Guest contributor, Hannah West of Modernize.com, gives six tips on designing the perfect outdoor living space for your Colorado home. Modernize is where you come to get inspired, see what’s possible, and connect with a professional who will make your dream home a reality.
Natural sunlight and gorgeous views bring the bliss of the great outdoors into your Colorado home. But you can also enhance exterior areas with your favorite indoor comforts and conveniences. Make the most of colorful Colorado sunrises and crisp mountain air by expanding your living space into the outdoors.
Add an Outdoor Kitchen
Forget an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Take it a few steps further with a backyard kitchen! If you and your family or friends do plenty of outdoor dining, then you probably do plenty of dashing back and forth between the kitchen and your exterior space. Don’t let the food get cold or let your friends have fun without you–just bring everything you need outside! Make sure to choose weatherproof appliances and cabinetry. If you’re on a budget, try a modular outdoor kitchen kit and include only the essentials, such as a grill, counter space, cabinets or drawers, and a refrigerator.
Mirror the Interior
If you’re a four-season outdoors enthusiast and want to create a livable atmosphere outside, design your exterior space based on the interior. Create an intimate retreat that can be accessed only by the master bedroom, and include details like a hanging lounger or an outdoor shower. Frame your private space with a fence, a wall, latticework, or even plants. In addition to your sitting area and kitchen space, throw in an easily accessible washroom for your guests or a covered pavilion where they can rest or hold private conversations. Include an entertainment area for playing games and watching TV, and maybe even a separate play area for the kids. Everyone you entertain will feel right at home in your outdoor living space.
Preserve a Down-to-Earth Vibe
If you still want the outdoors to feel like the outdoors rather than an extension of your home, use hardscaping and water features to accomplish a rugged, natural look. Instead of choosing the most convenient spot for a firepit, design a space for one on an area of your property that boasts the best view of the nature around you. When it comes to gardening, Colorado soil can be hard for many plants to get along with, so a rock garden is a great option for those lacking a green thumb.
Frame Your Outdoor Spaces
If an outdoor gathering space looks directly onto your intimate relaxing area, you probably won’t get much relaxing done. Separating your “rooms” is a vital part of designing a harmonious outdoor living space. Use trellises, pergolas, gates, walls, hedgerows, or even curtains to get some privacy as well as to create a flow and define each area’s purpose more fully.
Add Decorative Flair
You may want to establish continuity with your indoor and outdoor decorating choices. Or you could use your exterior space as an excuse to experiment with a new, exciting color scheme. Use colorful throws or hanging lanterns to add brightness to the space. Have fun with seasonal decorations, like bright plants in the spring and summer and cozy flannel blankets in the fall and winter.
Choose Pieces Meant for Outdoor Use
Even if those throw pillows are so in style or that grill is everything you’ve ever wanted, that doesn’t meant it is a good choice for your exterior living space. Make sure to invest in quality, weatherproof products that are also comfortable and/or functional. This may require a bit of research, especially if you’re looking for furniture and appliances you can use throughout every season.
For more design ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.
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Chris Kopf, Coldwell Banker Bighorn Realty