An outdoor room does not require a lot of space. It simply needs to seem like a special place. Here are eight ways to create that sensation:
- Different levels: A higher and lower area either in a deck or in the ground, defines two rooms. A different level on a deck, for instance, can separate a smaller more intimate area for a hot tub, away from the larger part of the deck used for group entertaining. Raised beds or terraces with walls also create separations between spaces.
- Shrubs set in patterns: Any shrubs or collection of tall perennials and grasses can create a wall and/or privacy between spaces. Sheared neatly trimmed linear hedges create a more formal feeling for a space. Lightly trimmed softer spreading hedges or simply plants in a row which are not sheared make a room feel more informal.
- Fencing materials: Solid fencing creates more privacy. Open fencing or short fencing, defines a space or room without completely enclosing it.
- Small structures: Benches, arbors and paths all can define a space. For instance, a path leading to a bench tucked into a flowerbed creates a small but private space. A simple arbor can define an entry to a whole new room.
- Large structures: A gazebo is an instant room in itself. Decks and patios can provide multiple spaces or rooms for cooking, entertaining, or relaxing. It is most often practical to keep structures, near or against the house. This makes it feel like an outdoor room of the house. On the other hand, separating defined spaces begins creating a whole new experience.
- Outdoor ceilings: pergolas or awnings provide a protected space to relax and sit for a while. A tree provides the same feeling.
- Corners: By creating corners in a path or around the side of the house, new rooms unfold. By adding a spot to linger you can suddenly add a new view to an existing room or create a whole new room.
- Color, fragrance, plant or plant composition as focal point, music, art: By adding some, or all, of these elements you can add to a room’s décor, furnish it, or possibly create a new portion to the room itself. These will add the unique or finishing touches to your room. Try not to overdo art or focal points. One piece of art might be wonderful but a row of them, (dwarves for instance) might send you straight to a children’s amusement park.