We get it. Once you experience that spacious, seamless opening and the effortless movement between your indoor and outdoor living areas, your home’s Open Spaces® quickly become its most popular feature. Since you’re going to spend plenty of time here, it’s worth investing in comforts, details and décor that elevate your experience.  From the team at LaCantina, here are some of our favorite ideas to get you started.

You'll Want to Sit Down for This

Whether your outdoor space is completely open or partially protected by an overhang, of course you’ll want weather-resistant seating and patio tables. But the options available are plentiful enough to be potentially overwhelming. Before you go shopping, visualize how you’ll use your patio. Do you see yourself entertaining a large group of friends or gathering regularly with family? Do you envision having an intimate space to snuggle with your sweetheart or catch up with your best friend? Will you work from your laptop and enjoy the view? Consider all the ways you’ll use the space and how much room is available, and create “zones” to guide your choices: Where do you need individual chairs, elegant chaises longues, a loveseat, or a sofa? Do you want a long serving table or a collection of accent tables? If you have a unique feature such as a folding servery window, do you want high top chairs placed at the counter? Once you know what you need, you can look for outdoor-friendly pieces that match your aesthetic preferences. Options abound in every design style – from sleek metal to classic wood to sculptural choices – and accents such as weather-resistant pillows and cushions are readily available to add the amount and intensity of color you desire.

Bright Ideas

Warm evenings practically call for spending time outside, and it’s worth investing in the right lighting for your outdoor space and for the atmosphere you want to create. This can mean anything from gorgeous, permanently-installed wall sconces to lighting strategically added around stairs to ornate tabletop hurricane lanterns shielding oversized candles. As long as your choices are indicated for outdoor use, you’re good to go. You may also want to decorate with a bit of landscape lighting to add drama and highlight unique features of your home, patio or yard. No matter the size of your patio area or the architectural aesthetic of your home, you can find lighting solutions that create a cozy and comfortable retreat or boldly illuminate the entire living space.

Play (With Fire)

Photo by Christopher Stark

It’s easy to see why fire features are in demand. Their beauty, casual warmth and mesmerizing light make them a great place to gather with family and friends, cuddle with loved ones and unwind with a glass of wine after a long day. Built-in fire pit tables and outdoor fireplaces powered by natural gas add instant elegance to your patio and literally beckon people to gather around. However, if built-in doesn’t make sense for your current living space, there are plenty of beautifully designed add-on or even portable fire features and fire tables available, in a truly diverse range of styles, that will likely work with the size and layout of your patio area. Fire feature options are typically powered by either natural gas, propane gas or old wood (or wood substitutes made from recycled materials), so be sure to choose the level of convenience that suits your preferences and lifestyle.

On the Water

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

Like fire features, portable outdoor water features are also available in a wide selection of styles and sizes. Does the sound of falling water instantly transport you to a moment of Zen? Whether you live surrounded by nature or in the middle of a major city, the soothing sounds of moving water can become part of your outdoor living experience with an add-on water fountain or waterfall feature. Design options range from sleek contemporary to sculptural to boldly Brutalist and everything in between, including organic shapes. Some fountains also include strategically-placed LED lighting that adds to their aesthetic appeal.

Go for the Green

Photo by Matthew McNulty 

No matter what view your patio space overlooks, decorating with stylish, greenery-filled planters or small potted trees ups the enjoyment factor. They can help create the feel of a true retreat, adding pops of color and glorious scents. Even a cascading vertical garden may be possible, based on your available patio wall space. Plants are an easy and lovely way to create instant calm and a lush vibe, and there are containers available (from “portable” to dramatically oversized) to complement your personal style and color preferences. Visit a garden center near you to learn which plants and trees will thrive in your outdoor space.

LaCantina door systems let you connect your indoor and outdoor living spaces effortlessly. Our folding doors stack completely to one side to create a seamless flow between inside and out. LaCantina French swing doors open from the middle to welcome you and your guests to your deck or patio.

Browse our residential gallery and get inspired here.