Creating a Modern Outdoor Living Space

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Creating a modern, stylish, and inviting outdoor space is just as important as how you decorate your indoor space. It should be a reflection of your own design sense, while still being functional and durable. With a variety of styles, designs, and materials, choosing the right patio furniture can seem a daunting task. With proper planning, you can create a modern, inviting outdoor living space perfect for relaxing and entertaining.

Choose a Location

Decide where you want your outdoor living space to be. Take note of the surroundings. Do you have a large number of trees in that area? What types of flowers and other vegetation grow close by? How big is the space? Is there a pool, pond or lake close by? All of these considerations will be important when its time to select furniture. A heavily shaded area, either by trees or patio umbrellas, would be ideal for cushioned pieces, while an area that gets frequent sunlight exposure will need something more durable. Certain types of material will not hold up well to the high humidity indicative of areas close to water. These various elements will also be important in selecting the design of your pieces. If the area you plan to use is near a rose garden, you wouldn’t want to select pieces that feature a different floral design or competing rose print. A densely vegetated area might benefit from a more colorful design, while more durable, clean-line pieces would be a better compliment to pool and waterside retreats.

Design a Function

What will the space be used for? Will it be a space for dining or lounging? Consider the number of people you plan to entertain. If outdoor dining is a goal, you will want to make sure you have plenty of table space and chairs to accommodate frequent guests. If the space is small, consider getting one standard size table and chairs and several coordinating bistro sets. Lightweight, folding sets are easy to move and store. If the space is primarily for lounging and relaxing, consider gliders, benches, swings and rocking chairs with coordinating side tables.

Choose a Material

Comfort, durability and maintenance will be key aspects to consider before selecting the type of material you want for your outdoor furniture. Many modern and contemporary furniture pieces are made of durable, rust-resistant aluminum. The powder-coated finish comes in a variety of colors and is more resistant to the elements and scratching then some other materials. Cast aluminum furniture can be made into elegant and complex designs in a variety of colors as well. Wood outdoor furniture can be stained or painted in a variety of colors. The most common types of wood used in outdoor furniture are cedar, mahogany and cypress. These types of wood are resistant to insects, decay, cracking, splintering and weathering.

Design the Space

Visit several different retail shops specializing in patio furniture. You can draw ideas for your own space by looking at floor samples. Choose modern, functional pieces that mimic the colors and exterior lines of your home, or select unique pieces that fit with your overall idea for the space. Take note of the cost of each piece and establish a budget. If you require more seating than your budget can afford, choose a flashy table and select less expensive, clean-lined neutral chairs and dress them up with coordinating cushions or throw pillows. Look at outdoor accessories as well. Chimineas and fireplaces can make a great addition to your living space. If you are on a tight budget, make the fireplace the focal piece, and purchase neutral sofas and chairs. Add throw pillows in the colors and designs you want for a modern design on a budget.