The sunburst mirror on the brick wall makes this outdoor dining area feel like a real room.
It's spring! Long days, sunshine, birds, barbecues, flowers! For the next six months or so, it's outside time (sorry, people in the Northeast; your time will come). Which means, of course, that you should have an outdoor room, a place where you can do all the things you do in winter — entertain, read, eat, relax — under the big, blue sky.
We're not talking a giant pavilion with a built-in fireplace. Although if you can make that happen, please do. We're talking a snug and stylish corner with the comforts of home.
Depending on where you live, you will have different considerations. Some will have to think about rain; others will need a source of shade or cooling. Some will have to take the bugs into account; others, the neighbors. Where I live on the Northern California coast, our outdoor summer rooms include heaters.
But whatever the specifics, every room should include a few basics:
Comfy furniture. No one wants to perch on a hard wooden chair all afternoon.
Rugs. They delineate the space and feel good underfoot.
Decoration. Art, potted plants, sculpture, lanterns. This is a room; decorate it.
I also advocate for hammocks, grills, tables, throw blankets, candles and a source of music, but these are optional. Here are a few inspirations to get you going.