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Outdoor Living and Pursuits

Recent studies of market trends have shown that the popular way to enjoy the outdoors is to let the inside of your home connect with the outside in such a way that you barely notice the change.

More and more, people are creating outdoor living rooms, areas where they can enjoy outdoor living and pursuits with the same comforts as their indoor living space has.

Indeed, homeowners are thinking of their outdoor living areas as an extension of and an addition to their house.

You can create as many separate outdoor areas as you need to encompass all of the activities that you and your friends and family prefer. Most people have never seen the potential in their own yard. It may seem strange at first to think of your grassy backyard as being an actual living space, but the more you consider it, the more plausible the idea gets to be.

A nice outside kitchen with a BBQ, counter space and sitting space.Outdoor living and pursuits have become so popular that it makes perfect sense to have “rooms” out of doors for relaxing, game playing, cooking, reading, and even sleeping. Possibly the only room that people do not normally create is a bathroom, although some do rig up a shower stall in close proximity to the swimming pool. You may be wondering just how you are supposed to divide your lawn into rooms. There are many different ways to do this, and they all depend upon your individual taste in design and decorating.

Many people use color to designate different rooms when they are decorating an actual house. The best way to individualize the different areas of your yard and garden that you are planning to use as living space is to use different kinds of plants and/or the usual lawn accessories to simulate the “rooms”. Think of these objects as the walls.

Used most commonly are hedges, fences, bamboo and lattice screens. Once you have the walls of your outdoor room in place, you'll need a surface for the “floor”. The grass that is already there will work beautifully, as will certain types of ground cover, mulch such as what you use in your flower beds, and also your patio or deck surface.

Finally, the “ceiling” of your outdoor living room could be made up of the limbs of shade-giving trees, a few lawn umbrellas, a pergola or arbor, or a canvas canopy roof. Some rooms can do perfectly well with no ceiling at all.

Nice patio with rattan furniture and view of the ocarnBefore you create your rooms to use in the time you spend outdoors, you need to decide just what activities you will want to go on in each individual room. If you are the proud owner of a swimming pool, you will want an outdoor living room that will complement the pool. Your “walls” need to keep prying eyes out of the pool area, your “floor” needs to be slip proof, but not so rough as to dissuade people from using the surface for sunbathing if they so desire. You really do not need a ceiling in this room, as most people who swim also want to get some sun.

An outdoor room for relaxing could feature a nice pergola design planted with colorful flowering vines on one end, and no plantings at all on the other end. The reason for this bareness is weather resistance. The “floor” of this retreat could be plain grass, clover, or perhaps creeping thyme for the smell alone.

A sheet of fiberglass cut to fit one half of the pergola will give you shelter from both sun and rain, if wanted. Leave both ends of the pergola open, and place a bubbling garden fountain at one of them. A comfortable bench or chair completes this picture. If you have children, you know that the your family sometimes caters to the kid's needs and wishes when it comes to outdoor activity. An outdoor living area for them is no exception.

Children need an area where they can run and play and feel free, so your decor should reflect that. Keep the floor of this room grass, and for the walls, a board fence would be practical, especially if playing ball or badminton is ever involved in the kid's activities.

Outdoor living and pursuits can be even more enjoyable when you use a variety of the accessories that are available for the yard and garden, such as patio heaters for those cool days and nights year round, solar lights so that the time spent outdoors can extend into the evening, and deck and patio furniture that is just as comfortable as your living room couch. Once you make the decision to use your yard and garden as an extension of your house, you will have many ideas of how to arrange and decorate the areas you create for comfort and fun.

For more information on outdoor living pursuits, please read these articles:

Brick Patio Design

Build a Deck Bench with Brackets


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