Now is the perfect time to enhance your outdoor space. During this time of quarantine, isolation and social distancing, our homes have been given more attention, and forcefully so.  We are using them in ways we never anticipated.  Between at-home office set ups and  “schoolhouse” needs, many rooms are seeing an increased need for multipurpose and multifunction. Outdoor spaces are no exception.  

Outdoor living rooms or dining areas can add virtual square footage onto your home’s footprint.  Instantly, you now have extra space for social distance entertaining. With just a few simple details, your outdoor living space can be greatly improved, no matter the size. So, let’s get started: 

Create a Perimeter

The absence of walls doesn’t mean you shouldn’t define the space. By adding some shrubbery, or potted plants, you can create a sense of boundary, enclosure or coziness to an otherwise undefined area.

Greenery like boxwoods, or potted trees and flowering plants adds such a great color opportunity.  And choosing things that bloom at varying times of the season ensures you’ll always have something pretty and colorful to enjoy. 


First, determine the use of the space. For example, will you be dining outside with family; roasting marshmallows with the kids, lounging by the pool, or hanging in Adirondack chairs with neighbors (albeit 6-10 feet apart)? Answering these questions on “use” will help determine the need and the placement for specific pieces of furniture. Perhaps you can even have all four scenarios!  


Once you know the furniture and pieces you’ll need, it’s important to think about the types of fabrics you’ll want to put on the cushions.  And think about what will be the least amount of maintenance. You’ll almost always want to select a high-performance outdoor grade fabric like those offered by Sunbrella. This type of fabric can be left outside all summer. But also, don’t be afraid to add in a few special indoor pillows for softness and texture, especially when guests are over. Just be sure to bring them in after the party to avoid a wet feather-filled mess.  


Outdoor lighting is such a value add. Whether you are able to hardwire it in the walls as sconces, sprinkle it in the ground shrubbery, or string lights above from a pergola,adding an ambient lighting element can immediately set a relaxed mood. If your space is not able to have an electric light source, torches, hurricane lanterns and votive candles also do the trick. 

Remember, above all else, great company and fun filled laugher are irreplaceable! And a refreshing beverage never hurts. 

                                                                                      All photos courtesy of Jane Beiles Photography