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Fire & Water

Beauty and Function Are Key When Planning the Perfect Outdoor Living Space

Article by Jennifer Starbuck

Photography by Courtesy of Four Elements Landscape

Originally published in Parker City Lifestyle

Maybe you’ve been spending more time indoors the past month than you ever thought possible, and you want to expand your home’s living space. Maybe you’re dreaming of entertaining again. Either way, it’s springtime in Colorado, and that means the outdoor living is good.

Lili To of Four Elements Landscape says before starting any project, start with your “why.” 

“Before you work out how you’ll renovate, it’s important to assess why,” she says. “Ask yourself what it is you’d like your outdoor space to do, or how you’d like to feel while you’re in the space. If you identify your real motive for renovating, it should keep you focused on your ultimate goal.”

A gourmet cook and entertainer may focus on an outdoor kitchen with all the luxuries of an indoor setup. Someone who loves to have laid-back gatherings of friends and family may want to center the project around a comfortable fire pit with adjoining water feature.

“When you’re looking for ideas, think about mixing materials, contrasting colors and conflicting textures," Lili says. "People are wanting to ensure their space is functional as well as amazing to look at." 

  1. What are some things to consider when planning your outdoor project?

    1. Functional Spaces: The real secret to design and 2020 trends is function. Your space should look great and work even better. Spaces that can be used for cooking, dining and relaxing will stand above the rest.

    2. Minimalism: Less is more. White can be the main color with brushed aluminum material and accessories to provide that pop of interest you're searching for.

    3. Natural Materials: The outdoors is our natural environment. Look at natural materials in your outdoor furniture and look for a color match in accessories such as taupe, brown, and grey. 

    4. Dual Purpose Furniture: Double the functionality of your furniture with furniture that provides another layer of function such as side tables with a cooler or cushion storage in your seating. Get creative and create function that wows your guests.

    5. Comfort Is King: Your outdoor space should be comfortable and while this is the last note on the list, it should be at the front of your mind through any process.