Breezy Living Room
Make your patio a cozy spot to relax by mimicking an indoor living room. Arrange furniture around a table for a place to set drinks and food. Use accent pillows to add a touch of color. A metal screen creates a faux wall that separates the patio from yard next door.
Create a smooth transition from the indoors to the outdoors with repeating elements. French doors are an ideal choice to connect the two spaces. Both spaces are visible when the doors are open or closed. The inside and outside furnishings are of a similar style, and the colors of the accent pillows and seat cushions are the same in both rooms. Adding a roof, chandelier, and side tables to the alfresco space completes the feel of a traditional indoor room.
Accents are important in any room, and this patio makes the most of them. An area rug adds color and underfoot comfort to the stone patio. Outdoor grade table lamps create an intimate feel and extend the use of the space into the night.
Raise the Roof
Adding a roof to an outdoor space increases its potential for use. A windowpane roof protects these homeowners from the elements without distracting from the view. The lack of supporting walls allows a breeze to flow through the room as the homeowners enjoy meals in the outdoor dining space. Rather than having a bare table, add a tablecloth and throw pillows to add a soft touch to the space.
A Formal Arrangement
A missing wall and an abundance of foliage separate this room from the other rooms of the house. The mantle's decor, chandelier, and settees mimic the arrangement of a formal living room. Natural elements in place of traditional accents, such as the vines as window treatments, connect the room to the outdoors.
Make a fresh air room more comfortable by controlling the temperature. During the day, a fan hung overhead keeps insects at bay and air from being stagnant.
Editor's Tip: Add extra comfort on cool days with portable heaters -- tower or tabletop units.
Add all the comforts of the indoors to your outdoor room. This patio has a fireplace and television. Ditch the battery-operated radio for more sophisticated electronics, such as an all-weather LCD television and wireless outdoor speakers. Choose an entertainment system that's constructed of waterproof materials and built to withstand everything from insects to extreme heat.
A little ingenuity and a good plan turned this hot concrete patio into an inviting outdoor dining room. A large, colorful floorcloth covers the bland concrete; bright white planters, the sides topped with trellises, surround the space. Overhead, an arbor draped with white canvas blocks the heat of the midday sun but still lets in plenty of light.
This contemplative sanctuary space uses lattice to complement the Asian-inspired design. The rich tones highlight the room's focal point -- an intriguing stone carving set in the lattice wall -- and lend warmth to the space. The latticework also melds well with the lush and abundant foliage.
A welcoming garden room like this one has all the comforts of an indoor room. Crisp white lattice walls pair with the wicker furniture to create a light and airy atmosphere. An iron coffee table provides a place to set refreshments. A whimsical sconce, an antique platter, and a floral-theme print give the room a truly lived-in look.
An elegant iron gazebo sports mandevilla vines in pots that anchor the edges, and wisps of white mosquito netting give this outdoor dining room a decidedly romantic flair. Iron-with-wicker furniture complements the structure and provides a relaxing spot to sit and enjoy food with good company.
Exuding all the comforts of the indoors, this inviting sitting room is sure to lure guests into the garden. Family and friends relax on the handmade furniture (crafted of tree branches) that wrap around the beehive fireplace. The climbing vines soften the expansive brick surfaces, and potted plants add lively touches of color to the earthy tones of the space.
Fooling the Eye
This fresh-air dining pavilion only looks elaborate--but it's constructed of two-by-fours painted white and off-the-rack plastic lattice. The sturdy materials are firmly anchored in the ground; the open-walled structure easily withstands Midwestern storms year round. Drapes of weatherproof fabric and a framed "window" complete the illusion of a room.
This efficient yet stylish kitchen and serving area is the ultimate fresh-air room for those who love to entertain in the great outdoors. The fully operational kitchen is inside a three-season gazebo. Solid walls on two sides protect the appliances from the elements; the remaining four sides of this hexagonal structure are open so that people can easily move through the space and the cook can still be part of the party.
A fresh-air room needn't be extravagant or expensive. Here, the carport roof extends beyond the bluestone wall to shade the space, and a teak table and chairs beckon one to sit and enjoy the poolside view. The room's pleasing atmosphere is created simply by the smart use of materials and logical placement.
This shady loggia was originally nothing more than a walkway from the house to the backyard. Now, antique iron lampposts and a metal arbor give these vines a place to grow and create a roof for this outdoor room. Simple concrete pavers in two colors create a checkerboard floor. Four iron chairs with brightly striped cushions provide a place to sit down and enjoy the view of the pool beyond and the potted flowers within.