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9 Tips For Creating The Perfect Outdoor Lounge Space

Create a resort-style oasis in your own backyard

A luxurious outdoor space for entertaining can be a wonderful addition to your home, not just for its practicality and beauty, but also for making you feel relaxed and happy when you need it most. Here's some expert advice on how to create a stunning outdoor space that you'll love spending time in.

1.- Consider the features you need

Before starting any project, it’s important to understand what you want from your outdoor space. Do you want an area for entertaining guests? A spot for relaxing? A space to decompress from work? Knowing what you want from your outdoor space will help you determine how much money and time you want to invest in it. The best outdoor living spaces are those that are personalized to fit the needs of their owners.

The key is to go for a design that will make everyone feel comfortable in their own way. If you're going to be hosting parties, the dining table should be a bit longer than usual with enough room for guests to pull up extra chairs. If your family spends a lot of time outside during the summer, create an area nearby that's conducive for lounging or grilling out.

2.- Get inspired by your home

One of the best ways to make your outdoor space feel like an extension of your indoor living area is to find furniture that matches what you already have inside. For example, if you have a traditional style home, go with rattan furniture that has a more traditional look. If you have modern furniture inside, consider buying modern-looking outdoor chairs and tables in a variety of colors and finishes. This will create a cohesive look throughout your home that will make it feel like one big space instead of two separate rooms.

When you're planning an outdoor space, remember there are no hard-and-fast rules. Use this opportunity to reflect your own personal style and taste. Your outdoor space should be eclectic in its selections, mixing materials, shapes, and formats. These are spaces where you can express creativity and originality!

3.- Invest in high-quality furniture

It's easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of your outdoor furniture, but it's more important that it be durable. The materials you choose for your outdoor furniture will affect its style, durability, and cost. Knowing the differences between these choices will help you make an informed decision.

  • Aluminum furniture is lightweight, resistant to corrosion, and available in various colors. The material is perfect for outdoor use because of its weather resistance properties.

  • Iron furniture is classic and can last for decades with proper care and maintenance. However, it’s heavy, difficult to move, and prone to rusting.

  • Resin is a synthetic plastic that’s used to make plastic furniture. Because resin is weather-resistant, it makes a good choice for outdoor furniture.

  • Wicker is a natural material made from the bark of a plant. It’s weather resistant and can withstand cold temperatures without cracking or splitting like wood.

  • Rattan is solid timber vine (different from a material like bamboo, which is hollow), native to tropical forests. The furniture is lightweight, resistant to corrosion, and available in a wide range of colors. Rattan is also easy to clean.

  • Wood is a popular choice for outdoor furniture, like cedar, teak, and mahogany. Wood has the benefit of being naturally beautiful and available in a variety of colors.

  • Stone is a very durable material, as it can withstand harsh weather and extreme temperatures. It also doesn't rust, so you won't have to worry about staining or flaking paint. Unfortunately, stone is heavy and difficult to move.

Because it's exposed to the elements, outdoor furniture requires special attention. Aluminum, iron, and resin are popular choices for patio sets because they're lightweight and easy to clean. Wicker, rattan, and wood are more expensive but also more durable than aluminum or iron chairs. Stone tables can be heavy but look stunning when paired with matching chairs or benches.

While it may tempt you to save a few bucks on your outdoor living space, buying low-quality furniture can lead to constant repairs and replacements, which will eventually add up. Instead of going cheap, invest in some pieces that are made of weather-resistant materials (such as teak or cedar) and are comfortable to sit on so they'll last for years to come!

PRO TIP: Consider getting covers for items such as chaise lounges and dining sets. These items can be difficult to store, so their covers give them added protection when not in use.

4.- Mix and match your furnishings for a luxurious look

Stop right there. Don't do it.

Don't succumb to the temptation of buying a whole new "outdoor furniture set" with a matching table, chairs, and chaise lounge. It's tempting to think that buying an all-in-one deal will save you money and guarantee that each piece of the collection matches, but more often than not, you won't get something that feels like you.

Instead, don't be afraid to mix and match pieces. Mixing styles of furniture out in the open gives your space a feeling of comfort and coziness that you don't get with uniform furniture pieces. Each individual piece of furniture has its own story—whether that's the period it was made in or where it came from—and if you combine them according to their origins rather than just their styles, you'll end up with a collection that feels more interesting than the pieces could have been on their own.

5.- Go green

One of the easiest ways to make your outdoor lounge space feel more comfortable and cozy is by adding some plants. Plants are great for creating a more relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, blocking out noise, adding to the natural look of the space, and reducing stress (especially if you choose plants that release oxygen at night).

Whether you're indoors or out, plants bring life and beauty to any space.

6.- Made in the shade

Outdoor living spaces are a great amenity to have, but they can be difficult to keep comfortable in the heat of a summer day. Shade and ventilation are your best friends when it comes to making sure you can enjoy your outdoor space year-round—without having to go inside every few minutes.

  • Umbrellas come in all shapes, sizes, and colors at most home stores. They're easy to adjust, convenient if you want to move them around, and relatively inexpensive.

  • Awnings work well for providing shade at an angle, so you can also tilt them if you want more or less sun on your face. They're also good at keeping the rain out.

  • Pergolas are perfect for creating an outdoor space that feels like an extension of your home. They come in all shapes and sizes, from simple lattice overhangs to elaborate structures with multiple levels.

  • A ceiling fan is an essential piece of any outdoor lounge. It cools you down on hot days and circulates air throughout the room. Best of all, fans discourage mosquitoes from joining you.

  • Using a misting system for your garden or patio setting can not only help you create an atmosphere that feels like paradise, but it can also help your guests stay cool and hydrated.

Whatever you have in mind, it's important to make sure that your guests are comfortable in all seasons.

7.- It’s all in the details

One of the simplest, yet most effective ways to create an inviting outdoor space is to pay attention to the details. This is a big part of what makes an area feel luxurious—not just the structure and furniture but also the little extras like artwork and pillows. Often, these finishing touches are the difference between a great space and a phenomenal one.

A water feature like a fountain or pond adds a relaxing ambiance and an element of nature to your landscape. The right throw blanket can add a pop of color and a comfortable place to rest your head while you're outside. A beautiful piece of artwork can catch your eye and make you pause for a moment before returning indoors after dinner. Cozy blankets can turn any outdoor space into your new favorite reading nook, while oversized pillows lend comfort to chairs or benches and make them much more inviting to sit on. And add a firepit so that your guests can warm their toes or roast marshmallows for s'mores.

When putting the finishing touches on your outdoor lounge, think about how you can make every inch of your space feel warm and cozy.

PRO TIP: Keep a set of stackable chairs on hand. They’re easy to store, durable and perfect for extra guests.

8.- Let there be light

One of the most important features of an outdoor living space is lighting, which can be as simple as string lights or as complex as a chandelier.

If you're planning a dinner party, consider installing lights that shine on your garden or plants. This can help highlight the beauty of your outdoor space and add drama. If you want to create coziness and intimacy, place candles throughout your patio area. For something more romantic, light lanterns near your dining table.

The goal is to create an inviting, beautiful space that you want to spend time in and enjoy with friends and family.

9.- Be entertaining

Food and drink are essential elements of any gathering, and having a place to prepare and serve them can make all the difference. Whether you're hosting a small dinner party or an elaborate soiree, there are some essentials that will make your guests feel comfortable and welcome.

  • When your budget and space allow, an outdoor kitchen is one of the quickest and easiest ways to turn an otherwise lackluster yard into a destination. It's basically a summertime extension of your kitchen, where you can prepare everything from a light lunch to a hearty dinner in the fresh air.

  • A high-quality barbecue grill is an essential part of any outdoor entertaining space. The right grill can add a touch of luxury to your backyard and help you enjoy the summer nights with your friends and family. There’s the classic gas option, but there’s also electric. The great thing about electric grills is that they're easy to use, portable, and don't require any complex setup or maintenance.

  • Adding an area for food prep is always a good idea—it'll give you more room in your kitchen, and will also allow you to offer salads, appetizers, and desserts that are best served cold or at room temperature.

  • A fully stocked bar makes entertaining easy. You can make any drink you want, and your guests don't have to go searching for the ingredients.

With the shift towards a greener, cleaner environment and an increased focus on health and wellness, there's never been a better time to enjoy your backyard. It takes a bit of time and effort to create the ultimate outdoor space, but it’s a great way to escape from everyday stress and truly enjoy the outdoors. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating an outdoor lounge space ‌you will enjoy for years to come!

Santiago Bernal is a Colombian-born designer whose work includes residences and hospitality interiors for clients throughout North and South America, the Caribbean Islands, and Europe. Santiago's design philosophy is to create beautiful spaces with classic elegance that harmonize with their surroundings and tread lightly on the planet. If you want to create a more comfortable and restful environment for your family, please contact us.


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