Are you looking to get more out of your outdoor spaces? Dreaming of days spent lounging al fresco with friends and family? You're far from alone.
"The research shows the most loved areas of the home combine relaxation, socialization and functionality," says Stephen Schroeter, Napoleon Products senior vice president of Sales and Marketing. "Outdoor spaces provide a great opportunity to accommodate all three, yet they are still vastly underutilized by most homeowners."
Following are Schroeter's top tips for creating the outdoor oasis of one's dreams:
Add an Outdoor Kitchen
– Outdoor kitchens are growing in popularity, and for good reason. Not only do they meet a basic need, but they do so in a fun, engaging atmosphere. No one wants to be stuck inside preparing a meal when the party is out under the sun—or stars. The showpiece of every great outdoor kitchen is a quality, professional grill, which can be freestanding or built-in to save on space. Other culinary considerations include outdoor refrigerators or beer dispensers to keep beverages cold and flowing freely, pizza ovens, and sinks for easy clean-up.
Establish a Gathering Place
– One of the most important features of an outdoor space is an area for socialization. A central location with a variety of seating options creates a welcoming atmosphere. Adding the element of fire to a space sparks emotion, provides a focal point, and enables the space to be used later into the season. Consider a built-in fireplace or a fire pit that can be moved to different locations depending on the situation.
Create Privacy, Divided Zones
– Escape the hustle and bustle while making a space feel more intimate with the use of barriers like large plants or trees, a pergola, or privacy panels. Designing distinct spaces with divided zones helps create the feel of a secluded getaway and gives each area purpose.
Design for All the Senses
– The best spaces are those that delight all the senses. In addition to designing a comfortable, beautiful space, consider adding outdoor speakers for music that sets the mood, or a water feature that eliminates street noise. Relax and enjoy the delicious smell of grilling or the experience of roasting marshmallows over an open flame. Consider adding fragrant bushes to fill the night with a sweet scent. Get creative.
– Small touches can go a long way. Homeowners can personalize a space with items that define their style and personality or focus on a fun theme. Don't be afraid to add bold pops of color—an outdoor living area is a great place to explore a more adventurous design than might be considered inside the home.
Published with permission from RISMedia.