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Photo by: Salzano Custom Concrete

5 Design Tips for Planning an Outdoor Room

Get started with these 5 useful tips to help you design an outdoor room.

  1. Determine the size and location of your outdoor space. Let natural elements be your guide. Position your patio in an area where it will not be affected too much by prevailing winds and sun orientation. View your location as a series of outdoor zones. Determine what activities you'll want to take place in these zones—such as cooking, conversation, children's games, etc. Design your zones with enough space for the activities to take place with good traffic flow.

  2. Choose a design scheme that complements your home. Look closely at your home's architectural style and choose a theme to integrate with it. You'll want your patio to harmonize with your home rather than compete with it. The goal is to have your patio be an extension of your home.

  3. Provide shelter and secluded retreats. Not all patios have to be covered with a huge structure. But you will want to plan for shelter from the elements. Attached structures to the home are obviously more secure and usually more comfortable. But you can create a just as appealing atmosphere with strategically placed arbors, umbrellas, gazebos, and pergolas. Sitting under these types of structures provides a peaceful, secluded area.

  4. Plan for convenience. Keep food prep and cooking areas close to the main house. It makes cooking and preparing food much easier since you'll often be going back and forth inside and out of the house. Think about the traffic patterns to and from the grill and the house. You won't want to be carrying dinner past your guests and worrying about tripping over anyone or any pieces of furniture.

  5. Design with a view. Whether or not your property overlooks a magnificent canyon or looks up at a stunning mountain range, you will still want to create a “view” in your patio area. Orient your seating to look at a beautiful and fragrant flower bed. Or place a water fountain within earshot and as a focal point. You can also place arbors and pergolas in view to create unique focal points.