Maximizing your outdoor living space at your beach home or vacation rental is well worth your time and effort. If you live at the beach or you own a vacation rental at the beach, then you already know that a lot of time is spent immersing oneself in the gorgeous coastal ambience and reveling in the beauty of the natural elements.
Optimize the outdoor experience for you and your guests by making the most of the outdoor living space you have to work with. Incorporate these ideas for the best outdoor living space possible and then get out there and enjoy it!
Establish high traffic areas.
Maybe you're starting fresh or maybe you're rearranging your outdoor living space to be the best it can be. Either way, you want to make sure to include walkable areas that allow for easy access in, out and around that space. Don't leave it to chance! Purposely create paths and walkways that make it easy to maneuver and allow room to come and go without being too crowded or haphazard. Your goal is to have clearly outlined high traffic areas. Depending on the size of your outdoor space, this can be achieved by using area rugs, grouping furniture in ways that flow (like having a seating area in one space and a dining area in another), and strategically placing other outdoor features and accents in order to create cohesion, fluidity and organization of the space, just as you would in any indoor room of your home.
Have comfortable seating.
This may be common sense, but it's worth noting. Having seating that is comfortable is crucial if you're going to be spending a good amount of time outdoors. Having a variety of seating is important, too. Everyone is a little different, so what you find comfortable might not be so to someone else. Try including a good mix of differing options like chairs, kid-sized seating like stools or benches, and a sofa or love seat where possible. Don't try to cram too much into your space, but be mindful of having several comfy options for kicking back, relaxing and enjoying the view. Add in some throw pillows to soften up your seating and have some throw blankets easily accessible to give your guests more customizable ways to get cozy.
Create a focal point.
The best outdoor living spaces are inviting and encourage people to gather round and share in the moment. There should be a main focal point in the space that draws attention and creates the anchor of your space. Whether it's an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, a table, a seating area, a gardenscape, water feature or piece of art, you want to have a centralized point of focus from where everything else flows. The remaining outdoor furnishings and accents should work together to support and complement the focal point.
If you're at the beach, the focal point is pretty obvious. Make the most of your space, whether it's an outdoor deck our extended outdoor area, and focus your sights on the oceanfront beach beauty. Make it easy to gaze upon the sand, sea and sky whenever possible.
Make affordable updates.
You can easily and affordablly update your outside living area by choosing less costly ways to make upgrades. Trade out or simply add throw pillows in the colors or patterns you desire. Try new umbrella shades and runner carpets to add color and give a fresh look without breaking the bank or going beyond your current budget. Slipcovers are quick and easy ways to make a change to your furniture without having to buy a totally new set. Scour the flea markets and local sales for low-cost ways to add design elements to your space. Whether you're looking for added color, texture or design, there are plenty of ways to do it with the smallest of details. From pots and planters to statues and tabletop fountains, keep an eye out for the little things that add up to big appeal. Sometimes the simple addition and placement of container flowers and plants can give a totally fresh look to your space.
Boost visual appeal.
Stand back and give your outdoor space a once over. What impression does it give you? Is it warm and inviting? Comfy and cozy? Have you brought some of the inside to the outside? Does it need some color? Some texture? Does it look clean or cluttered? Are there things that need to be added or things that need to be taken away? As you're asking these questions and assessing the area, consider what you could do to boost the overall visual appeal.
If you're in search of inspiration and ideas, go ahead page through some design magazines, lose a few hours on Pinterest, or scroll through sites like HGTV.com or BHG.com. You can also find more tips on how to maximize your outdoor living space from Better Homes and Gardens here. Get inspired and then get busy!
What do you do to make your outdoor living space comfortable, functional and inviting? We want to know!