Add an Outdoor Room to Your Living Space
Ever notice how when people see a beautiful garden they want to stop, breathe in the fragrance, admire the vivid colors and linger a while? The health benefits of spending time outdoors have been proven over and over. You can make the beauty of nature a part of your home by turning a section of your lawn or garden into an “outdoor room.”
These four tips will help turn your room into an oasis that is well-suited to your family’s needs and is used frequently.
TIP #1: Plan with purpose.
Think about how you would like to use your outdoor room and plan accordingly. Want a place for your children and pets to play? Choose more rugged, sturdy plants and place your flowerbeds away from tempting play locations. Tall or fluffy grasses and shrubs can withstand errant soccer balls better than tall slender tulips and lilies will. Kid-friendly designs avoid anything with thorns and plants that develop ornamental berries or pods that could end up in little mouths.
TIP #2: Get in the frame.
Create a barrier between your outdoor rom and the rest of the world. Frame an area of your lawn with shrubs, trees, flowers or ornamental grasses then build in privacy by planting larger bushes around the perimeter of your outdoor room. Interesting, recycled frames with wire or lattice interiors make excellent “walls” when affixed to the side of a rectangular planter and used for climbing vines like morning glories, clematis, honeysuckle, ivies and even colorful Scarlet Runner beans. Walls, fences, and lattice add structural elements that are especially useful in late autumn when tress are bare because of fallen leaves. Nonetheless, even in winter when it might be too chilly to use the room and plants may not be in bloom, there is still something comforting about viewing a well-designed outdoor room from an indoor window.
TIP# 3: Go for extra credit.
You can add charm to your outdoor room by including whimsical garden accessories like birdbaths, ornamental spires, rustic wood or metal gates, ceramic garden animals and/or colorful pots for container-grown plants. Craigslist has a “Materials” section where sellers frequently list items that, with a bit of imagination, can be repurposed to create unique frames. Facebook Marketplace is another great resource for finding one man’s trash to turn into your treasure. Finally, add color and interest to your outdoor with annuals and flowering bulbs. This additional beauty is likely the most fun part, too.
TIP# 4: Keep it comfortable.
Optimize the comfort of your space by working with the elements you already have. Use an existing deck or patio, a garden bench or a gazebo to make your outdoor room a place of easy comfort. Add sturdy cushioned seating for relaxing and dining. Site your room to take advantage of shade provided by existing trees or create shade with a vine covered trellis. The space doesn’t need to be huge, just cozy. Then invite a friend over, pour some lemonade, sit back and relax. Enjoy the living space you created!