Design Tips How-To

Design Considerations for Outdoor Living Spaces – Part 2

brick patio fireplace

Outdoor living space is a great home feature that will increase your home’s value.  It creates an outdoor focal point that will draw you outdoors and provides entertainment and recreation space throughout the year.  Whether you choose to relax with family or entertain with friends, an outdoor living space will add value and years of outdoor enjoyment to your home.  Adding an outdoor kitchen or fireplace to your backyard is a project that requires proper planning for successful results. This is the second installation of a four-part series of blogs detailing these factors to help you design the best outcome for your outdoor living space. 

Layout of Outdoor Living Spaces

The next consideration is how you will use your outdoor living space.  Break up outdoor living space into “rooms” or “zones” for entertainment.  Consider views from the house, focal points, privacy, screening and prevailing wind (direction that wind blows from most often) when deciding where to locate this space.  Popular outdoor living spaces include a living room, kitchen, and dining room.  

Outdoor living rooms should be large enough to accommodate typical furniture layouts and a pathway for foot traffic, but not much larger.  Most home-owners want a couple of couch-style lounges or large lounge chairs next to their fireplace. Seating areas should be big enough to accommodate outdoor patio furniture with deep, comfortable seating. Patio sizes should be a minimum area of 12 feet by 12 feet and a maximum of 18 feet by 18 feet.  Balance outdoor structures and furniture with lighting, adjacent greenery, plants, and flowers.  

Your outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen should have a convenient storage area either built in or nearby for wood or propane.  Plan a storage area for your cooking utensils, accessories, and cleaning supplies. For protection, always store a fire extinguisher near your outdoor living space, in case of an emergency.

Expert Tips!

  • The fireplace is an “anchor” for the outdoor living room.  An outdoor fireplace will immediately become a focal point in your outdoor setting.  It will add a relaxing atmosphere for entertaining. Make the fireplace location part of your outdoor entertaining area where guests can comfortably mingle and relax.  For entertaining, you’ll need comfortable seating and occasional tables.  
  • The grill island anchors the outdoor kitchen.  This area will be the focal point for outdoor grilling and barbecuing.  It will add an enticing aroma to the entertainment space. Guests will gather around the grill to catch a glimpse of the meal being prepared.  Consider having an area for hot and cold refreshments nearby. You will also need to incorporate a space for cooking utensils and storage in your outdoor kitchen.  
  • An outdoor dining space can include table and chairs or an eat-at counter top adjacent to the outdoor kitchen.  Additionally, you will need to consider areas for clean-up and waste cans.

Placement of an Outdoor Fireplace

Your fireplace needs proper ventilation and protection from a potential fire that could be started by sparks igniting nearby brush or structures. If your fireplace is attached to the house, make sure it’s properly vented; otherwise, smoke could enter the house.  Outdoor fireplaces should always be located away from any potentially flammable items like trees or shrubs.   

Pick a dry spot for your fireplace. Proper drainage is essential, especially in the event of a storm. Your site must have a way for water to drain. If you live in a cold area, take care that your fireplace will not be damaged by snow, ice or frost.  

Expert Tips!

  • Place fireplaces in a focal point, but do not block city, mountain, or shoreline views.
  • Use the height of a large fireplace to help screen prevailing winds.

Round Grove Products offers standard features and options to customize your outdoor fireplace and make it unique.  We acknowledge that no two outdoor spaces are exactly alike, so we also make custom-sizes to meet the design considerations for your specific space.  Whether it’s an outdoor fireplace, brick oven, or custom outdoor kitchen Round Grove Products will build your exact design.

Outdoor living space with an outdoor focal point will draw you outdoors and provide entertainment and recreation space throughout the year.  Whether you choose to relax with family or entertain with friends, an outdoor living space will add years of outdoor enjoyment to your home. Before you decide to build your outdoor living space, take time to consider these factors and choose the best ones for your home.  Enjoy the experience of designing your dream space!!

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