Outdoor living is one of the best parts of living in Fort Lauderdale and if your outdoor space needs some love then it may also be time to invest in some new patio furniture. When adding new pieces, make sure to leave enough room for the furniture and for people to move between various entertaining or lounging zones. Here are some helpful tips for when you plan to enhance your own spaces.
Before you invest in expensive furniture, be sure to measure the areas that you have available. You can use some string, tape, chalk or even newspapers to map out each area or “zone” that you plan on outfitting with furniture. It is important to leave enough space for flow.
Assess for flow
Decide on how you want to use the yard but also how people are realistically going to use it. For example if most guests enter through a gate on the side of the yard, then plan accordingly so they can pass through easily. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 feet of clearance in areas that get a lot of foot traffic around furniture. Yield at least 4 feet around grilling areas and 5 feet around pools or hot tubs.
Just because it is outside doesn’t mean that you can’t add comfort. Approach decor just as you would inside by adding side tables, coffee tables, ottomans, toss pillows and even an area rug. These little details add warmth and are inviting.
Dining area tips
For smaller areas you can usually get away with doing a little bistro table as they are only 2 to 3 feet wide. Add chairs and you can fit this easily in an area that is 6 or 7 feet wide. For larger areas you can go with a more standard size table. Take the dimensions of the table you have in mind then add an extra 3 feet of space on all sides to accommodate for chairs and passerby space.
Seating area tips
Seating is huge as it usually is what is most often used in one’s outdoor space. Choose from simple chairs or chaise lounges to larger sofas or comfortable benches. Sizing for chairs and sofas are often similar to those that are found inside making it easy to plan. Yield 3 square feet for chairs, 30 inches deep for couches and usually 80 inches long for most chaises. Small side tables are usually about 18 inches on one side.
Finally, additional items that can be nice adds include hammocks, swings and fire pits. Hammocks typically measure roughly 75 inches long and 50 inches wide. Swings can be just as nice falling somewhere between chairs and hammocks in terms of a relaxing seating option. Swings usually start around 2 feet wide for a single person style or up to 6 feet for one that can accommodate 3 persons comfortably. Plan for a 4 to 5 foot area for the arc of the swing when in motion. Lastly, fire pits come in different shapes and sizes, but what you can do is to yield roughly 2 feet between the fire pit and the surrounding seating area.