Living and entertaining space

Outdoor living and entertaining space is likely to be located on a patio or deck, which usually is the heart of the garden — the locus of individual, family, and group activities. As with an indoor living room, the outdoor living room can serve many purposes. It can be enclosed and intimate or open and expansive.

Here are some tips for creating a successful, environmentally-friendly and beautiful outdoor living room:

  • Accommodate whatever size group will be using it frequently. Small is sustainable. Make the space big enough for regular use, not infrequent parties. A family-size outdoor living room should be around 12 feet on each side.
  • Create a retreat. Think about making the main room an "away" place, somewhat distant from the house so you feel like you're more immersed in the garden and less connected to the hubbub of indoor life.
  • Think about microclimate. Evaluate your planned use and the microenvironments around the house; then place living spaces where they'll be best adapted. If you'll be using the space mainly on hot afternoons, place your room on the north or east side of the house, away from the scalding sun. If the room is to be used for breakfast, put it on the east side where morning sun will warm chilly bones.
  • Evaluate wind conditions. Locate your room in the lee of existing structures or vegetation or add fences, walls, or plantings to provide a windbreak.
  • Consider proximity to neighbors, street noise, odor, traffic patterns, and immediate and distant views. If you're surrounded by unpleasant sights, sounds, and smells, you'll be less inclined to use your outdoor room.
  • Take the relationship to indoor rooms into account. Locate the dining patio fairly close to the kitchen and not so close to the bedrooms, for example.

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Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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