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How to Design an Outdoor Living Space Your Customers Can Use All Year Round?  Outdoor living has become a big part of modern life. Hospitality businesses have sought to take advantage of this in a big way, by extending their usable space outdoors. Bi-folding doors are a contemporary way of blurring the lines between indoor living space and the Great Outdoors. You can open up the doors to create a flexible indoor/outdoor dining/drinking space. The biggest problem, however, is how to make the space suitable for use all year round.

Experiences based outdoor design is an important design trend at the moment and it leads many to choosing functionality instead of design. This is understandable but we need to be sure that there is a mix of the two. If not, you end up with a space that cannot be used all-year long. 

The Perils of Bad Weather

The main disadvantage of an outdoor living space is that it can get rather cold out there once the weather begins to turn. As summer moves into autumn and the nights draw in, it isn’t quite so pleasant to sit outdoors with a glass of wine. Of course, this depends on your tolerance to cold, but most people stop using outdoor spaces towards the end of summer.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case! There are a few things you can do to create an outdoor living room your customers can continue using all year round, whatever the weather, and you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune in the process.

cafe design heating

Heat It Up

Cold is a significant barrier to outdoor living and unless you have a source of heat, your outdoor space isn’t going to be usable when the weather cools down. A quick and easy way to provide heat is by installing a patio heater. Look for a gas heater if you want instant heat or burn wood in a fire pit or in a cast iron chiminea or stove. They look great and provide plenty of heat when you need it.

It is also worth investing in some thick blankets for customers to place over their legs on a cool night. Imagine how cozy it will feel sat in front of a blazing fire with a glass of mulled wine. Isn’t that what autumn is all about?

cafe design canopy

Shelter from the Rain and Wind

Cold isn’t the only problem as summer fades. Rain and wind also come along, and nobody wants to sit outside when it’s raining or windy or both. To cope with this, you need shelter. The best way to create shelter is by building a timber structure with double-skinned walls. The extra insulation will make sure this room is usable all year round. Install a wood-burning stove, a cozy sofa, and some pretty lights. Everyone will want to spend time out there!

afe design lighting outdoor

Let There be Light

Lastly, don’t forget about lighting. Commercial lighting can serve two purposes. It must be practical, for obvious reasons, but it also needs to be aesthetically pleasing. Solar lights are easy to use as they don’t require a power source, but if you have a power outlet nearby, add mains powered lights too, as these won’t fade later in the evening. Ideally, have a combination of both: post lights to illuminate pathways and solar lights to add atmosphere to the area.

You don’t need to spend a fortune creating a space that customers will want to use all year round, but you do need to make it comfortable. Otherwise, they won’t want to venture out there.

cafe design lighting

Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2017 HERE.

If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

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