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Expert Advice: Create the Ultimate Outdoor Living Space

6/15/2011 4:10:32 PM

Tags: outdoor living, outdoor entertaining, how to create an outdoor space,, elocal blog-off, outdoor living spaces, outdoor kitchens, outdoor living rooms, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnail 


Just in time for summer entertaining, has posted the top comments from bloggers who participated in its eleventh Blog-Off, on how homeowners can create the ultimate outdoor living space.


yolo outdoor dining 

Photo by Susan Seubert/Natural Home & Garden

“The same questions need to be answered as in the case of any room:

How do I want to use this space?

How often will I entertain in this space?

How many people do I want to accommodate?

Will I include dining?

Will I include cooking?

Do I want outdoor entertainment (yes, you can get climate-proof audio/visual today)?”

--Melissa Galt, Melissa Galt Interiors  

alma garden table 

Photo by Barbara Bourne/Natural Home & Garden 

“Start with a beautiful table, big enough for lots of friends and family. No heirloom picnic table? What about getting a new one made from responsibly grown Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood that will work for the next few generations?”

--Vicky Sanderson, On the House 

denver outdoor kitchen 

 Photo by Bob Brazell/Natural Home & Garden 

“If at all possible and layout allows, plan your outdoor cooking areas as close to your indoor kitchen as possible. A shorter distance of travel transporting food back and forth will make outdoor entertaining easier.”

--Lori Gilder, Diary of a Renovation 

outdoor kitchen 

Photo by Michael Shopenn/Natural Home & Garden 

“1. Always include a cooking and dining space; if you have the budget, splurge for your gas barbecue and a sink. Remember to use heat tape on your waterlines if you’re in a cold climate.

2. Include more electrical outlets than you think you need and more hose bibs; you’ll be happy later.

3. Include outdoor lighting in layers. Up light plants and trees and include lighting for walkways or paths.

4. Use materials that can withstand the elements and understand that nothing lasts forever. Bring in cushions and umbrellas over the winter if you live in a wet and cold climate.

5. Take advantage of the incredible fabrics that are UV resistant.”

-- Nancy Keenholts Dalton, Baywolf Dalton 

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