than just the grill standing in the yard. Complete kitchens with storage, running water and electricity are becoming much more common even in the smallest of spaces.  Lighting is more than just the dinky overhead dome light in the porch ceiling, it’s now found in stylish fixtures designed to face the elements year in and year out.

My favorite outdoor living spaces incorporate a fireplace, a wading pool or spa with ample areas to sit and converse. The fireplace is perfect for chilly nights while the pool provides relief and entertainment in the warmer months. Let’s admit it, every space needs those well appointed seating areas too.

outdoor seating

via BHG

As we embark on another summer, I am planning to overhaul our small but intimate outdoor living space. We have a small slab of concrete that is accessible from our master bedroom and runs the width of the house with sliders opening to the kitchen area. Despite being barely big enough to fit a table and chairs, it is still feasible to have a relaxing space for entertaining, even if it’s just the two of us. Working with a limited budget, I am constrained in the outdoor living features I’d like to add, but alas a girl can dream.

via HGTV

via HGTV

The dream is to build the outdoor kitchen and install the pool, two features that require a sizable budget. Until money is no object, I will settle for small changes that may or may not be affordable in the bubblegum budget.

OB-outdoor space mood board

I would love to add a loveseat sectional combo that allows us to lounge more easily just off our bedroom.  A great outdoor area rug would make the concrete less cold and more welcoming. The lanai needs outdoor curtains to keep the sun at bay in the morning and mosquito netting to deter the skeeters at night.  Obsessed with lighting fixtures, I would love to find a fabulous pendent to add a bit of style to an already run of the mill outdoor living space.

So, in lieu of the complete overhaul to include the pool, outdoor kitchen and expanded seating area, I will be cleaning the space and reworking it as best as possible, using mostly what I have at my disposal.

Check back next week for the before and after……..