The Fire Pit Resource

Six Tips for Defining and Decorating an Outdoor Room

Creating and decorating an outdoor entertainment area can be a daunting task. Like interior design, exterior decorating requires attention to details like finish options and wood stains, landscaping and lighting options. However, navigating the world of design isn't just for HGTV buffs and Nate Berkus enthusiasts. Follow these simple tips to learn how to infuse your outdoor room with personality, charm, and comfort.

1. Determine your decorating style before pulling out the wallet. There are a couple of questions to ask yourself when you begin planning your next decorating project. In the case of the outdoor room, you'll first need to determine whether you'll take cues from your home design to establish the look of your outdoor entertainment area. Is your home classified as mid-century modern? A cottage with vintage charm? A traditional Craftsman-style bungalow for two? Understanding your home's roots can help you design an outdoor room that will flow seamlessly from your main living quarters. If you do want to do something completely different, make sure that your interior and external styles are at least complementary to each other. 

2. Create definition. You can choose several different ways to define the outdoor area - arbors and trellises and pergolas both create a clear sense of space that isn't as permanent as a deck or cement patio. This is especially important if you're looking to move in the next several years. If you're operating on a lower budget, consider using landscaping and strategically place shrubbery to define an area. Plants will bring a sense of life, tranquility, and comfort to your space, as well as give you the opportunity to customize your look. 

Choose an area on your property that will be easily accessible from your house. One easy way to do this is by checking the view from inside your house. Look for a spot that's on level ground and has a clear pathway running to it. By establishing such continuity, your outdoor room will really feel like an extension of your home.

3. Select your color scheme
You can further define an area by using the same color palate throughout. If you choose to decorate your outdoor room in cool colors like blues, greens, and purples, stick to a metal choice that reflects those colors. These might include metals with a silver or chrome finish, steel, or aluminum. Similarly, if you're outfitting your outdoor space with reds, oranges, or yellows, select pieces that are built from warm-toned metals - finishes of gold, copper, or bronze. If you're looking to do something a little different, we suggest that you try using pops of color with a neutral color scheme. Such a combination will draw the eye to the areas of your outdoor entertainment area that you hope to accentuate.

4. Choose a focal point. We may be biased, but at Woodland Direct we believe that there's nothing like an outdoor fire feature to bring people together. Whether you enjoy summer campfires and toasted marshmallows over a comfortable fire pit or prefer to entertain around ornate outdoor fireplaces, these fire features will add an ambiance of intimacy and warmth to your gatherings. Fire pits and fireplaces are available in many different styles, finishes, configurations, and gas types - perfect for matching unique decor and design. You can even choose to design your own unit by selecting an outdoor DIY fire pit kit. 

 Rockwood Victorian FireplaceOutdoor fireplaces are an ideal focal point, because it's simple to build your room around them. You can further outfit your outdoor room with chairstables, even lighting - the opportunities are endless. 

5. Embrace practicality. Before selecting any fire pits, furniture, or other accessories for your outdoor room, determine what kind of maintenance is required. You'll want to choose materials that are rated for outdoor use. Even more specifically, you'll want to be conscious of what metals rust. Garden and patio furniture made from aluminum will be lightweight, while cast iron pieces are heavy, but both will stand up against corrosion. Similarly, stainless steel will not easily corrode, rust, or stain with water - but that doesn't mean it's completely rust-resistant. Educate yourself, and choose wisely.

6. Remember - not everything has to match. Unless you're a traditionalist. You can also add personality to your outdoor room by using abstract, eclectic pieces to offset traditional furniture. Search thrift stores, small vintage shops, and even your grandma's basement for these unique treasures. These "found objects" will stand out against the rest of your finished outdoor room. 

If you're doubting how many of these eclectic pieces to use in your decor, practice the 80/20 rule - 80% of your style should match, while the remaining 20% can be can be from other varied fashions. Just use what you love! 

If you have any questions or want more information about selecting furniture or outdoor fire features for your outdoor room, contact one of our NFI-certified professionals at 800.919.1904.