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Outdoor Patio Room: Green Makeover

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.

Read more: Nature, Green Home Decor, Lawns & Gardens, Nature & Wildlife

By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

20 comments

+ add your own
1:09AM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

Intresting post.

8:27AM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

Thanks for the info.

8:18PM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

5:38AM PST on Dec 23, 2010

Thanks for the article.

11:17AM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

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.

7:19AM PDT on Aug 7, 2010

Thank you for your article...

12:43AM PST on Mar 11, 2010

thankyou

12:44AM PDT on Jun 19, 2009

thanks...
Kabin
Konteyner,Prefabrik
mega kabin
Konteyner

12:18AM PDT on May 4, 2008

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

6:35AM PDT on Mar 19, 2008

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

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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