A well-designed landscape can include stunning plantings, beautifully terraced walls, garden spaces, sculptures, and more. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the details – and forget to enjoy the overall vision. Using landscaping to create one or several outdoor rooms will allow you to appreciate the scenery for hours on end while lending an entirely new functional element to your yard. Admire your landscape and take your most-loved indoor activities outside with an outdoor room.
Define Your Outdoor Room
Proper flooring delimits a space, directing on people where and how to use it. Hardscaping is key to any outdoor room because, unlike grass, it provides room-like definition. Have decking or concrete pavers installed as flooring to invite people to the specific area. Walkways grant accessibility from the main home and guide foot traffic toward the space. Seat wall borders are another fantastic way to establish an outdoor room while providing built-in seating and enhanced safety. If you’d like a little more privacy, consider tall-growing plantings or decorative screens to evoke a sense of seclusion.
Put a Ceiling on It
Just as your home requires a certain level of protection from the elements, so do outdoor rooms. Although you certainly wouldn’t put a conventional ceiling over an open-air space, it is important to incorporate adequate shelter from sun, rain, and wind. Set up an awning, pergola, or umbrella. Integrate feature walls or sun shades. If you’d like sun-protection without compromising a natural look, situate your outdoor room underneath mature plants and trees. Whichever you choose, simply covering the space will enable you to enjoy it for longer stretches of time.
Lighting for Longer Hours
Using landscaping to create an outdoor room is one thing; keeping it functional well after dark is another. Flawlessly assimilate lighting into your open-air space by building a lighting system right into the landscape. Embed task lighting under seat wall caps for a warming effect, or downlight from nearby shady trees to envelope your outdoor room in an ambient glow. Non-traditional options such as lanterns, candles, or string lights are a fun way to set the tone of and illuminate an area. Landscape lighting not only renders an outdoor room usable at all hours of the night, but keeps it safe year-round. And of course, outdoor lighting can provide definition to a specific space.
Set the Mood
Plantings, water features, and decorative art pieces all contribute to the ambiance of an outdoor room. Think about what kind of feeling you’d like to evoke and select plants accordingly. Choose trimmed boxwood for a more formal, private look, or let ligustrum hedges grow wildly for a whimsical effect. The shape, size, and color of pot plants, too, can lend warmth and brightness or help tone down an already vibrant space. Water features are another favorite landscaping tool used to create instant serenity and provide a constant soothing soundtrack. A tabletop fountain, waterfall, or adjacent pond are all fabulous additions to an outdoor room. Finally, statues, mosaics, and natural stone features can round out a space to make it truly unique.
With landscape design, it’s possible to shape, protect, and showcase al fresco living spaces for you and your family to enjoy. Make the most of your property by using landscaping to create the outdoor rooms you’ve always dreamed of.
Photo: A Landworx project.