Many times, we think of a yard, and we only see work. We think of endless Saturday afternoons mowing the grass or trimming bushes. If we think of our yard as an extension of our living space, we may find that we begin to enjoy our time at home more.

To truly view the yard as an extension of the living space, it requires more than simply placing a foldable camp chair on the grass and calling it a day. Instead, it’s beneficial to create an outdoor living area that is warm and welcoming for your family. If getting started with that task seems hard, we’ve compiled 5 tips for creating an outdoor living area for your family.

1- Decide How to Divide the Space

The first step to creating the perfect outdoor living space is to determine how you want to use your space. Will you eat outside or simply sit and enjoy visits with friends and family? If you have children, you should decide if you want separate areas for adult relaxation and child-friendly activities.

2- Choose Appropriate Furnishings

Furniture for an outdoor living area is quite different from the metal settees and chairs that were popular 40 or more years ago. Now, you can choose styles that complement the décor you have inside your home to fill your outside spaces. When choosing your furniture, you want to remember how you plan to use the space as well as who will use the space most often. A small bistro set for two might be better suited for your space than a patio table that seats 10-12 people and features a multi-colored umbrella.

3- Use Long-Lasting Outdoor Fabric

Once you’ve chosen your furniture, you will want to ensure that the pieces are both comfortable and durable. As with indoor spaces, there are a variety of choices for outdoor fabrics for cushions, drapes, or tablecloths. When choosing outdoor fabric, it’s essential to choose long-lasting fabrics. Otherwise, you could find yourself changing your cushions every time the weather changes.

4- Consider Lighting

Without using lighting in your space, you will limit yourself to only being outdoors during daylight hours. Lighting can range from task lighting for cooking to decorative lighting for atmosphere and safety moving from one space to the next. Consider using your home as inspiration for the lights you include outside in order to create a true extension of your home outdoors.

5- Light the Fire

When the nights get cooler, many people stop using their outdoor spaces. However, you don’t have to be one of them. If you enjoy a night by the fire, you can incorporate a fireplace or fire pit into your design. Having somewhere to be cozy near the fire adds dimension to your entertaining as well. There’s nothing quite like an evening making s’mores with friends.

Regardless of how you use your outdoor space, there are some things you can do to make it a more enjoyable place to be. We hope these five tips will help you begin to create your own outdoor living space for your family.