Living Plein Air: How an Outdoor Living Space Improves Your Quality of Life
Designers often talk about “bringing the outside in” when it comes to interiors—likely why natural fibers, plants, and window focal points never seem to fall out of vogue. But what about the opposite—bringing the inside out?
A thoughtfully composed outdoor living space doesn’t just add aesthetic appeal. It provides an oasis for family and friends to enjoy the fresh air and each other’s company in comfort and style. And though they’re fast becoming must-haves for many design lovers, outdoor rooms are more than a passing fad. They can significantly improve your quality of life.
Consider this: according to the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, even spending just twenty minutes a day in an outdoor space can result in less stress, less risk of depression, and a general sense of well-being. And we probably don’t need to point out that, in our socially-distant world, outdoor living spaces seem like the last strong-hold for safe entertaining. If you haven’t yet created your own personal sanctuary yet, here’s a few points to ponder:
- Natural light supplies our bodies with vitamin D, which helps prevent several diseases, including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and depression. Natural light also helps regulate circadian rhythms, helping you to stay more alert during the day and have a more restful nights’ sleep.
- A little time in outside does a lot for your mood, with specific therapeutic benefits for anxiety and depression.
- An outdoor living space lets you stay connected to friends and family. There are many documented benefits to socializing, though in today’s health crises, it’s not that easy. A well-designed outdoor space lets you to safely and comfortably enjoy your loved ones’ company.
- In a world that’s increasingly online, spending time in an outdoor space has shown to have profound effects on attention, creativity, and our ability to relate to others.
Elements of Style: Outdoor Room Essentials
To reap the benefits, you’ll want to create a space that invites lingering. While there isn’t a one-size fits all approach, the best and most useable outdoor living spaces usually incorporate several (or all) of the following:
- Privacy fencing and/or plantings
- A defined patio or deck area
- A shade element such as a pergola
- An aesthetic focal point, such as an arbor or trellis
- Outdoor lighting
- A firepit, outdoor fireplace, or other heat source
- An outdoor kitchen or food preparation area
- Textured plantings and flower gardens
Adding elements like comfortable seating, outdoor textiles and rugs, candles, vases, and planter boxes let express your personal style and create a welcoming space you’ll want to take advantage of again and again.
Meet friluftsliv, the new hygge
With fall in full swing and winter upon us, an outdoor living space may seem like less of priority. But we’d like to take a note from our friends in Northern Europe, who don’t let a little thing like the cold keep them banished inside.
It’s no secret that Scandinavia has long been a trendsetter in terms of design when it comes to form and function—midcentury modern pieces have stuck around for good reason. In 2016, designers (and all of Instagram) obsessed over hygge, the Danish concept of cozy indoor living. Appropriately for 2020, friluftsliv is the latest Scandinavian influence taking hold—and goes hand-in-hand with health and mental well-being. A Norwegian word that translates to “free-air living, ”friluftsliv is about spending time outside, no matter the season.
Since Norway perpetually tops the list of the world’s happiest countries, fritsluftliv is worth welcoming. Creating an outdoor living space you can enjoy year-round lets you fully embrace the benefits of the great outdoors, especially when entertaining inside might not be a viable option.
Time Outdoors is Always Time Well-spent
When enjoying the outdoors is as simple as stepping into your backyard, it becomes that much more satisfying. Your outside room can be extension of your home—and no less comfortable or luxurious. Fortunately, outdoor living options have taken great strides in both form and function, making it possible for you to create a linger-worthy space that remains beautiful year after year. At Walpole Outdoors, we’ve been helping families creating exceptional outdoor spaces since 1933. For those who don’t want to settle for anything less than the best for their home, we’ll help you live outside expectations. Contact us today to get your outdoor room project underway.