Inside-Out: Creating a Great Outdoor Room with an Interior Sensibility

It’s that time of year when Canadians retreat to the great outdoors to enjoy everyday activities like cooking, eating, and entertaining. Nowadays many homeowners are demanding more comfort and convenience when connecting with nature, and that’s why “outdoor rooms” are growing in popularity. An outdoor room makes use of an exterior space such as a yard, deck, patio or balcony to extend the living area outside the home. Its purpose is to mix the luxury of indoor living with the fresh air, ambiance, and natural setting of the outdoors.

Whether you’re creating a new outdoor room or simply updating an existing space, you may want to try and mirror your home’s interior design, extending its comfort and aesthetic appeal to the outside. Think of the project as being two sides of the same door.  A consistent design theme allows for a harmonious transition between the interior and exterior of your home and can even make your living space appear bigger. Achieve this flow by using similar colour schemes, flooring types, area rugs, and mats.

Heat, cooking facilities, seating, and lighting are just some of the indoor comforts you might consider bringing to your outdoor room. Start with a hearth product such as a fireplace, firepit or chimney as your focal point, and position your seating and cooking areas accordingly. For those who love to cook there are a variety of options available ranging from all season stainless steel BBQs to complete outdoor kitchens with dual burner cook top grills, refrigerator, and expansive counter space for food preparation. Check with your local municipality to determine what products are safe and allowable for your specific set-up.

When it comes to furniture and accessories, think outside the box. Instead of the standard table, umbrella, and patio chairs, consider things like coffee tables, settees, and sofas with stylish, stain and mildew-resistant fabrics. Many manufacturers build furniture and recreational products specifically designed to be used both inside and out, such as outdoor speakers, game tables, and cocktail bars. For added privacy and sound absorption use large potted plants, such as pyramidal cedars, to act as natural walls.

At the end of the day, your outdoor room will be more than a deck or patio; it will be a cozy, comfortable place to retreat, relax, and have fun. You’ll never want to go inside again!