Outdoor Rooms: Three Perfect Rooms

DINING

LOUNGING

SLEEPING

These rooms might be pretty close to perfection. But while they are pretty to look at, for most of us our objective in decorating indoor or outdoor rooms should not be perfection. The point in creating beautiful rooms is to actually ENJOY them. If we obsess too much about the details or have to spend time or money beyond our means in order to create them, we miss out on so much! We may never get around to LIVING in these rooms — how sad that would be (I’ve been guilty of that myself, I know of what I speak!)! Experiencing the fun of life in these spaces is the point. Perfection is not. We may not have a fancy table, an enormous rock fireplace, or matching lounge chairs. But, we can enjoy our humble rooms just the same or even more as the fancy ones!

Make living the life you want within your reach right now, not something that is always saved for “someday!”

Budget friendly ideas:

  • Give an old picnic table a new coat of paint (or let it stay weathered and worn!).
  • Go ahead, bring indoor furniture outside to enjoy on a nice day! Why not? No need to buy expensive outdoor furniture if it is not within your budget.
  • Shop at thrift stores or garage sales for items you can re-purpose in your garden or patio.
  • Build a fire pit or bring candles & lanterns outside to create the ambience of flames on a cool night
  • Don’t have a green thumb? Keep your landscaping simple. Use containers for easy to grow plants.
  • Involve the whole family in planting a garden! You’ll save on your grocery bill and have fun in the process.
  • Use gravel to finish off spaces, instead of expensive stone patio and walkways (the crunch of a gravel walk is so charming!)
  • Focus as much or more attention on creating memories with your family outdoors this summer than you do on how to decorate or design your space. Pour your creativity into the experiences: plan a BBQ, have a family camping night, roast marshmallows, read together outside, have breakfast on the patio, drag your TV outside and host a movie night for the neighbors.
  • Don’t have a backyard or the means or energy to create a pretty one right now? Head to the park! I am writing about this very situation for my article for CWO in June (oh, and speaking of which, don’t forget to visit CWO this month for my article on The Art of Memory Making as well as articles by other women who will uplift and inspire you in everyday living).

House Beautiful

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Comments

  1. I’m just crazy for those outdoor fireplaces. My plans are to include one in the plans for our retirement place. I grew up in an old farmhouse that had a large screened in back porch. We had a bed out there and it was my sleeping porch. There’s another thing I intent to include in my plans.

    This summer we’re going to build a large firepit and in the fall I’m going to have a teepee. That will be sure to draw every young childre from a 5 mile radius! HA.

    Thanks so much for all the inspiration. It’s great!

    - Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  2. Hi Melissa,

    Good tips as always! I think we’ll drag the tv out onto the porch this summer and have our Friday Night Movie out there once in a while – thanks for the idea!

    Manuela

  3. Gorgeous pictures…..of things most of us will never have!!! That’s why I loved how you followed it up with how to live the life you want now, without huge expense. We live on a farm with cliffs, woods and a creek, and we created a fire pit to roast hotdogs and marshmallows (with a rack for a tea pot), hanging lanterns and candles, and lots of portable chairs to relax in, without spending lots of money. It’s a favorite place to run away to.

  4. Great ideas and great timing. We are starting to work on putting in a patio off our living room. I love your budget friendly ideas. Lovely photos too. I just love love love planting in pots.

  5. Great ideas! Why not drag a settee out into the back yard during a cookout or party? I love that image!
    Becky

  6. melissa lewis - off the wall
    Twitter:
    says:

    That stone fireplace in the middle pictures is AAAAAMAZING! Oh, I would spend hours on end out there.

    Love your budget friendly tips, you are always so help & of course, so inspiring! Have a great day Melissa!

  7. The outdoor fireplace is fabulous- Oh to die for.
    Thanks for sharing with us the budget friendly idea- Great

  8. Beautiful outdoor rooms! Thanks for the more realistic budget friendly ideas!

    Charlie

  9. The images are to die for but as you mention in your tips to create inexpensive ambiences much more practical! Love the tips..great post! thank YOU!

  10. I LOVE outdoor fireplaces…especially this one!

  11. I think this is so true. It is important that we don’t spend so much on things that we have to work unreasonable hours just to pay for them, than can’t enjoy what we have. Once again, you’ve inspired me! xorachel

  12. I just love outdoor spaces and am working on making our backyard more enjoyable and pretty. Starting with that little patio area, it has given me lots of inspiration for moving on and doing more. I’d love to have one of those perfect backyard spaces too, but it’s not likely to happen anytime soon, so I’ll enjoy what I have & be thankful for it!

    xo,
    Rhoda

  13. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I see I have lots to read and enjoy looking at here! Thanks again!

  14. OOH, I’d love to have an outdoor dining room for LOTS of guests. :) Dare to dream!

  15. OOH, I’d love to have an outdoor dining room for LOTS of guests. :) Dare to dream!

  16. I always enjoy coming here, and see all your beautiful photographs…. what a dream! And you are so right: Creating inviting and inexpensive ambiences is possible; and so much fun! :)

    Have a great day

    cielo

  17. Vee~A Haven for Vee says:

    Oh I’d love to hang out around that outdoor fireplace. Some summer evenings are so chilly…it would be just enough.

    Thanks for sharing that link. I’m off to check it out now!

  18. Ummm…all of these are so pretty…
    We could have an iced coffee on any of these patios and enjoy, hu?
    happy day, my friend

  19. Kristeen says:

    My sis Teresa sent me over here. I was so thrilled to see your ideas on the out fireplace. Because our planned community has plans to build an out doors fireplace and a BBQ area. I love this idea better then what was planed. So I showed them this idea to the design group and they all loved it so I guess we will be building one so what of the one you show here – so I guess it pays to do some looking around… Thanks again from the Bearlakelochwoo.com – group and Kristeen

  20. I am so eager to get started on my outdoor space……I hope I don’t disapoint myself…………this stupid weather isn’t helping.

  21. I need an outdoor room. The only problem is that the mosquitos would eat me up alive where I live. It takes the joy out of it.

  22. I LOVE outdoor living! For such a huge old farmhouse, we have very little yard. We’ve been ripping out ugly bushes and putting the dog run behind the garage so WE have more room to live outside. However, in His generous grace, God has given us neighbors that are so giving and kind. Our pool sits in Neighbor Bob’s yard (his wife has a bad knee so they like having it there! Only God!); On the other side of them, Mr & Mrs O’Brien don’t have any children yet so they are delighted to share their double-lot with our baseball team – LOL! And across the street, our dear friends from church host plenty of cookout’s and are grateful that our kids play together after school. They say it’s good for their kids to learn to share. HAHAHAHA – that just cracks me up. God always puts us in just the right space for our lives!! Blessings… Polly

  23. Dianne Wood says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Oh what a haven. So charming and peacful. I have porches where Igo to escape. It is the most relaxing time spent during the day and evening.
    Thanks for sharing those lovely pictures.
    Dianne

  24. I love the table in the first picture and the fireplace in the second and the chaises in the third- I like them all!

  25. Love that second fireplace photo! I think it’s the scale of that fireplace, almost makes it seem like a fireplace magically transported from inside the house to outside.

    Great tips! I’m working on the veggie garden one :)

  26. so nice.
    someday i want a room outside like this.
    all of them…
    they are just gorgeous.
    i could fall asleep in those chairs in a second!

    did you have a nice mother’s day?

  27. kari and kijsa says:

    Great post! Love all the ideas for outdoor living. BTW….kari is the one building the house….thanks for all your sweet comments!

    Have a blessed day.

    smiles, kari & kijsa

  28. I agree with the crowd…..the photos were lovely to look at but the inspiration came from your ideas that followed. I have a favorite chair that I know I can drag out onto my deck on a beautiful evening. My husband will think I’m crazy! But after the long, long winter we recently escaped, I can’t imagine anything more luxurious! ~Kathy

  29. :::sigh::: i just had to come back and get one more looksy. your blog is my :escape:….

    and a happy belated mama’s day to you dear bff!
    love,
    shelbi

  30. Great suggestions… great doable ideas and great ideas for staying grounded and focusing on what’s really important!!! Thank you!
    Trina xx

  31. I could be blissfully happy in any one of those spots. We have a sunroom and a front porch that we adore. They are both quiet retreats that renew my spirit. Just like I know I will always feel better just for coming here to see what you are sharing.

  32. Melissa,

    Wonderful, my BFF! We spent our first weekend at our beach house, this weekend, and it was pure bliss! I thought about you and your wonderful beach house. Hoping that things are moving along with the remodel.

    I hope that your Mother’s Day was filled with all of the love, joy and attention that you deserve! Your children are so lucky to have you as their Mom. Somehow I know that they know that!

    Hugs and love,
    Debbie

  33. Great tips Melissa!!! And beautiful pictures!

  34. What an encouraging and brilliant post! I am working on my outdoor dining area right now and can’t wait to post my creation! Thanks Melissa, again! :)
    love j

  35. omgosh- that fireplace with the stones – that is so gorgeous! that’s for a yard in your neck of the woods – it makes me think of the northwest for some reason! Great ideas!!!

    JOni

  36. Melissa,
    You have the most beautiful , insightful, informative blog. I make myself a coffee before I sit down to your blog as I take my time to savour it, reread it and TAKE NOTES! When I finally build my house I will have to write a list of all the little things I included in my home from advice you have shared with all of us. Many thanks for your time in preparing your wonderful posts. A-M from Australia xx

  37. they sure are perfect! i’d love to have the space for something like that amazing outdoor fireplace! Thanks for the inexpensive tips, you are so helpful and full of great ideas!

    Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day xo

  38. Beautiful outdoor living space. I’m going to e-mail you with a “help” question. I’m looking for a certain photo and I’m sure you’ll know where to find it.

  39. What beautiful rooms! But I really love your quote about living the live we want instead of saving it for “someday”. I think I focus on “someday” way too much rather than making the “now” work.

  40. I am loving my new outdoor fireplace! We spend so much time outside in the summer, I am really working at creating outside rooms. Thanks for such inspiring posts Melissa.
    xo
    Penny

  41. I really love your quote about living the live we want instead of saving it for “someday”.

    Everything I buy now …is to use “Now”..and I take a lot of thought over buying something for the house…

    Also when buying clothes, I don’t just buy things for “best”..they get worn for the special occasion and then I wear them for shopping, meeting friends, a day out etc..

  42. I love the outdoor rooms. Your blog is definitely inspiring with all those beautilful pictures and great ideas. Thanks.

  43. The combination of crushed gravel, potted succulents and an outdoor fireplace is divine. All you need is a glass of red.

  44. Three perfect rooms, indeed! Have I mentioned that I’m crazy about outdoor fireplaces?

    Hope your week is going splendidly, BFF!

    xo

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