March / 2010

Keyword Exclusive - Outdoor rooms advice
by: Debra Gibson

Supplement to "Outdoor Escape"

Because outdoor rooms are one of the most popular home projects today, there’s a lot of good advice to be found on the Internet. Here are some of the most useful sites to consider as you expand your home outward:
Click on the Landscaping tab, then choose “Designers’ Portfolio: Outdoor Spaces.” This is a good place to start, particularly for inspiration. The site gives you examples of numerous style rooms, including country, contemporary, traditional, tropical, Mediterranean, and eclectic. You also have the option of choosing the color(s) you would like to use and seeing rooms in various styles using that color. Also, from the Landscaping tab, choose “Patios” for more outside inspiration.
Featuring information from All You, Coastal Living, Cooking Light, Health, My Recipes, Real Simple, Southern Accents, Southern Living, Sunset, and This Old House, this site also gives you lots of different looks to consider. You can choose the topic (outdoor rooms in this case) and even the type of media you prefer—room pictures, galleries, videos, or articles.
Once you have a general style, budget, and plan in mind, this site is great for considering the amenities you want to include from the basic pergola on. Although designed to sell outdoor living items, the site provides a free tool for designing outdoor rooms using Google Sketchup.
This site offers solid advice on intelligently creating an outdoor room. Some of the topics include:
• Relax the Easy Way
• How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen
• More Tips on Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen
• Uses for a Gazebo
• Pergola Design Check List
• Annual Vines for Your Pergola
• Design Considerations for Your Outdoor Room
Although the rooms are all upscale, you may get some good ideas from the beautiful photos. Scroll down to Categories, click on “Gardening & Outdoor,” then scroll down to the site’s 7 Truly Beautiful Outdoor Rooms.

To read the Kentucky Living March 2010 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Outdoor Escape.