Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living Space

In today’s world, the backyard is for much more than kicking around a soccer ball or giving the kids a place to play — the backyard has become an extension of the home itself. From outdoor kitchens and dining rooms to living rooms that rival indoor environments, today’s outdoor rooms reflect personal tastes and interests.

“Both outdoor kitchens and outdoor living rooms are very popular, but outdoor living rooms come first” in terms of popularity, says Ryan Coyle, owner of the Indiana-based company Vive Exterior Design. “Living rooms are now a destination.”

Indeed, outdoor living rooms now include comfortable lounge chairs and sofas arranged around a cozy fire pit, or perhaps even gathered in front of a big-screen television. Sculptures and water features often add additional points of interest in addition to giving the space a calming element.

Coyle says one reason outdoor living rooms are so popular is because of the expense associated with outdoor kitchens, which may require gas line installation for components like outdoor pizza ovens, grills, and ranges as well as water for outdoor sinks. The advantage of an outdoor living room is you can make it as simple or as luxurious as you want.

A Good Foundation

Coyle suggests starting with the right paving material to make sure it will hold up over time. “Concrete is okay for an economical choice, but if you really want something that will last and hold up, then go with a concrete paver that comes with a lifetime transferable warranty against fading, cracking, chipping, and staining,” he says. “In the grand scheme of things, a few extra thousand dollars is well worth it in the long run, both for looks and maintenance.”

Consumers appear more than ready to invest in outdoor rooms, as reflected by the boost in sales of everything from umbrellas and patio heaters to outdoor tables and seating. According to Freedonia Group, sales of outdoor items are expected to grow 4 percent through the end of this year. Much of that growth is attributed to the extension of indoor-style décor designed for patios and decks.

“Furniture gains will stem from interest in motion pieces, such as swiveling chairs, and the purchase of higher-value deep seating with cushions that resemble those found on indoor chairs and sofas,” the Freedonia Group says.

Open Door Policy

Items like outdoor rugs, ottomans, cocktail tables, and side tables enhance the seamless transition from inside to an outside living space. Many of today’s outdoor furniture pieces look like they were designed for indoor use, adding a touch of sophistication to outdoor entertaining.

Throw pillows and lap blankets add to the home-like appeal of the space. According to the 2017 Market Trend Report produced by Wisconsin-based Donglin Furniture, pillows and cushions remain one of the top ways consumers add personality to their outdoor living spaces.

Mixing and matching styles, colors, and patterns add a touch of customization to an outdoor room, and unexpected combinations of materials can add an element of surprise. In fact, today’s materials are a long way from the black wrought iron or plastic furniture once associated with patio sets. Some of this year’s most popular materials and looks include the following:

  • Woven Furniture: Rattan and wicker are enjoying a bit of a comeback, but it’s not your grandmother’s woven furniture. Black woven pieces have a sophisticated feel, while a brightly colored woven chair or loveseat is a great complement to lighten up darker or heavier outdoor pieces.
  • Natural Woods: Just as interest in rattan has increased, so has the popularity of woods that add to the natural look of your yard. Teak is particularly popular.
  • Mid-Century Modern Looks: After enjoying renewed popularity inside the home, the mid-century modern look has moved outside for easy elegance. One reason for the appeal is that it blends well with other styles, thanks to simple silhouettes and clean lines.

Style That Fits

An outdoor room adds a fun, new element to entertaining, and you can even extend that enjoyment into cooler months with the addition of patio heaters or an outdoor fireplace. The options are completely up to you. Whether you have a sprawling, spacious backyard or must work with a much less generous amount of space, you can create a modern outdoor oasis that suits your budget and your taste.

When you’re ready to create your own outdoor room that fits your style, the professionals at CORT Furniture Rental are ready to help. Whether you want a contemporary or classic look, a setup with a simple bistro table, or a full outdoor living room, the sky is the limit when it comes to furnishing your new space right in your backyard.