Rustic Outdoor Design Ideas
Creating perfect outdoor living areas can be one of the most rewarding endeavors you can undertake. Whether you are living in an urban location or have a home in the suburbs or out in the country, the right outdoor living space can be the perfect extension of the home and the perfect place to spend time with friends and family.
I updated our backyard seating area at the beginning of the Summer, and the result was a beautiful oasis that has provided much relaxation for all of us. I replaced the old fabric on the sofa and chair pillow covers and added an outdoor rug and a fire pit. A quick and easy fix – that made all the difference in the world.
Here are a few tips to create your own outdoor living space for entertaining or simply relaxing with the sights and sounds of your surrounding environment. All images courtesy of Locati Architects.
This is one of my favorite images of a rustic outdoor seating area. The view is breathtaking, and the soft yellow fabric not only works well with wood, but also adds a sunny warmth. I think there could have been a better option for the chairs in the seating area, as these don’t look like they would be very comfortable.
Mark Your Territory
Many of us spend a lot of time looking for a house or apartment that has an open floor plan that provides a sense of space, but that’s the last thing you want to do for outdoor living. An open floor plan outdoors is called a yard. You need to clearly define your space to give it a sense of structure and comfort.
Rock walls, stone, lattice structures, and pavers work wonderfully, but so do well placed potted plants in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.
Setting up your outdoor “room” will make it feel so much more intimate and engaging, not to mention adding elements of natural beauty. For a colorful and creative touch, find an easy to clean outdoor rug to make the area truly feel like an extension of your home.
The Warmth of Candle Light
Your guests will feel right at home with the warmth of a fire and soft light illuminating your table. Bring the rustic feel of nature to your table with candle holders made from the natural elements of your surroundings.
Here’s a great example of a modern rustic approach to outdoor entertaining. The use of neutral colors in the furniture and throw pillows blend in seamlessly with the surrounding views. A perfect mix and match of pattern and the occasional throw keep this outdoor space elegant and cozy.
Choose Cozy Seating
There are so many options for outdoor seating. That’s a good thing, but it can be difficult to choose what works best. Just ask yourself a few questions. How many people do you want to accommodate? Do you ever want to lie down and have a nap out there? Will it be protected from sun, snow, and rain?
Mixed materials are beautiful. Combining elements of wood and metal, as well as mixing chairs with loveseats or couches can make an elegant and inviting combination.
Waterproofing is key if needed, and some throw pillows can add a blast of much-needed color and creativity.
Be sure to include coffee tables or end tables. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time enjoying your outdoor area, you’ll need plenty of space for your dining and drinking needs.
A stunning view with golden light filtering across the side of this beautiful rustic home. This seating arrangement is perfectly situated to enjoy the surrounding mountains and forest, but could also be moved to accommodate conversation.
Light My Fire
Outdoor fire pits are totally in vogue – and are key elements for creating that intimate outdoor feel, establishing a focal point in the space, and adding some needed warmth for cool summer nights.
Depending on your area, you can go with a tabletop fire bowl, fire pit, chiminea, or build yourself a corner stone fireplace – that might just be able to double as a pizza oven if you want to.
Many communities can have restrictions or bans on wood burning, so check out your local laws and research propane, lava rocks, or natural gas elements. Just remember one, all-important word: S’Mores.
Outdoor living is not just for summer when the days are long. Nor is it only for the daytime. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of design and yet it’s often overlooked.
Draping soft string lights from the ceiling can give you the feeling of being on a Tuscan vineyard. A reclaimed wood chandelier and wrought iron fixtures can be masculine and elegant at the same time.
Glass hurricane vases with battery-powered candles can make the whole space seem wonderfully intimate. But to achieve that evergreen ambiance, be sure to add solar-powered path lights and stake them directly into plant containers. They derive their power from the sun during the day and throw brilliant indirect and diffused light at night, with no wires or electricity needed.
We cook more outside than ever, and with the right planning, your outdoor kitchen can be just as creative and productive as your indoor one. Make a list of everything you want to do out there; grill, sauté, make pizza, whiz fresh hummus, pop corks, and blend margheritas.
Get the right equipment, make sure you have enough electricity and BTU’s, and definitely carve out space for prep, serving platters, and even freshwater, ice, and wash areas. Just make sure you have a clear path to your indoor kitchen as well so you can move between the spaces easily with your supplies.
Once you start thinking about dining and bar space and shopping for tables and chairs, checkout counter-height or bar-height options so your guests can stand as well as sit. It’s stylish, comfortable, and able to handle more folks to handle your increased popularity as a result of your new-found outdoor kitchen mastery.
You spend so much of your life indoors. Build yourself your dream outdoor living space and you might not want to go inside again!
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