7 ways to create a gorgeous outdoor room

Revel in the sights and scents of spring on a patio or in a garden corner decked out in comfy interior style

It's spring! Long days, sunshine, birds, barbecues, flowers! For the next six months or so, it's outside time (sorry, people in the Northeast; your time will come). Which means, of course, that you should have an outdoor room, a place where you can do all the things you do in winter — entertain, read, eat, relax — under the big, blue sky.

We're not talking a giant pavilion with a built-in fireplace. Although if you can make that happen, please do. We're talking a snug and stylish corner with the comforts of home.

>>View gallery: 7 Ways to Create a Gorgeous Outdoor Room

Depending on where you live, you will have different considerations. Some will have to think about rain; others will need a source of shade or cooling. Some will have to take the bugs into account; others, the neighbors. Where I live on the Northern California coast, our outdoor summer rooms include heaters. 

But whatever the specifics, every room should include a few basics:

  1. Comfy furniture. No one wants to perch on a hard wooden chair all afternoon.
  2. Rugs. They delineate the space and feel good underfoot.
  3. Decoration. Art, potted plants, sculpture, lanterns. This is a room; decorate it.

I also advocate for hammocks, grills, tables, throw blankets, candles and a source of music, but these are optional. Here are a few inspirations to get you going.

>>View gallery: 7 Ways to Create a Gorgeous Outdoor Room

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