A gorgeous covered patio makes its way onto many of our clients’ wish lists, and I can’t blame them. An outdoor paradise right in your backyard sounds like the perfect addition to any luxury home. Although they’re incredible, an outdoor living space that works well for your lifestyle requires a lot of planning and strategy.
As a designer and interior design consultant, there are several questions I hope every homeowner asks themselves before embarking on an outdoor project.
How Will You Live With The Outdoor Space?
Are you willing to run outside, when a storm kicks up, to secure your cushions? Where will you store those outdoor decorative pillows during wintertime? Will you need to order storage bags from Amazon or install new shelves in your garage for lounge furniture off-season?
Depending upon your answers, outdoor seat cushions or decorative pillows may not be right for you, no matter how much you love the look. Ditto on too many moving parts that need storage forethought.
Before you start any outdoor project, I encourage you to be extremely honest with yourself and consider how high maintenance you want the space to be.
In my work as a full-service interior design and interior design consultant, I’ve seen dreamy outdoor spaces quickly suffer from neglect because the owners simply didn’t have the time or desire to tend to the outdoor furnishings. There are certainly design solutions that make your outdoor living carefree and easy, but those solutions have to be part of the planning stages of design, not when it’s time to select fabrics.
How Much Are You Willing To Spend?
Technology has come a long way over the past decade, and outdoor fabrics are now softer and more luxurious than ever. No one has been happier than I have at the modern options available for indoor/outdoor use. But those fabrics come with a higher price tag – they can be 20 to 30 percent more costly than comparable in indoor fabrics.
Indoor kitchens come with their costs, intricacies, and considerations, but outdoor kitchens do as well. Sometimes those considerations can surprise homeowners. An experienced interior design consultant can help you accurately assess costs before any building begins, so you get more bang for your buck.
What Are Your Living Conditions?
One of the benefits of working with IDH, either as a full-service design team or an interior design consultant, is that we can help you think about your living conditions in ways you may have missed.
Depending on where you live, an outdoor living space may not serve your lifestyle as you planned. For instance, what you may prefer is a beautiful conservatory with a window wall that opens up on nice days, instead of fully outdoor space. Clients who live in heavily wooded areas find insects to be a problem to contend with as well.
Have You Consulted A Designer First?
Please don’t sign the dotted line with a landscape architect until you know how the furniture will fit into your hardscaping (patio) or deck. An interior designer applies the same strategies and techniques to outdoor spaces as they do to indoor rooms. Without this vital perspective, I’ve seen one too many train wrecks in which there is a stunner patio, but it doesn’t hold the type or amount of seating originally hoped.
Having an experienced design expert by your side can ensure there’s enough room for that chaise lounge you love and enough clearance around your barbecue grill, so no one gets burned walking behind it.
A luxurious outdoor space can provide a place for rejuvenation and become your dream entertaining space as well. But without the right planning, it can also become a costly #designfail (aka….design nightmare.)
To ensure you get that dream space you’re craving, give us a call today. We make sure your interior – and exterior – designs perfectly suit your lifestyle.