Home renovations and expansions have been very popular among home dwellers who are opting to embellish the space they live in, rather than move. One of the most popular ways recently is to create an outdoor living room! These “rooms” range the gamut from those a la Carolyne Roehm; very elaborate dining tables and full service outdoor kitchens, to nooks designed to be a meditation area — and everything in-between.
A well done outdoor living space enables those with a small deck or terrace to feel less detached from nature. Photographed here is the outdoor room I designed at my home in Brooklyn. It’s a funky space that brings me great joy. I use this space from the early spring through the fall and it’s a wonderful place to entertain friends comfortably outside.
If you’re looking to create your own outdoor living room, my top four tips are listed below.
1. Bring in Lots of Greenery
I wanted a space that felt like a garden, and I hung plants over a wide bench that gives off a garden-feel. Since weather in NYC can be unpredictable, all of my tools and herbs are on a bar cart that can be pushed inside when needed. My herb garden has allowed me to make all sorts of wonderful recipes year round, including fabulous basil leaves that I toss on top of homemade pizzas.
2. Make It Cozy and Colorful
I use colorful afghans and pillows in my space that make guests feel welcome and add a pop of color!
3. Have Heat Sources
A firepit and gas heaters make this “room” quite comfortable even when it’s cold out.
4. Make it Fun and Unexpected
For years I’ve been a guest at chefs’ homes that have enormous outdoor pizza ovens and I’ve had pizza oven envy forever! Now on the market are several newer portable ovens for personal home use. I sprang for the Gozney Roccbox Pizza Oven and the results are out of this world! I’m planning on a series of pizza parties as we speak!
Photos: Luis Zepeda Photography