Feature article

Creating an outdoor living room for extended space

Rather than extending the footprint of your house, why not consider an outdoor room?

Last updated: 25 March 2024

These three inspirational alfresco living areas take the concept of indoor/outdoor flow to a new level.

Outdoor living rooms: from a deck to a full-blown garden room

Depending on your needs and budget, your outdoor living room could be anything from a simple covered deck with pergola through to a kitset garden room, or a complete alfresco living area with all the comforts of the indoors. Perhaps it’s a pool house with an outdoor changing room, kitchen, and seating area. The definition of an outdoor living room can be all of the above, and more.

If you’re planning a deck or patio space, consider creating a level threshold between the indoor and outdoor spaces. This will provide a seamless transition between indoors and out and help the outdoor space become an extension of your home. The choice of outdoor flooring will also help the cohesion. If your interior flooring is timber then opt for a similar timber or non-slip timber-look porcelain tile. If you have carpet indoors, choose a neutral outdoor flooring material and complement with any of the outdoor rugs now available.

A kitset garden room is ideal for additional space and gives you the option of integrating the structure or setting it apart from your main living space. Perhaps you’re looking for a home office or some separate accommodation for visitors, either way a garden room can be a great, multi-use space.

Cover image: This poolside outdoor living room, designed by Gary Todd Architecture creates a seamless cohesion between indoor living space and alfresco environment with a level threshold and continuation of materials. Image: John Williams

This outdoor space designed by Bolig Architecture, offers a beautiful alfresco setting with all the comforts of an indoor room. Image: John Williams

All the creature comforts: outdoor living rooms that emphasise living

Usually when we talk about our homes and gardens, we talk about bringing the outdoors in, but what about bringing the indoors out?

It used to be that if you wanted to enjoy your backyard the choice for outdoor furnishings was pretty utilitarian at best. Now, thanks to UV-resistant, weatherproof synthetic fibres, the choice is almost limitless — from sofas and armchairs through to outdoor rugs and cushions, none of which needs to be brought inside out of the weather.

Take your outdoor living to the next level and incorporate an outdoor fireplace into your design. Not only can you recreate the beauty of an open fireplace right in your own backyard, there are even options that allow you to create a double-sided, indoor-outdoor fireplace that you can enjoy from inside your home as well.

Designed by Jessop Architects, this covered outdoor room extends the living area of a Remuera home. Image: John Williams

Outdoor living rooms that maximise your indoor space

When designed well, outdoor rooms can greatly increase the usable living space. With seamless transitions between indoor and out, a covered outdoor room can essentially become part of the home – an additional usable area for year-round use.

Options such as operable louvred roofs, removable walls and heating can create a cosy addition for winter days, and sun-filled spaces for the summer months.


HOME Magazine
HOME Magazine


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