Everything on the porch is upholstered in Sunbrella, including the outdoor drapery, which all gets a heavy hose-down in advance of every visit. The couple and their guests can nap, lounge, party and relax there.
Building a wall on one side of the outdoor dining area gives the deck the feeling of a finished room complete with goose neck lamps that complement the red dining chairs. The opposite side of the deck includes a row of planters to create a subtle wall of plants dividing the space from the rest of the yard.
Every outdoor retreat needs a few amenities, like a simple DIY bar. A bar like this is easy to stock whether you’re hosting yourself, family or a crowd, and it can also pull double duty as a privacy wall if you place it strategically. To decide other items you might want to include in your retreat, think about how you’ll use it. A meditation retreat calls for cushy pillows and zen-inspired stones, while a spot for an evening sip of wine needs only a comfy seat with wide arms.
Although the winter months are cold, it's nice to sit outside and enjoy the bright winter light on warmer days. Create a welcoming vibe in your outdoor dining area by dressing up chairs with throw blankets your guests can use to snuggle up and keep warm with over a cup of tea or coffee.
After the backyard transformation by licensed contractor Chip Wade, the Schroeder residence in Atlanta, GA now has a lot of function with an art studio (right), garden, fire pit, hammock and chicken coop (left), as seen on HGTV and DIY Network's Elbow Room. Before the renovation, the Schroeder family lacked a place to play and make art.