How to Create a Cozy Outdoor Room

In order to create a cozy outdoor room, you first have to answer the question, “What makes a room cozy?” The answer will invariably include two basic components: comfort and intimacy.

Fire features reinforce the "room" concept and set a warm and inviting tone.

Fire features reinforce the “room” concept and set a warm and inviting tone.

Comfortable Outdoor Living

The elements needed for outdoor comfort will vary depending on the season. During hotter months, finding a way to keep cool is often a priority. During this time of year, keeping warm becomes more of an issue. In order to enjoy your outdoor rooms further into the fall and winter seasons, it’s imperative to have heat sources, such as butane heaters, comfy blankets, and fire features like a fire table, outdoor fireplace, or fire pit. Lining the perimeter of an overhang or porch with retractable ceiling-to-floor solar screens can also provide a dual purpose, by blocking the sun during the summer and providing a wind screen during the winter.

Face furniture towards each other to create "conversation areas".

Face furniture pieces towards each other to create intimate “conversation areas”.

Furniture selection can also be a big part of the equation. Many people tend to choose form over function in order to create the look they desire. When selecting outdoor furniture, choose pieces that are both comfortable and can be grouped together to create intimate conversation areas. Also keep comfort in mind when selecting accessories like throw pillows, which can sometimes be attractive but stiff. Stools and ottomans can also add to the comfort level by offering an opportunity to prop feet up into a more relaxed position.

Seat walls help define the space and provide additional seating.

Seat walls help define the space and provide additional seating.

Creating Intimacy

Creating intimacy can be a challenge in an open space. One way to do so is to group furniture into smaller conversation areas. Another option is to partition outdoor areas into specific rooms with walls. This can be done with virtual walls, such as with a folded screen or a shelved container garden, or actual walls can be built by using retaining wall block to create freestanding divider walls or seat walls.

Seat walls actually serve a dual purpose by defining or dividing rooms while simultaneously providing extra seating. In fact, according to a recent survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects, built-in seating is actually one of the hottest emerging trends in outdoor design today.

Decorative items add character and charm to an outdoor room.

Decorative items add character and charm to an outdoor room.

Finishing Touches

In order to create a truly comfortable outdoor room, decorate it as though it is an indoor room. Choose elements that reflect your personality. Ideas include container gardens, weatherproof clocks and vases, lanterns, bird houses, and baskets. If your outdoor room includes walls, you can also decorate the walls with various items that will reinforce the concept of bringing the indoors out. Lighting can also enhance the mood of the room.

For lighting ideas, read our previous blog on lighting your hardscapes.

Decorate outdoor walls similarly to how you might decorate an indoor wall.

Decorate outdoor walls similarly to how you might decorate an indoor wall.

Product Spotlight: Mega-Tandem Wall

Part of our transitional collection, Mega-Tandem is designed to give the timeless appearance of chiseled stone to complement any hardscape. It’s a recent addition to our products that’s only been around since last spring. Mega-Tandem is one of our more versatile walls because it has such a natural appearance, making it perfect for anyone who wants a subtle addition to their home or business.

The texture of Mega-Tandem feels like natural stone, so if you’re looking for a hardscape wall that blends naturally into your surroundings, you’ve found it. It’s great for homes as well as commercial use, as its earthy appearance has the perfect balance of aestheticism and functionality without being ostentatious. It looks so much like it belongs there that you’ll find yourself wondering if it’s actually been there all along.

Mega-Tandem can be used to create curved or straight retaining and freestanding walls. If you’re looking for a stately look, try a straight retaining or freestanding wall…

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…but if you’re in the market for something less austere and more inviting, go for a curved wall:

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Belgard is the only hardscape manufacturer to be granted the Good Housekeeping Seal, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best and will be taken care of should you have any concerns. Our products are designed with sustainability, beauty and functionality in mind because you deserve a product that’s eye-catching as well as enduring – not to mention something eco-friendly that you can feel good about.

If you are interested in putting up a retaining or freestanding wall for your home or business, let us know! We are happy to help you assess your aesthetic and practical needs to ensure that you end up with the best hardscape possible.

Product Spotlight: Country Manor Wall

The castle estate aesthetic isn’t just for nobility and royalty anymore. If you’ve ever wished to live in a regal manor on the rolling hills of the English countryside, we have a solution that will meet you where are.

Country Manor is one of our eight styles of retaining wall stone that comes in a wide range of shapes and colors. It’s perfect for freestanding landscape walls, columns and moderately tall reinforced retaining walls. Country Manor stone makes a stunning addition as a fireplace…

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…an enclosure for an outdoor dining area…

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…or a walkway fit for royalty.

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Country Manor uses patented pin technology, giving your fireplace or column extra strength – and it’s easy to install, too! If you have a vision for your home, we can make it a reality without any hassle.

The possibilities are endless. Be sure to scan through the Belgard Idea Books tailored to your region and check out the combinations of Country Manor and pavers like Dublin or London Cobble. Once you find something you want, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you figure out how to give your home some rustic old world flavor.

Product Spotlight: Weston Stone

Retaining walls are critical in helping to avoid sinkholes, flooding and erosion in your yard, but they can also be beautiful additions that make your outdoor living space feel like a luxury getaway. Belgard Weston Stone walls are a terrific option for both functionality and aesthetics.

The flexibility of Weston Stone is unmatched. Its natural stone appearance allows for a wide range of applications and design options, with increased installation efficiency and easy customization. This double-sided wall boasts a cleaner, more sculpted look and is the ideal choice for garden walls, pillars, outdoor kitchens and planters.

Take a look at how Belgard West Stone can transform your outdoor space:

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Product Spotlight: Belair Wall

With the popularity of walls on the rise (pun intended) and the numerous ways wall block can be used in outdoor living spaces, we’re spotlighting one of our favorite retaining wall blocks, Belair Wall.

Belair Wall is ideal for retaining and freestanding wall construction where aesthetics are a key consideration. The attractive multipiece design and blended colors offer an alternative look to traditional retaining wall blocks. Belair Wall can be used in curves and corners, terraces and raised patios, or steps and columns.

Here are a few of our favorite outdoor living spaces that use Belair Wall:

Belgard’s Best for Creating a Retaining Wall

Have you been interested in adding a retaining wall to your outdoor space? Belgard offers several wall block options to help you design a retaining wall that fits aesthetically with your home’s style including:

Belair
Belair Wall is ideal for retaining and freestanding wall construction where aesthetics are a key consideration. The attractive multipiece design and blended colors offer an alternative look to traditional retaining wall blocks. Belair Wall can be used in curves and corners, terraces and raised patios, or steps and columns.
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Weston
The flexibility of Weston Stone is unmatched. Its natural stone appearance allows for a wide range of applications and design options. This double-sided wall is the ideal choice for garden walls, pillars, outdoor kitchens and planters.
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Celtik
Rough-hewn texture and natural hues give Celtik Wall a time-honored appearance recalling classic European gardens. Celtik Wall’s antiqued look is complemented by modern manufacturing, which yields precise dimensional consistency, resulting in the perfect companion to paver projects, landscape contouring, or garden areas.
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Country Manor
The rustic look of Old English estate walls is deftly captured in Country Manor Wall. With a remarkably broad range of shapes and colors, it’s the ideal choice for freestanding landscape walls, columns and moderate height reinforced retaining walls. Country Manor employs patented pin technology, providing extra strength with an ease of installation that’s second-to-none.
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For more information visit www.Belgard.com.