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5 Steps to create an outdoor living room

7 min read

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Do you want more living space?

Perhaps you’re sick of entertaining in your cramped dining area. Maybe you want to spend more time outside but want to keep an eye on your kids at the same time. Or you want to create an outdoor sanctuary where you can make the most of lazy Sunday afternoons.

An outdoor living room may be the perfect solution. You can create an outdoor room no matter how big or small your backyard is. It’s a common misconception that if you have a small outdoor space, you’re limited to what you can achieve. We’re here to debunk this way of thinking.

For many living in smaller homes or townhouses, it can feel like an ultimatum having to choose between a backyard or more living space – we say why not have both!

Outdoor living areas are a great way to expand your living space without having to renovate. They also have a multitude of benefits. For instance, they’ve been shown to improve your overall wellbeing. You’re more likely to spend time outside, which increases your vitamin D and reduces stress. You’re also increasing your home’s value. After all, outdoor rooms are a stylish addition to your home and create more living space. This is exactly what buyers are after!

So, what exactly is involved in creating an outdoor room? Let’s discuss…

Josh & Caylie’s story (As seen on Network 10’s The Living Room)

Josh and Caylie live in New South Wales. When we, together with the team at The Living Room, transformed their outdoor living space, they were about to bring their baby boy home. They wanted to develop a space that would act as a sanctuary; an outdoor room was the perfect solution.

STEP 1: Consider your space

Firstly, consider the space you have available. You need to have a good idea about how big or small your space is. You also need to consider the purpose of your space. Are you a big entertainer or do you want to use it as a private sanctuary? This will help you decide what base elements you’ll need to achieve your objective.

For Josh and Caylie, they had limited space to work with. Their backyard was situated between their main house and their granny flat, which meant that the usable space available was relatively small.

STEP 2: Flooring

Next, think of the basic elements that will make up the space. Whatever you use the space for, level flooring is a must. We recommend Timber Decking as this is suitable for sloped or flat blocks. It also provides a sturdy surface as a base and is minimal maintenance, which suits various lifestyles and life stages.

We used composite decking for Josh and Caylie’s home, as it requires no sanding or oiling, making it a great option for families like theirs with small children. Composite decking is also a safe option—it’s completely splinter-free and slip resistant, so the new parents can have peace of mind as their baby learns to crawl and walk. Aesthetically, composite decking is also a great option.

STEP 3: Overhead structure

It’s important to install a permanent overhead structure to ensure your space looks and feels like an outdoor living room. This will provide you with protection from the weather and keep the space feeling secluded. At Australian Outdoor Living, we offer a range of pergola options.

We wanted Josh and Caylie to be able to utilise their outdoor living room year-round, so a ribbed roof pergola was chosen and installed as the overhead structure. Completely insulated, it will make the space feel more breathable all year round, keeping it warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

STEP 4: Walls

Closing off the space will ensure that you can use the room all year round—rain, hail, or shine. Outdoor Blinds are recommended, as you can wind them up and down as needed. This option allows you to cater for the weather, no matter the season. For example, in winter you can keep the blinds down while you’re entertaining. Or, in summer, you may decide to keep them at the halfway point to ensure sun rays come through but you aren’t affected by intense sun glare.

SmartTrack Blinds were chosen for Josh and Caylie to close off the area and provide extra protection, allowing the family to use the living area all year round. SmartTrack Blinds are the ultimate smart addition to any outdoor living area, as they are compatible with smart home devices and can be activated with voice commands. This is especially handy when you have small children, as you won’t need to move from your seat to manually wind up and down the blinds!

The fabric chosen for the blinds was ‘Bella Vista’ in the shade ‘Stone.’ This fabric is a great choice for families, as it keeps a level of visibility. This means that the parents can watch their child play on their new Artificial Lawn from the comfort of their own deck.

STEP 5: Existing themes

You also need to consider any existing colour schemes that are present in your home. Your exterior should always be an extension of the inside of your home. Developing an entirely new colour scheme that doesn’t flow from the inside, out may leave your space feeling disjointed and jarring.

Josh and Caylie had a pre-existing palette of neutral tones to consider when developing their backyard, including white, cream and grey. The theme Modern Coastal was chosen for their backyard space, to continue to take advantage of the colours of nature. This includes oak woods, neutrals, and blue and green hues.

Are you thinking about creating an outdoor room? We can help! Book in your free personalized design consultation to kick start your dream outdoor room project.

Australian Outdoor Living is passionate about helping people love their life outdoors. We offer a range of products, including:

Start your journey towards your dream backyard by filling out the free measure and quote form at the top of this article. A member of our dedicated sales team will be in touch.

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