The most pleasant moment of the day is when you allow yourself to relax. How can you resist the desire to spend some time in your outdoor space, reading a book, listening to music or dozing off in the fresh air when the weather is warm and pleasant?
For this reason, more and more often, those who are lucky enough to own a patio want it to be furnished with all the necessary comforts for relaxation.
To design a living room for a patio, it is necessary to give the same care as you do for indoor living rooms concerning positive sensations and comfort. The furniture, materials and finishes must be chosen carefully, just as the layout of the elements must be studied well so that everything is in the right place.
The relaxation area can be used to enjoy pleasant moments of conviviality with friends, as an alternative to the indoor living area. For this reason, with regard to style, the furniture must absolutely be the same height as the rest of the dwelling.
In today's home fittings, the patio is no longer a secondary space; it is a real room outside to consider and decorate by including it in the overall project of the house.
Below, we have summarised a series of useful tips for setting up the perfect outdoor living room. We will address these issues in the following order:
The space, the first step for designing a living room for a patio
This consideration is almost trivial: the amount of space available is a feature that greatly affects the design of a patio.
If the space is small, a good strategy is to use long, narrow seats that perhaps lean against the edge or on a wall to leave room to walk by. In the case of elongated areas, if you want to avoid the "corridor" effect, chairs or planters can be used to divide the space into two or more areas.
As is already the case for indoors rooms, the use of light and bright colours helps make the area appear wider and more open. If the context allows it, some furniture or hanging seats will enable you to make better use of the space, while maintaining an atmosphere of quiet relaxation. A hammock, for example, lends itself to relaxation in smaller patios better than a chaise lounge.
The possible configurations of furniture increase accordingly with larger spaces, allowing those involved in the design to indulge themselves. Seats, tables and other furniture can be positioned in various ways to enhance the environment and maximise comfort.
If you want to recreate the atmosphere of a small living room, consider dividing the patio into small sections of about 4 x 4 meters, an ideal area for accommodating a small and intimate group of 4 or 5 people. A sofa and some pouffes with a coffee table in the middle are enough to define these more secluded spaces.
Sometimes, the surface of a patio can be quite big, so much so that you feel the need to make it feel more liveable. One of the most effective expedients, in these cases, involves the organisation of outdoor U-shaped or semi-circular seats, around a central element, such as a large table or a brazier.
To make everything even more welcoming, the area dedicated to sofas can be surrounded by planters and plants that create an ad hoc setting.
Another trick to reduce the sense of exposure of an outdoor area is to create a "ceiling" using covers such as sails or pergolas.
A careful study of the vegetation can effectively help you achieve the goal: for example, trees and vines positioned to create a vertical wall, a scenario of pure fascination.
In addition to the amount of space, the location is also of substantial importance: the patio can be located adjacent to the house, creating a natural continuity with the indoors, or be more distant, to create an island of peace and hospitality in the middle of the yard. In the latter case, it may be appropriate to provide a walkable path that allows you to reach it comfortably.
The right style for a patio lounge
Once the ideas have been clarified regarding the articulation of the space and the arrangement of the objects, it is time to reflect on the furnishing style. The goal is to create an outdoor environment that combines beauty and good taste, discreet elegance and a charming tendency.
Usually, when designing a patio sitting area, you either choose to coordinate it with the style of the indoor living area or play with contrasts. This second solution, however, is more complex to manage because you risk making errors.
When you are undecided, it is preferable to extend the aesthetics of the indoor furnishings to the patio space, creating a continuity between the indoors and outdoors, considering both the lines and the colours.
A patio is usually provided with flooring, in case it is not, you could provide one, perhaps choosing colours and materials that match the furniture. If the outdoor living room is adjacent to the house, a great effect can be obtained by aligning the outdoor and indoor flooring, a trick that makes the house seem more spacious.
When selecting the outdoor living room furniture, you should opt for a patio set with coordinated pieces, a very simple and functional way to reduce the guesswork on purchases. On the market, there are many luxury sets designed by high-level designers, able to ensure the perfect concordance of elements and, at the same time, maximum charm.
Design a patio lounge: choose the furniture
It is not difficult to find the most varied garden furniture on the market for your outdoor living room. Items to be included in the list include a sofa or chaise lounge, with some armchairs, pouffes or chairs. Also, at the centre of the composition, there is almost always a small table or footrests.
Outdoor reclining seats can be comfortable while admiring a splendid view of the garden or the panorama. Hammocks are often preferred by families and, positioned in the cooler areas, offer maximum relaxation in hot periods.
In general, it is better to choose light and practical furniture that is easy to move around, a useful requirement to create a flexible and multi-purpose layout, able to adapt to different situations, the most disparate uses (aperitifs, solitary naps, chats with friends… ) and the different quantities of guests.
Concerning the colours, those best for designing a patio lounge are the bright ones. White and beige, in particular, are well suited to a classic style patio, while for a more contemporary style, you can dare some brighter shades.
Its durability over time and ability to resist the elements, season after season, are of fundamental importance. Outdoor furniture is constantly exposed to atmospheric agents, rain and su, as well as in the cold of winter and the heat of summer. This is why the materials must be stress-proof, in any climate.
Historically, the main materials used to make furniture for outdoor use were rattan and wicker. Rattan is a fibre obtained from some types of palm trees originating from Southeast Asia, which is then woven. Rattan is very robust, does not fear humidity and is light.
Wicker is another natural material used for outdoor furniture. It is extracted from the inner part of rattan or rush and is in the form of thin filaments, which can easily be braided.
Wicker and rattan find their ideal connotation in protected environments such as verandas or porches as they should not be exposed to direct light and rainwater to preserve their durability.
This is why, over time, technological innovation has developed new synthetic fibres with excellent characteristics and, for this reason, they are increasingly used to make outdoor furniture. The most widespread fibre is synthetic rattan, very flexible and similar to natural rattan. It remains unchanged over time and resists practically everything: rain, ultraviolet rays, hot or cold and is totally resistant to mould.
Many other materials have been added to synthetic fibre over time, allowing the creation of elegant furnishings that increasingly look like indoor furniture.
Among them, we can find wood, iron and metal. To guarantee that outdoor furnishings have an appeal in terms of comfort similar to indoor living areas, more and more space is left for the cushions. Sofas and armchairs have generous and comfortable shapes, therefore, the structure disappears.
Fabrics, when it comes to outdoor environments, have well-defined technical characteristics. Usually, fabrics that have a composition that resists UV rays and water are used. However, these aspects do not affect the aesthetic appearance of the fabrics, which are also available in many variations of fine textures that faithfully reproduce cotton, linen and also satins and chenille.
The last details for designing a patio lounge
At this point, the patio lounge project has almost been completely defined. Only the final elements are missing, accessories that give a touch of extra character to every outdoor fittings. Statues, lamps, candles, just to name a few, but also typical garden elements. For example, creativity can be unleashed in the search for plants or flowers with great design value.
What about a rug? It is a typical interior design object can give great personality to an outdoor living room. There is a wide variety of outdoor decorative rugs, in some cases coordinated with outdoor furniture sets.
Shading is also an element to be taken into account. What’s better: a sail or pergola? Why not opt for an orangery, which recreates the same comfort in the garden as a real living room?
Finally, when the sun goes down, it is mandatory to use appropriate lighting, whose careful planning is essential. The objective, in fact, is twofold: on the one hand, the functional side, linked to the need to make an outdoor space safe and usable even in the evening hours; on the other hand, the aesthetic and scenographic side, useful for enhancing the environment, the colours and the furniture objects.