Turn Your Deck Into an Outdoor Living Room

Decorating your deck or patio can be challenging because your backyard is (obviously) completely different from the interior of your home. Usually, you won’t have walls surrounding the space, a ceiling isn’t necessarily guaranteed, and you have to deal with elements like weather and insects. Despite these difficulties, it’s still possible to make your backyard feel just as cozy and homey as your indoor living room! Here are our top tips for bringing the indoors out:

 

 

 

 

 

Make comfort a priority.

 

 

Think about what you want to use your deck for. Do you want to host lots of summer pool parties? Do you need a kid-friendly space? Whoever’s going to be on your deck, they should be able to kick back and relax without having to think about it.

 

 

If you mainly want to use your porch to host parties, choose furniture which is light and easy to move out of the way. Set up one or two “conversation corners” with a couple small, cushioned chairs so people can sit down and chat, but keep an open space in the center of your porch so everyone else can walk around freely and mingle. Consider purchasing a few tall cocktail tables or a bar where people can set their drinks.

 

 

But if you want an outdoor napping spot, go to town testing out every sofa in the store to find the fluffiest dream seat! You may even want to think about including a daybed in your seating area so you can really stretch out while you doze.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget the sun!

 

 

If your desk isn’t covered with a roof, there are some temporary and permanent options you can look into to add some coverage to your deck… And believe us, with the California sun, you definitely want a little extra protection and cool shade where you can get it!

 

 

If you really want to invest in a long-term outdoor living room, we encourage you to consider installing screened-in walls with a roof around the space. But if that seems like too big a project right now, the next level down is building or purchasing a trellis with some thick, natural greenery. At the very least, we suggest getting some sturdy umbrellas which are easy to tie up in case of windy or rainy weather.

 

 

 

 

 

Keep your space feeling open.

 

 

Even though your deck is outdoors, you’d be surprised how easy it can be to make the space feel cluttered and closed-in if you pick the wrong furniture. Try to choose low seating, so sight lines aren’t blocked by the backs of chairs. It’s also a good idea to use lighter colors for cushions, and to consider using clear, acrylic tables which seem invisible. (Not to mention how durable and easy they are to clean!)

 

 

If you’re open to a less traditional look, consider using a hammock chair in the corner of your sitting area instead of a big arm chair. You could also do away with chairs altogether and surround your coffee table with cushy poufs. These options will make your deck feel less crowded, and easier to clear out if you need more space for a big get-together.

 

 

 

 

 

Remember you need a lot of stuff outside.

 

 

Don’t you hate it when you’ve gathered up your best drinks and magazines to go relax outside…and then as soon as you get comfortable, you realize you left your snack inside? For some reason, it’s way more annoying to get up and go get something you forgot when you’re on your deck than it is when you’re inside your house. Then, when you’re ready to head back inside, you have all kinds of junk you have to carry back in.

 

 

So when you’re decorating your deck, consider the things you need out there to minimize the annoyance of lugging things in and out of the house. Invest in a bar cart to hold coasters, a bottle opener, and unbreakable cups. Find an end table which doubles as rain-proof storage for sensitive objects like an extra phone charging cord, headphones, and your favorite lazy day novels. And for things that you absolutely have to carry in and out, like dirty dishes and prepared food, keep several weather-safe trays on hand. We recommend getting bright, patterned trays that coordinate with the rest of your decor, so these can serve as accessories in themselves!

 

 

And finally, don’t forget about the practical details of lighting and cleaning. Hang up some warm glow lights for lighting up top, and then keep some tabletop lanterns on your coffee table or bar for lower lights. When you’re choosing furniture and cushions, be sure everything is easy to wipe off, hose down, or toss in your washing machine. You just never know what the weather will bring!

 

 

 

 

 

Need more help planning your perfect deck layout? Or do you need to check out a sectional in person to make sure it feels as snugly as it looks online? Come chat with one of our no-pressure sales members at our San Francisco, Redwood City, or San Rafael show rooms.