River Homes Deck

7 Tips for a Dreamy Outdoor Living Environment

Spring has sprung, and that means the season of outdoor living is upon us once more! Of course, in a place with as temperate a climate as Savannah, we can usually enjoy time outdoors year-round—perhaps with a heater in tow. But now that warmer months are returning, it is undeniably the perfect moment to prioritize enjoying the open air. At home, that can take many forms, but having dedicated outdoor living spaces makes it all the more enjoyable, especially if you plan to entertain. That’s why we’re sharing our favorite seven tips for creating a dreamy outdoor living environment!

#1 Create a Dedicated Outdoor Living Space

River Homes Outdoor Space

This can be easier said than done depending on your residence. Some homes are going to have clear options for dedicating an outdoor living space, while others won’t. If you’re looking to improve this aspect of your home life, we do have a fabulous River Homes residence on the market! As you can see from the photo above, its outdoor living situation is a dream.

But regardless of the space you’re working with, you can establish a dedicated outdoor living environment. The trick is to think about how you like to spend time in the open air. If you enjoy having meals as a family outside, invest in a comfortable, functional dining set. Alternatively, maybe it’s all about reading and taking an afternoon nap in the sun … hammock, anyone? Contemplate your dream life outdoors, and design for it!

#2 Design for All Seasons

In some climates, this might not be possible. But in Savannah, you can totally pull off year-round outdoor living with just a few simple adjustments. The best tip is to think about heating and cooling. If you have an overhang above your porch or patio, install overhead fans. Otherwise, you could consider a freestanding fan. For the winter months, purchase one of those hospitality heaters—trust us, they’re worth the money.

#3 Think About Pest Protection

Whether you have a regular spray service come out or prefer to burn a citronella candle, you’ll want to lend some thought to bug control. Anyone familiar with the South in summer knows that mosquitoes can ruin the best of times! Remember that they love standing water. If you’re having major mosquito issues, the bird bath might need to go. Or, you could get one with a fountain or trickling effect, since movement will please the birds but not the mosquitoes.

If you’re having mosquito troubles even after having a service spray for them, burning your candles, and eliminating any standing water, there is still hope. Many homeowners swear by the power of Thermacell’s repellent devices.

#4 Make Plantings a Part of Your Design

Make Plantings a Part of Your Design

You might think this applies only to those with a sprawling grass yard, but that isn’t true! There are many gorgeous plant varieties that thrive in a potted setting. Southern Living has a fantastic article on this subject, titled 30 Heat-Tolerant Container Gardens for Sweltering Summers.

But the location of plantings isn’t the only thing to consider. While creating a pollinator garden might be a charming idea, think about your goals for our outdoor living space first. If you plan to entertain often, plants that attract bees might not be the best move. You never know which guests might be deathly allergic to their stings! From the colors you like to how long you want them to appear in bloom to whether or not you want an edible garden—all of it plays a role in plant selection.

#5 Remember to Create Shade

This obviously applies more to those who don’t already have an awning over a patio or a porch structure. If you are creating an outdoor living space in an area that is open to the sky overhead, make sure to incorporate shade. Whether you have a gorgeous vintage-inspired umbrella like this one from Frontgate or decide to install a motorized awning, shade matters. Not only does it protect you from the sun on those blistering summer days. It also helps to regulate temperature.

#6 Prepare to Entertain With Ease

Outdoor Entertaining

If you know you’ll be wanting to spend ample time enjoying your outdoor living spaces with friends and family, design for it! The most important factor here is seating. If you are going to have guests over regularly, one or two lounge chairs will not be enough. A dining set is a great idea. But so too would be a fuller lounge area, complete with a sofa, chaise lounge, etc.

Another tip we love for outdoor entertainers is to consider investing in a stainless-steel rolling bar cart, complete with fridge, ice bucket, and more. Dometic’s MoBar is a top-of-the-line option. The price may feel steep, but the experience for your guests—and the convenience it brings you—will be memorable.

#7 Lighting Is Essential

Think about it: you’ve poured time, energy, and passion into designing the perfect outdoor living space to complement your home, but at night it’s barely usable because all you have is a single patio lantern. Avoid this unfortunate realization by considering your lighting needs up front. Our advice is to make this a contract-level project, incorporating built-in lighting if you don’t already have it. Many homes with a porch or patio will already be equipped. But if you’re building your outdoor living space from the ground up, make elegant lighting a priority! You won’t regret it.

By taking all of these tips into consideration, we’re sure you can create the dreamiest outdoor living environment! How better to spend the spring, summer, and beyond? Whether you enjoy quiet moments to yourself, entertaining loved ones, or both, having a dedicated outdoor living area proves a wonderful addition to life at home.

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