I LOVE WARM WEATHER!! It’s wonderful to enjoy the changing seasons, the fireflies blinking and the chirping of crickets in the evenings. What better place to enjoy it than on a screened-in porch, deck, or patio? By extending your home to the outdoor spaces around it, we can create a whole new living area without adding square footage to your house. Whether you’re designing for your life, or staging your home to sell, people LOVE outdoor living spaces.

Ideas for turning your outdoor space into an extra living area.

Creating an Outdoor Living Room

Function and Furnishings are always the first place to start. For this screened porch, you’ll actually see that I created two functions for a single space, and provided seating for at least six people to enjoy the space. How will you use your outdoor living area? What fabrics or finishes will be best for the space?  I chose a wicker seating set with a coffee table for this area. The outdoor fabrics are perfect because even though the porch has a ceiling, rain often blows sideways and the seating may get damp. The tables offer a place to set out a snack, put down a glass of wine, or use a lamp for lower lighting in the evening instead of a large overhead ceiling fan with light (not shown in photo). This home also sits close to a busy road, so we built a small fountain for about $125 that offers a wonderful background that makes that highway noise mostly disappear. I also used an indoor/outdoor rug to ground and define the space, and various plants to add a more “outdoorsy” feel.

Screened porch with fountain by Crystal Ortiz, Portfolio, Bluestone Decorating
This seating area includes a loveseat, two chairs, and a coffee table. Smaller end tables at each end of the loveseat and one between the chairs allow ample table space for a beverage, a snack tray, flowers, candles, or a lamp.


Outdoor Dining by Crystal Ortiz, Portfolio, Bluestone Decorating
Outdoor dining space makes up the other part of the porch and offers additional seating for guests as well.

Who doesn’t love to eat outdoors (without bug issues) or want to sit outside with their morning coffee? By adding this bistro table and chairs to the other end of the screened porch, there’s a spot to enjoy coffee, a sandwich, an intimate dinner for two, overflow seating at the family BBQ, or just two additional spots that the family can gather. This homeowner has six members in her household, so there is a spot for each of them to gather and share the day’s events. The little rug underneath wasn’t necessary, but it was a soft spot for the dog to lay and sunbathe.

A relaxing screened porch provides outdoor entertaining space and conversation by Crystal Ortiz of Bluestone Decorating
Another view of the screened porch.


Help buyers picture the lifestyle they can live in your home.
Small tabletop vignette.

Ready to make your own backyard oasis? I’m more than happy to help you plan your shopping list and help you set it all up now so you’ll be able to enjoy it until the cold blasts of winter come again. It’s the perfect time to get it done. Call me at 271-2686 and I’ll help you determine function, style, and get it all set up before your Memorial Day backyard cookout.


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