One of the hottest trends in home design is creating an outdoor room, which can add aesthetic, functional and monetary value to your property. The rise in popularity of the outdoor room coincides with the tough economic times that many families face. In lieu of taking a risk in the housing market, homeowners are opting to stay put and make the best of what they’ve got by creating their dream homes instead of shopping for one.

Outdoor rooms are becoming so popular that an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) survey found they are just as popular for engaging guests as kitchens or entertaining areas. Fortunately, if you already own some Adirondack patio furniture, you’re not far from completing your own rustic outdoor room.

What Exactly is an Outdoor Room?

An outdoor room, or outdoor living space, is an area of your yard (usually the backyard) that you transform into an open-air living room, complete with furniture, a grill, lights and decorative accents – giving you the perfect excuse to buy that complete Adirondack patio set you’ve always wanted. Some of these outdoor spaces go as far integrating a refrigerator, sink, fireplace, sofas and outdoor speakers.

The size of an outdoor room is up to the homeowner. Some like to keep it simple with a couple of pieces of Adirondack patio furniture and a grill tucked into the corner of a deck. Others go all out with a set of lights, warming lamps, a pergola with climbing vines, hammocks, water feature, chaise lounges, fire pit and a complete outdoor kitchen. The great thing about an outdoor room is that there is no wrong way to create your own as long as you use components created specifically for outdoor use.

How to Create a Rustic Outdoor Room

Define  “rustic.” For some, the term “rustic” means shabby-chic and weathered. For others, this look incorporates a dark, neutral color palette and uses elements you might find in an old barn or cabin. Then there’s “rustico,” which wineries and tasting rooms often use in their décor to mimic the look of an Italian farmhouse kitchen.

A key element of a beautifully tied together rustic look is a neutral color palette for the base color that incorporates shades of brown, gray or cream colors. Then throw in splashes or hints of color, depending on your taste. Bolder colors that complement rustic décor include shades of red, orange, yellow and purple. For a softer look, use pink, baby blue, pastel purple or pear green. Use multiple shades of one color or various shades of complementary colors to add texture to the look of your rustic outdoor room.

Select an Adirondack patio set that meets your needs and design specifications.Traditional Adirondack patio furniture, with its simple, nostalgic style and wood construction, has just the right rural flair to add a rustic touch to your outdoor living space. Or, as an eco-friendly alternative to wood furniture, consider a set made from PolyWood. PolyWood is made from 100 percent recycled plastic milk jugs, which are processed to mimic the look of lumber and come in a variety of colors, so you don’t have to sacrifice the rustic look you seek.

Add accents that make sense. Carefully planning the design and look of your outdoor room can save you time and money. After you have your Adirondack patio furniture selected, consider the different arrangements you can create in conjunction with the larger pieces. For example, you may decide that you want to add extra pieces of Adirondack furniture, like a glider. If you opt for warming lamps, you may find that you don’t really need a fire pit. Moreover, the accents you add should have a purpose. For example, don’t just add a water feature in your outdoor room because you thought it looked nice in a magazine. Add one because you plan to enjoy the sound of trickling water or have always wanted to maintain a koi pond.

Creating an outdoor room is a great way to try your hand at home design. The hardest and most fun part will be choosing your favorite pieces of Adirondack patio furniture.