Planning Your Outdoor RoomAdd to My Luxx Living
By Spencer Aaltonen, MCLP, MCA, MCH
It’s almost that time of year again, summer on the Cape and South Coast. Gone are the cold days of winter, and we eagerly welcome the rising temperatures of spring. We are blessed by the beauty of the place we call home, and it is a great time to spend your days outdoors.
This year, consider incorporating some elements in your landscape that beckon to be enjoyed, and make the most of all the season has to offer. By now, you may have heard of the concept of an “Outdoor Room.” Just as you have groups of rooms that make up your home, you also have groups of elements that make up “rooms” in your landscape.
As with anything in your home, the most important factor to consider is the people who live in it. What kind of household is this? Perhaps a family of six that spend its days bringing children to all manner activities, cooking to feed a small army, and trying to converse with a generation of media addicts.
Or maybe you live at a quieter pace and spend your days hosting social events, meeting up with friends, and working on your latest novel. Whoever you are, make note of the things that define you, your home and your landscape.
Once you have established the things most important to you, you can start the fun part – implementing and enjoying them in your landscape.
So, now you have your wish-list compiled, and a plan in n mind. Pick the items you have as a highest priority and do some research, or meet with your landscape designer to start making those ideas a reality. Their knowledge can be a valuable asset to discuss what could realistically be done with your space. Since a picture says a thousand words, start a file of all your findings. We are visual creatures, so photographs will help to ensure a tailored design for your individual tastes.
Just as rooms inside your house are suited to their uses, so should your outdoor areas be dissected. Give each area a purpose; spaces can be used for entertaining, outdoor dining, recreation and plenty of other things. Layout the rooms as you would a home, and let the rooms flow with one another according to their function.
Indoor rooms are defined by walls, doors, windows, and ceilings; outdoor spaces are defined by ground surfaces, plantings, fences, arbors, walls, and tree canopies that make them up. As humans we naturally desire so me feeling of spatial definition. Meaning, it is much more gratifying to spend time in a room with defined vertical and overhead planes, than their two-dimensional counterparts. While those open spaces have their place, trying to create an outdoor room requires the same basic definitions as the ones indoors.
Elements such as arbors, trellises, tree canopies, hedges, and pergolas are great at making your room feel three-dimensional. You can create a space that is mostly enclosed, to provide a more intimate and encapsulated experience, or open the area to your surroundings and increase your exposure to the summer sun and those beautiful views.
Determine which technique fits the room you are trying to construct, and incorporate components which give you those feelings. Try to utilize unique textures and materials to maximize the appeal. Also, make sure you leave adequate area for the purpose of the room, considering all elements that will need to be integrated. In entertaining spaces, avoid long narrow definitions as these restrict and discourage movement.
You now have a purpose for your space, and have defined it with the necessary area. The next task is to fill this space with the things you will need for its purpose, just as you would an interior room. This includes it ems such as; outdoor kitchens, pools, furniture, fire pits, and eating surfaces, just to name a few. The possibilities are endless when filling an outdoor space, and this will be where your research comes in to play.
Maybe you wanted a fire-pit to cozy up to on a cool summer night, an outdoor kitchen to utilize in your weekend festivities, or just a place to relax in the sun and read a good book. Get creative and have fun with this, bearing in mind you should utilize these as individual rooms, while maintaining ease of access to each space you have created according to its function.
All things considered, the rooms you define in your landscape should be unique parts that work in unison, to create a relaxing and purposeful outdoor experience. Think of how your property could be better utilized, by merging your indoor and outdoor spaces. It’s time we get back to enjoying the outdoors, and all they have to offer. Start living outside of the box, establishing beautiful and functional spaces to be enjoyed by many, for years to come.
To learn more , you can contact Spencer at Joyce Landscapiong.
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