How to Envision & Plan Your Outdoor Room

Outdoor Room

Think it’s too cold to think about an outdoor room? Think again. Now that it’s winter and much of the vegetation is dormant, it’s actually the perfect time to envision and plan an outdoor space. It’s harder to visualize a blank canvas when your garden is going full tilt. So grab a pencil and pad, garden books or magazines and sit down with a hot cup of herbal tea to begin. It may also help to have photos of the area of your yard that you’ve chosen for your design. Come spring, you’ll be ahead of the game when your outdoor room bursts into color.
 
Choose Your Favorite Ideas for the Space
 
Brainstorming all the options is probably the most enjoyable part of this process! An outdoor room makes the most out of every square inch of your property by extending the indoors to the outdoors. Do you want your outdoor space to include a backyard bistro for al fresco dining with friends? How about an herb garden or planters for growing delicious edibles? Are you dreaming of an elaborate barbecue and cooking area, or just a simple fire pit? What about activities for the kids, like a lawn for Frisbee, or even outdoor seating and a screen for movie night? Meditation, yoga or exercise in the fresh air is another great use for your room. Do you long for the quiet relaxation of a hot tub nestled beside a green hedge under a canopy of dappled light? Or maybe you just want a sunny spot to curl up for a nap.
 
Visualize Your Plants as Architecture
 
Next, consider the condition of the existing plants to decide what stays and what needs improvement. Since the garden is a three-dimensional outdoor space, imagine plantings as the floor, walls and ceiling of your outdoor room. The floor can be created with a mix of pavers, turf, sweet-smelling ground cover, annuals and perennials. And just like you choose wallpaper for its texture and color, do the same when selecting the plants to serve as the walls in your outdoor room. Think about the leaf, flower and winter branching patterns. For the ceiling, the density of the tree canopy determines the amount of light in the room. You may want to frame a desirable view, or add a pathway to encourage foot traffic in a certain direction. Design your outdoor room to accent the architectural lines and shapes of your home.
 
Give Your Outdoor Room All the Elements of Home
 
As with any home, your outdoor room needs a welcoming entryway. Add an area rug in an exotic kilim pattern, or a tile mosaic to make an inviting entrance. Containers and planters that reflect your theme can be filled with easy-care, low-water succulents and grasses. Drapes made from an outdoor fabric serve to define a cozy dining space and can feature a bold stripe or plant motif. Outdoor drinkware is durable, alongside a fragrant lavender centerpiece. You might also repurpose a funky chandelier with candles to turn your deck into the most inviting room of the house.
 
As your plan comes into focus, remember that Millcreek Gardens in Salt Lake City is the ideal place for trees, shrubs, herbs, containers, and, best of all, great tips and advice. Their knowledgeable gardening experts will be glad to answer all your questions. So why not double your enjoyment of your home by adding an outdoor room?