Dreaming about the ultimate outdoor living room? Have you already started to sketch out designs on napkins or even graph paper? The planning stage can be a lot of fun, especially as you’re collecting inspiration on Pinterest or seeing what your friends and neighbors have done in their yards.
But to get the most out of your space, you’ll want to avoid some not-so-obvious design flaws that can cause frustrations and steal a little of the joy of having an outdoor gathering spot.
Below are three mistakes to avoid when designing your outdoor living room:
1.) Not paying attention to sun and shade issues
A completely open space may look beautiful on Pinterest, but remember that a sunny patio might get too intense to enjoy during July afternoons. Or perhaps you want to include landscaped flowerbeds or large urns for decorative tropical plants, but your backyard has a northern exposure or too much shade for anything to grow.
Plan carefully ahead of time so you won’t be caught by surprise and be disappointed. One Saturday while you’re home, make note of how much sunlight your yard gets at different times of the day.
If the sun is too intense, consider adding a pergola or some other form of shade. (If you want to get the most mileage out of your space, a solid-roof pergola can help you enjoy your outdoor living room even on rainy days!) If you still have a lot of shadow but want a garden element, research some of the many colorful shade-loving plants on the market.
2.) Choosing cheap materials that will deteriorate over time
It can be tempting to want to save some cash on building materials, but considering that your outdoor living room is an investment of your hard-earned money, you’ll want to protect that investment as long as you can.
Be sure that you choose a builder who uses high-quality materials that won’t succumb to the elements in just a few years. Solid, welded frames with quality stone will stand up better over time (and can even fare better during earthquakes!).
Our builders at Unlimited Outdoor Kitchen apply rust-proof coatings to metal appliances and use mold-resistant cement board. Steps like these mean you can spend your time actually living in your outdoor living area rather than struggling to maintain it.
3.) Being unrealistic about what you’ll actually enjoy
It can be tempting to add trendy features just because others have them, without considering whether it’s something you really want long-term.
The idea of a wood fireplace may seem romantic, but do you actually get satisfaction out of building and tending a fire? If that sounds frustrating, go with a gas fireplace instead. You’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of it that way.
Or maybe you’re planning to install an oversized grill and lots of serving space as though you’re going to be hosting huge parties—but when it comes down to it, you prefer intimate gatherings of just a few people.
Think about the things that are most likely to suit your current tastes and habits, and design around those. Don’t worry about keeping up with the Joneses—this is your outdoor living room, so make it truly yours!
Of course, an experienced designer can help you avoid these mistakes and more. Whether you have your perfect outdoor living room already figured out or you’re just starting the brainstorming process, the experts at Unlimited Outdoor Kitchen will help you design a space that is completely you. Give us a call at (888) 747-4554 or click the banner below to request a free estimate.
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