Discover the Charm of an Outside Family Living Room
Discover the Charm of an Outside Family Living Room.
You may not have realized but you can instantly extend your home and create another 'room' by utilizing your outdoor patio. With summer right around the corner, what could be better than making your patio into a perfect family living area?
Think of the Children
The patio doesn't have to be big for the whole family to enjoy it when the sun comes out, but if you have very young children, you may want to think about some safety issues as you plan your new 'room.' If the little ones have just learned to walk, make sure the floor surface is level and smooth, that way there'll be fewer bumped knees and scratched elbows to contend with. Also, if you have enough space, it is advisable to have a designated 'play area' so toddlers and infants can stay far away from hot items such as the barbeque. This all sounds pretty formal but in reality it can just be a couple of benches with a few cushions on top that separate one side from the other. Make sure the kids are entertained there by maybe getting a sandbox - you can get great ones now that have their very own sunshade over the top. A good idea is to put the play area near to the yard side of the patio and the barbeque closer to the house side (but not next to the house) - that way no one will crash into people bringing things to and from the kitchen. It almost goes without saying that any water areas should be safely fenced off.
Now the safety issues are out of the way, you can start thinking about other details. It's highly likely that the family is going to want to eat at some point so that means a barbeque and a table. This depends entirely on your budget: barbeques range from a simple dug out pit in the ground to state-of-the-art regulated gas ones with side burners that can be wheeled outside then back indoors when not needed. If you're short on space though, the old saying 'moderation in everything' becomes very apt - a nice portable barbeque that's not too big can get the job done easily and leaves more space for a family table where everyone can eat. Again the range of tables available is immense and all down to personal taste. However, with young children try and avoid foldable furniture as many accidents have occurred involving a child's small fingers and a collapsible chair.
Every patio table should have a parasol to shade both food and eaters on those interminably hot days, yet umbrellas can have their uses when the sun goes down as well and it starts to grow dark: try getting one that has dozens of small fairy lights on the inside that start to twinkle when twilight comes, and create your very own universe complete with constellations and galaxies. They can be battery-powered or solar-powered so they charge up by day and twinkle by night.
Relaxation and Comfort
If food is not a priority on the patio then you're going to need a few comfy chairs, a hammock, or a swing bench chair. These chairs even have their own awnings and side tables for the odd glass of wine but you'll have to be quick to get a seat as you'll find the kids will often beat you to them. You could even throw down a few outdoor rugs and so put the finishing touches to your outside room.
Evenings on the patio for family get-togethers, parties, or just end-of-the-day relaxation will need some extra warmth when the sun goes down so invest in a few patio heaters and don't forget the insect repellent candles - that way the party will go on for hours.
A family patio area is the perfect outdoor room and over the years, will create some great memories for the family scrapbook.
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