Create an Outdoor Living Room

Marcy Blum's top tips for thinking outside four walls.

Not ready to go all-in for a home renovation? One way to expand your space without knocking down walls is to turn your outdoor area into an al fresco living room. We checked in with NYC celebrity event planner, Marcy Blum, to get her top tips for transforming these untapped spaces.

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"A well-designed outdoor living space enables those with a small deck or terrace to feel less detached from nature. Outdoor 'rooms' run the gamut, from those a la Carolyne Roehm—elaborate dining tables and full-service kitchens—to nooks designed to be a cozy meditation area, and everything in between."

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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. I use this space from the early spring through the fall and it’s a wonderful place to entertain friends comfortably outside. Since the 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.

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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. Games always help make make it more social and relaxed.

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3. Have Heat Sources

A firepit, gas heaters, and cozy blankets make this room quite comfortable even when it’s cold out.

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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 by Luis Zepeda Photography

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