When consulting with your clients about their outdoor space, it’s always a good idea to remind them that this space is an extension of their indoor living area. The two should complement each other for a seamless feel as one moves from inside the home to the outside entertainment space.
Just as important, says Jamie Durie, HGTV’s outdoor living space guru and one of the most sought after landscape designers, is “for people to feel comfortable in a space” [and to achieve this “it has to have a sense of enclosure, even if it’s just suggestive, such as the arching canopy of a beautiful big tree, a sunken area to nestle seating into or a wall of screening plants.” The design, furnishing and lighting, and cook-area tips and resources we’ve short-listed here will inspire ideas your customer’s will love.
Eclectic Design: Understand your homeowner’s tastes, style and how they will use their outdoor space. The outdoor seating area should reflect natural surroundings as well. This can be achieved through use of reconstructed stone for tables and accent pieces. Incorporate a variety of patterns textures and shapes to add visual appeal. Always consider the home owner’s tastes and the natural terrain when selecting furnishings and materials.
Soft, Upholstered Seating: Seating at the patio, deck or three season porch should offer the same comfort as can be found indoors. Whether your clients will sip wine around a fire pit or engage in a lively banter over the last play in the game, you will want to recommend durable, upholstered furniture for the outdoors that are designed to withstand the elements as well as spills. Depending on space, the arrangement around a coffee table (if not a fire pit or hearth) can include sofa, chairs and sectionals.
Again, consider the home owners tastes and the natural terrain to create a natural, but unique arrangement. A few good options are all-weather wicker, teak, aluminum and furniture made from recycled plastics. Also remind customers to follow some basic care instructions for keeping outdoor furnishings looking their best.
Al fresco Cooking: If your customers are ready to upgrade from the standard grill, suggest hearths and stone ovens. Both offer remarkable ambiance and a unique way to cook baked goods, pizza and even meats. For the perfect touch, create an area nearby for potted herbs and other edibles such as heirloom tomatoes and peppers. Other options include garden boxes and “vertical garden walls” in which privacy fencing can be repurposed to grow your edibles.
Light up the Night: With light fading earlier in the fall, outdoor entertainment needs to include strategically placed lighting for both safety and to conveying an overall mood. Illuminate steps and steps and stairways with deck lighting on posts or a number of well-spaced ground-level lantern lights. Torches and string lights are ideal for landscaped areas around the main dining space. To keep bugs away, consider propane ad citronella gel fueled fire pits. Don’t forget to add seasonal ambiance with gourds, Indian corn, pumpkins, hay, scarcrows, and wheelbarrows all of which can be brightened with colorful fall flowers.
- Help Your Customers Envision their Outdoor Space
- Choosing Materials for the Patio
- Choosing Outdoor Furniture
- Frontgate: Luxury Outdoor Furnishings
- Arhaus Outdoor Living
- Vertical Garden Systems
- Brightest Trends in Outdoor Lighting from LoveYourLandscape.org
- Outdoor Fireplace ideas from Midwest Living