Take Your Outdoor Living Spaces to the Next Level with the Best of Outdoor Window Treatments
Summer is a great time to take the indoors outside to enjoy longer daylight hours and beautiful summer weather!
There are many creative ways that you can take your daily activities outdoors to take advantage of the fresh air and warm summer nights.
In this article, we want to dive into some of the ways to expand your indoor living spaces into the great outdoors!
Take Your Kitchen Outdoors
Summertime is a great time to take your cooking and dining outdoors. Barbeques and grilling are great ways to be able to prepare and cook while entertaining guests outside. Here are some tips for taking your kitchen outside.
Make It Comfortable
Be sure to have some sort of cover option to provide shade or protect from rain. If your deck or pergola does not have an existing roof, consider getting some large umbrellas that can be stand alone or part of the patio furniture.
As the sun travels, you may need to add additional light control options to block the sun when it is right at eye level. Sun screens, roller shades, panel tracks, and exterior draperies are great options to add to your outdoor kitchen to block the harsh afternoon or early morning sun.
Adding outdoor floor mats is an excellent way to provide some cushion to places where there might be prolonged standing. An area rug is another great option to provide some comfort as well as décor to the space.
Protect From Unwanted Pests
Keep bugs away with screens and dish covers. Spray around the perimeter of your house, deck, and yard early in the day, well before you start cooking, to keep insects away.
Have bug catchers hung up in more discrete locations. Use citronella candles as décor as well as a deterrent for unwanted pests.
If you plan to be going in and out of the house, make sure your screen doors are functional and convenient.
For places that attract a lot of insects, consider adding screens to your outdoor kitchen space. Sun screens and roller screens are retractable so they can be lifted or lowered as needed.
Screens are a great option because they still allow for partial visibility based on the opacity of the mesh material.
Bring Kitchen Essentials Outside
Having certain kitchen essentials readily available will help prevent multiple trips in and out of the house.
An outdoor fridge is a great addition to any porch or deck, but ice boxes or coolers are a great way to keep things chilled and fresh.
An outdoor sink is another added convenience that can be extremely helpful.
Consider Counter Space
Counter space is covetous in any kitchen. Outdoor table tops, shelves, or even low walls and railings can become a makeshift countertop for staging food, dishes, beverages, and other necessities.
Get creative and bring the meal prep outdoors too. Chopping veggies is much more enjoyable when you are outside with your guests. As long as you have a convenient space set up that is not too cumbersome, you might even get a volunteer to help.
Be Prepared For Kitchen Spills
Spills happen, so be sure to have easily accessible cleaning supplies stashed outside as well.
Paper towels and napkins are important to have available. Be sure to have a weight or dispenser that will keep them from getting blown away.
Consider keeping a broom close by as well. And keep extra supplies, like trash bags, easily accessible.
Create An Outdoor Living Room
An outdoor living space can be a wonderful place to spend time with friends and family and here are some simple things that can be done to make it even more inviting.
Consider Seating Arrangements
Comfort is key! Add extra pillows and cushions to create comfortable seating. Consider adding playful additions like bean bag chairs, hammocks, or hanging benches.
At Gotcha Covered, we can help create accent pieces, including pillow and cushions, made from a variety of materials. Exterior fabrics are best to consider to prevent mold or mildew. They also have enhanced color fastness to help with fade resistance.
Appropriate outdoor hardware is also imperative to ensure the pieces are long lasting and can withstand the elements.
Retractable awnings and umbrellas are great temporary fixes for too much sun or inclement weather. Even a decorative roof design such as lattice or open beams do provide some protection and shade. Another benefit is that the structure and beams provide a place to mount other design features such as flower boxes, outdoor curtains, or roller shades.
Create A Focal Point
Arrange seating around a center to create intimate areas for conversation. An outdoor fireplace, table, or area rug can be a natural focal point to arrange seating around.
If there are more permanent structures such as benches or low walls that can double as seating, consider incorporating these areas into the rest of the arrangement.
Furniture that is easy to move or rearrange is definitely a benefit as well.
Versatility will be your friend to adapt these spaces to suit your needs. The more options available, the more likely you will grow to love using your outdoor space.
Retractable awnings and roller shades are a wonderful option that can be brought out when needed and stowed away when not.
Consider Outdoor Water Features
Fire pits are popular additions to backyard spaces, but consider adding a water feature as well.
There is something very calming about the sound of running water. A simple fountain or built-in pond is a beautiful addition that will add to the quality of your outdoor space.
There are some things to consider before adding water to your backyard. Water will attract wildlife so be prepared for all that comes with that.
If bugs are already a concern, adding water may not be the best idea. You can always add hanging features that will detract birds or insect traps that will help keep the bug population in check.
Take Your Dining Room Outside
Eating al fresco makes even the simplest meals feel like an adventure. Here are some tips for taking your dining room outside.
Make A Point To Bring Meals Outside
Maybe cooking the meal requires traditional kitchen appliances but don’t let that stop you from enjoying it outside!
This includes any meal, not just dinners. Take your morning coffee outside or plan an al fresco brunch.
Even a simple coffee and toast in the morning can seem luxurious when eaten outdoors. Get your day started with some sunshine and cool morning breezes and see how good it makes you feel.
Get Your Daily Dose Of Sun
Sunlight and fresh air are sure to help improve your mind and body so you feel energized and focused for your day.
For those of us working inside and online, it is even more important to take advantage of every opportunity to be outside.
Be mindful of leaving devices and technology inside while taking a moment to be intentional outside. Listen to the birds. Look at the trees. Notice the shifting of the wind.
It is amazing how the rest of the day will seem to be less stressful and your mood will be happier when you’ve taken the time to unplug and be intentional.
Create An Outdoor Entertainment Space
Summer evenings are perfect for outdoor entertaining but that is sometimes more hassle than it is worth. Here are some tips to make an outdoor experience that everyone will enjoy!
Bring Activities Outside
Keep outdoor activities such as lawn games and sporting equipment ready and easily accessible.
Weather proof storage containers are perfect for keeping everything together and provide easy clean up afterwards. They are also big and sturdy enough to be used as additional seats if necessary.
Being able to watch a sporting event or movie outside adds excitement to the activity. Set up a projector and hang a large white sheet for movie night. Bring sleeping bags, extra pillows, or even set up a tent to make it feel like camping with all the luxury of home!
Don’t want to drag a television outside? Not a problem! Plan your next game night outside. Add lots of lanterns or hanging lights, make s’mores and hot chocolate and let the fun begin.
Keep Things Comfortable
Add versatile and comfortable seating. Outdoor furniture can be hard, so consider pillows and cushions made with outdoor rated materials. Your Gotcha Covered Design Team can even make outdoor pillows that will match the rest of your exterior décor!
Have blankets or throws readily available for cooler evenings or chilly mornings. Consider heat lamps if you plan to have many late night events.
Of course things don’t always go exactly as planned, so be ready to improvise. A solid backup plan includes being ready to move an outdoor activity inside.
If you have a covered space consider adding outdoor curtains, panel tracks, or roller shades that can temporarily enclose the space. A multifunctional indoor/outdoor space is a wonderful way to be ready for any type of weather.
If your outdoor space is more exposed to the elements, be ready to shift the entertainment indoors.
Large patio doors can be used to open up the divide between the inside and outside. Be sure any window treatments for these patio doors do not create an obstacle.
Window treatments for sliding glass doors and French doors must be functional. For more details on what to consider when picking out window coverings for patio doors, check out this article - The Best Window Treatment Options For Patio Doors.
Patios, Pergolas And Gazebos, Oh My!
What is the difference between patios and decks, pergolas and gazebos? Glad you asked!
A patio is a paved area that is typically attached to the side of a house at ground level. This typically refers to just the slab of cement and does not include any overhead coverings or additional walls.
A deck is an addition to the house that can be raised off the ground or not. This brings up the question of what is the difference between a deck and a porch? Typically, the term porch refers to a covered extension of the house that is in the front. A deck can be covered or uncovered but is typically referring to an extension behind the house. Even with these distinctions, it is still possible for these terms to be used interchangeably.
Pergolas are free standing structures that have posts and some sort of roof type design feature. They are typically placed somewhere away from the house either on their own or on top of a patio. Their primary function is not protection from the elements, but outdoor screens or shades can be added as desired to provide a little more shelter.
Gazebos are also stand alone structures that are not dependent on another building for support. They typically have open sides and a floor that creates an entire unit. The main distinction between a pergola and a gazebo is the function of the roof design. While pergolas have slatted roofing, gazebos have a roof that provides full coverage from the weather. Gazebos can be placed anywhere in a yard since their structure does not depend on any other buildings or walls.
When it comes to backyard spaces, any of these features can be quite beneficial. Consider the needs of each area of your yard to decide what additional features will serve you best.
Summer nights are perfect for spending time outdoors with friends and family.
Take advantage of adding some additional materials, furniture, and other accessories that are useful both inside and outside that will make entertaining more enjoyable and convenient for both you and your guests.
At Gotcha Covered, we know how to find the best solutions for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Reach out to us today and see what our Gotcha Covered Design Team can do for you and your home! Call us at (888) 650-6187 or schedule a free design consultation today!