Outdoor Patio Room: Green Makeover

Outdoor “rooms” are a huge trend, and after spending an industrious weekend turning a catch-all outdoor porch into a “green” outdoor room I can see why. Our transformed porch is now a cool summer sanctuary, a refuge we’ll use continuously as it is the perfect place to have truly quality time alone and with loved ones. Learn what we did, and how we made it green, here:

Here are four guidelines for creating an outdoor room, including their benefits:
1. Create structure, a sense of at least one or two walls, or even a ceiling. For my porch I used trellises on one open side to give a sense of enclosure.
Benefit: Intimacy
2. Provide furniture and accessories such as pillows, statuary, etc.. Try out various types until you find the style that feels just right.
Benefit: Comfort and pleasing the senses.
3. Install lighting.
Benefit: Accessibility at night
4. Including all the elements: earth (plants, pots), water (fountains, bird baths), fire (outdoor fireplaces), and air (air circulation, wind chimes).
Benefit: Connection with nature.

Green Makeover:
1. Create structure using sustainably harvested woods, organic plants, and metal. Avoid plastic even if it is recycled (plastic when heated by the sun will outgass fumes) and all arsenic-containing pressure-treated lumber.
2. Choose sustainably harvested wood, or metal furniture. Try 100 percent natural fiber cushions and chairs, or recycled plastic on chairs that won’t be in direct sun (so you won’t breathe outgassing plastic). Use natural insect repellents and pure citronella/beeswax repellant candles.
3. Install solar-powered led garden lights and lanterns. Avoid nonrenewable and toxic petroleum torches. New led solar-powered garden lights can give light for 12 hours and can last for up to 20 years.
4. Find water devices that don’t use electricity, such as a simple bird bath. Alternatives to petroleum-fired outdoor fires and grills are preferable, such as outdoor fires using wood, but simple beeswax candles in glass hurricane lamps are the more eco-friendly choice while still achieving the fire element.

By Annie B. Bond

20 comments

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Intresting post.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jason B.
Past Member 6 years ago

i have a company that custom designs and builds outdoor kitchens, wall units (like indoor wal units but made for outdoors), fireplaces and fire pits. your suggestions above are good ones and well thought out. the simplicity makes it seem easy to accomplish and it could be simple, environmentally green and safe. most importantly it adds joy to home, a safe space designed for relaxation outdoors is very comforting.
thank you.

Louis Olivencia
Louis Olivencia6 years ago

Thank you for your article...

gail d.
gail dair6 years ago

thankyou

cheryl n.
cheryl n.8 years ago

what an inspiration this lovely courtyard is. thanks for posting it here. I think I'll pin it up as a guide for our backyard that badly needs a make-over. How long would it take to do? Or for amatuers, would you recommend professional help?
thanks, cheryl

L C Tolbert
L C Tolbert8 years ago

I have a small courtyard type of back yard, but since the weather has been nicer and it has been lighter, I have spent more time cleaning it up and enjoying it.Thanks