Your Guide to Creating the Perfect Outdoor Lounge Area

outdoor living roomsHere at Structurally Speaking, we believe that most homes have a completely underused living space – the backyard. We specialize in building decks and porches designed to perfectly fit every home and family. We can help you create a custom outdoor lounge area that will make you question why you waited so long to start using your backyard.

Deck or Porch: Which is Right for You?

When creating an outdoor sitting area, the first question you need to answer is whether you want a deck or porch. There are pros and cons to both. No one answer fits every family.

Decks tend to be the less expensive option, but often require more maintenance since they are exposed to the elements. With a deck, you can easily set up a grilling area and fire pit, and they are perfect for sunbathing. Decks also make sense for smaller lots in many cases, though we can build small porches too.

The roof of a porch makes this kind of space more versatile. Most of our clients enclose their porches, and screens give you several added benefits, including more safety for pets/kids, fewer pests, and additional weather protection. Porches do tend to be more expensive, but you can use them during more days of the year.

Of course, you also have the option to build a combination porch and deck. This kind of outdoor living space gives you the best of both worlds. When you work with us, we’ll help you design the space from scratch, which makes it easy to create a combination porch and deck. Not all contractors design custom decks/porches, so they may or may not offer options that work for your home, lot, and lifestyle.

Create a Lounge Area for Your Patio or Deck

After we help you build the perfect deck (or porch), it’s time to create the lounge area. We actually recommend planning this during the design process so you make sure the end product will look and function exactly how you want. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Don’t just think about seating for your immediate family. Think about all the ways in which you’ll use the space, including al fresco entertaining for large groups of friends (with style, of course!).
  • Seating layout is important, but so are other elements. Make sure you have good lighting, surfaces to set food/drinks, and space for special features such as outdoor projectors.
  • Consider creating a neutral background when it comes to color by choosing natural wood stains or white paint. Then, you simply need to change furniture cushions, outdoor rugs, and pillows when you want to update the space.
  • Make sure you create nooks for cozy one-on-one conversations. It’s tempting to create sitting areas for larger groups, such as adding many seats around a fire pit, but more intimate spaces with just a few chairs or bench seats often makes sense too.
  • Think about the sun as you plan your outdoor lounge area. Some of our clients want to take full advantage of the sun for sunbathing or growing plants while others want to make sure they have pergolas, awnings, umbrellas, or other ways to provide lots of shade.

If you’re not sure what you want from a deck, don’t worry. Many homeowners know they want a deck, but can’t envision how they want it to look. We’ll walk you through the design process to make sure your outdoor living room perfectly meets your wants and needs, even if you aren’t yet certain what those wants and needs are.

Choosing the Best Patio Lounge Furniture

As you’re planning which outdoor space ideas will work best for your home, it’s important to think about your outdoor furniture. Yes, some brands are better than others. However, quality aside, there are a few features you’ll want to consider when choosing lounge furniture. Here are our best tips:

  • Try before you buy: Your patio furniture should be as comfortable as your living room furniture. Sit on couches and chairs before you commit, especially for pieces that are more expensive.
  • Choose all-weather materials: Metal, wicker, teak, and cedar are all good options for the base of your furniture. Fabrics should be mold and mildew resistant, with colors that are fade resistant in the sun.
  • Look for multi-purpose pieces: Outside, you typically have less square footage even though we tend to use our decks for multiple purposes. Look for pieces that can function in multiple ways, such as chairs that recline for sun bathing, benches that can double as end tables, and ottomans that can become additional seating.

This article from the New York Times has more tips and tricks for how to buy the best deck furniture for your new outdoor lounge area.

FAQs About Building Your New Deck

We’d love to meet with you to see your space and start designing a deck you’ll love, complete with the perfect relaxing lounge area. As we help you create a lounging area for your patio or deck, you might have questions for our team. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Here are a few we hear frequently:

How do you design an outdoor lounge?

We start by talking to you about exactly what your family needs in an outdoor living space, as well as looking at your existing home and backyard. Your new outdoor lounge should have a custom design that reflects your individual family. After our initial consultation, we’ll create a few designs so you can choose one and tweak it to meet your needs perfectly. We don’t start building until you’re completely in love with the design.

How do you set up an outdoor seating area?

We’ll show you options as we design your deck so you can set up your outdoor seating to reflect your needs. We love the use of outdoor rugs to define each space, especially if you decide you want a large deck.

Can you help me pick the best features, materials, and colors for my outdoor lounge area?

Absolutely! We’re experts when it comes to deck and porch design, with decades of experience in this field. Don’t be intimidated by all the decisions you’ll need to make. We’re happy to give you recommendations and show you very detailed design drawings from multiple angles so you can truly get a sense of what to expect. Get started today with a free consultation by contacting our team here.