Outdoor Living Room Ideas For Year Round Enjoyment
Updated: Jan 10
Create a Cozy Outdoor Living Space Even in Winter
West coasters love to be outside sharing our patios, decks and outdoor living rooms with family and friends. Thankfully, we don’t have to limit the enjoyment of our outdoor spaces to the summer months.
Our relatively mild winters mean that with some planning and the addition of a few key features, outdoor living rooms can be comfortably used all year round.
At White Wolf Homes we take the time to understand how our clients want to use and enjoy their outside space. We can incorporate four-season outdoor living rooms into our designs according to what you’d like for your home and family.
Read on for some outdoor living space ideas to inspire you, whether you want to create your own cozy space or have it custom-designed just for you.
What are the Benefits of Having an Outdoor Living Room?
Adding an outdoor living area to your home can offer many benefits:
Add value to your home: Outdoor living rooms are not only desirable, and therefore make the home more sellable, but if done well they can increase the usable floor space of the home quite significantly.
Add extra living space: Whether you want to use your outdoor living space as a relaxing family room, dining area, outdoor kitchen or all of the above, you will enjoy having extra space to have some quiet time, have fun with family or host a gathering of friends
Get year-round enjoyment: Why have a beautiful patio you can only use for three months? Using your outdoor living room year round gives you a great return on your investment.
Great health benefits: For those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, cabin fever or the winter blues, a place to get some fresh air and winter sun anytime can be a great help.
What Makes a Good Outdoor Living Space?
A good outdoor living space is one which you and your family will use and enjoy for years to come. Here are some of the things we at White Wolf Homes think are essential in great outdoor living space design:
Indoor / outdoor flow: To really feel like you’ve extended your living space, the outdoor space should connect to and flow from the indoor space. Consider a wall of glass sliding doors that keep the visual connection and can be opened up in summer to create a continuous space. Another good way to create continuity is to use the same flooring material in both the indoor and outdoor sections.
Know the purpose of the outdoor space: Do you want your living space to be a cozy family retreat, or a classy entertainment space? Do you want a full outdoor kitchen or just space for your grill? Is there a view you want to incorporate? Understanding what you’ll use the space for will help with designing an area that works for you year-round.
Privacy: Living outside is great but may not be too comfortable if you have neighbours overlooking your space. Integrate existing exterior walls, fencing, screens, roller shades or strategically placed planting, to build privacy into your outdoor living room.
Don’t forget entertainment: Modern technology enables us to incorporate televisions, speakers, Wi-Fi and more to outside spaces.
Cooking facilities: If you want to cook and eat outside year round, dedicate some space to cooking facilities. This can include a simple custom enclosure for your grill or a full-on gourmet outdoor kitchen complete with wood-fired pizza oven.
Heat and light: Even in the height of summer it can get chilly in the evening. Incorporating an outdoor fireplace, fire table/bowl or fire pit is useful in any season and will keep you cozy outside in the winter. Consider some built in lighting, such as in-floor or landscape lighting, then supplement it with extra lighting depending on the season.
Flexible furniture: If you want to keep your furniture outside year round, it's worth investing in something that can stand the wear of winter weather. Teak or poly-resin wicker furniture with waterproof material cushions will save you rushing outside to pull covers on every time it rains.
How to Create a Four Season Patio to Use Year-Round.
To make your outdoor living room truly four-season, you will need to include some kind of covering or shelter for those days when mother nature is not on our side. Consider these options:
Permanently closed roof and sides:
Closed in porches
Closed on top only:
Roof extensions / under deck
Additional protection and privacy:
How to Winterize Your Outdoor Living Room.
Here are some ideas for transitioning your space to be warm and welcoming in the cooler, darker months:
Warm it up: Add a natural gas or propane fire pit or firebowl, or even a built-in electric, gas, or propane fireplace. Another way to add ambient heat is with a high-quality patio heater. The newer ones of the market are state of the art and designed to add safe and efficient heat to your enclosed or semi-enclosed space.
Add some light: Cozy lighting can make any space feel instantly warm and welcoming. You will need more light in winter than you do in the summer so consider adding additional string lighting, lamps and artificial candles. Remember, solar powered lights won’t work quite as well in winter so you may want to supplement with electric lighting.
Change up the décor: The bright colours, beachy themes and décor that create a vacation atmosphere in the summer won’t feel right in the middle of winter. Add comfort, warmth and coziness by switching summer décor for woolen blankets, fleece throws, furry cushions and rugs in rich, warm colours.
Want to Include an Outdoor Living Room in Your Custom-Built Home?
Let White Wolf Homes help you maximize your living space by adding an outdoor living room to your custom home design or renovation. Based in Victoria, BC, White Wolf has been building quality custom homes in the area since 2015.
We work closely with clients to include features that will enhance their lifestyle including indoor to outdoor living spaces, sunrooms, and covered porches such as in our upcoming Birch build. Contact us today to find out more about our custom build and renovation services.