They say that spending time outdoors can promote physical and mental well-being. It’s not hard to understand why this is so. Fresh air, greenery and open spaces make you relax, breathe easy, and minimise stress.
Those who exercise or otherwise spend time outside the house can vouch for this. But that’s not the only way you can spend time outdoors. Many people with balconies, gardens and courtyards at home can take advantage of a sitout design. These outdoor spaces can be converted into areas that are a part of the house yet offer the advantages of the outdoors.
What exactly is a sitout? For interior designers, it is simply an outside sitting area attached to the house that can be designed for a variety of activities. When in a backyard, a sitout can also be referred to as a patio.
It is a wonderful way to optimise space and create a unique niche to dine, entertain, or simply be by yourself. After all, why spend all your time cooped up indoors if you have the chance to do otherwise?
There can be many types of sitout design. Which one works best for you will depend on personal preference and, of course, the space available. In this piece, we’ll look at why you should consider a sitout design, followed by some examples and other aspects to keep in mind.
The Many Uses of Sitouts
Traditional and modern sitout designs can be planned around many activities. Let’s look at some of them.
- Sitting area ideas make a sitout the perfect spot to lounge, read, or chat with a cup of tea or other favourite beverage by your side.
- Outside dining is another reason for a sitout design. Whether it is with your family or a dinner party for guests, many sitout designs include long tables and seating arrangements.
- As part of a patio, a sitout design can include recreational and exercise activities, too. These could range from a basketball hoop, simple gym equipment or a fixed stand for chess and board games.
- A sitout can also be a children’s play area, with plenty of soft toys, cushions and rugs.
- A sitout can transform a plain balcony into a preferred hang-out spot for the whole family.
Sitouts and the Weather
One aspect of a sitout that you should always consider is the effect of the weather. During the summer, when temperatures are high, an outside sitting area can be uncomfortable. This can be taken care of by sitting area ideas that make use of pedestal fans and coolers. When placed in appropriate spots, this can make any summer bearable.
On the other hand, lower temperatures during winter can make the outdoors freezing and uncomfortable. Again, you can think of a sitting area that is made cosy by heaters and warm blankets. In a backyard, a firepit can be an inviting and warm meeting area for a sitout.
During the monsoon, a closed sitout design can keep the rain out. Front sitout designs can use large glass windows, for example. There’s nothing like curling up next to one such window with a hot beverage and watching the rain and greenery all around you.
As you can see, you needn’t let unfavourable weather conditions come between you and a great sitout. Thinking ahead and incorporating the right design elements can make all the difference.
Sitout Themes for You to Try
By now, you must have realised that sitouts come in various shapes and sizes. It all depends on what outdoor areas you can make use of in your home. Some sitout designs are small and simple. Others can have larger spaces for the entire family and guests to come together. Here are some practical sitout design ideas that you can consider.
Whatever the size of your balcony, you can create a cosy sitout. Some comfortable chairs, potted plants, and a table are your starting points. You can think of built-in seating, too, if space is at a premium. Bean bags and folding chairs are other space-saving options. As for material, some of the best choices are wicker furniture, seasoned wood, or aluminium.
With a garden, the first step is generally to define the sitout area. You can do this with rows of plants, basic fences or screens to set the space apart. The sitout can also have separate flooring. Brick, concrete or gravel are some materials that can be used. When choosing garden furniture, stability is an important factor. For tables, many use hardwood such as teak. These look impressive but need regular maintenance to prevent discolouration and warping. Other materials are wrought iron and reinforced plastic.
Whatever the space, you can have an open sitout design or a closed sitout design. Closed sitouts are preferred by those in areas where there are extreme temperatures or as a way to keep out noise. You can use outside sliding doors as well as a variety of curtains and drapes. A closed sitout design can be seen as transforming an open area into another room of the house. Many also convert a part of the terrace into a closed sitout.
There are many different types of backyard sitouts, as opposed to front sitout designs. For example, you can have a regular patio, an elevated deck, or a deck with an overhead screen. There are endless ways to design these. You can choose a minimal theme or a design that overflows with plants, furniture and sparkling lights. There can even be different zones for eating and relaxing. Hammocks and full-length seating options are always welcome in such areas.
Where to Start with Sitout Design
By now, you have a flavour of the advantages of a sitout and the many ways that you can create one. How do you start with sitout design? Here are some aspects to consider.
Once you have identified the space, ask yourself whether the sitout you need is a quiet space or a place for entertainment. This overall theme will give you pointers to the next steps. It will be your guide to the overall decor and other choices you can make.
The sitout design can match the interiors of the house or it can be a separate space. You can choose to keep it minimal and natural or make it luxurious and lavish. Whatever you go with, keep in mind that comfort should be the main objective. The seating and lounging arrangements should be accordingly created.
There are many elements that go into creating the preferred atmosphere in your sitout. Some of these are the furniture material and upholstery choices. Lighting is also an important factor. It could be sparkling or atmospheric. Trailing lights, vines, and other hanging arrangements can transform any sitout.
The main purpose of a sitout is generally for residents to relax outdoors. As we have pointed out, it can also be a space for children and even grown-ups to indulge in fun activities. If that sounds appealing, make sure you create separate zones for relaxation and recreation. If the sitout is on a balcony or terrace, you should make sure that all safety precautions are in place.
Sitout Maintenance Factors
Sitouts need special maintenance because they are often exposed to the elements. This does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. To begin with, the furniture and other materials should be chosen after keeping in mind the effects of the sun, wind and water.
In open areas, you should also install a good drainage system so that water does not collect in the space. The drainage should be inspected periodically so that it is not clogged or otherwise impaired.
In balcony sitout designs, the railings should also be checked for stability and signs of wear and tear. These, if any, should be immediately rectified.
Sitout flooring should also be chosen, keeping durability and maintenance in mind. This could be artificial grass, porcelain or ceramic tiles, or concrete. It should be regularly cleaned and wiped down.
Sitout upholstery should be checked and changed periodically and dried separately if the need arises. That way, it will remain looking fresh and new for ages.
Sitout Design: A Summary
With a sitout, you can get all the benefits of being outdoors while staying at home. Sitouts come in various forms. Depending on your home, you can have a sitout design on a balcony, terrace, or backyard.
- One of the pleasures of a well-designed sitout is dining outdoors with friends and family. Dinner parties can be transformed into magical occasions in the fresh air.
- Of course, sitouts are also perfect for spending time on your own or with close family members. Waking up and having your first-morning cup of tea while gazing upon a green landscape has its own charm.
- The weather plays a role in proper sitout design. To make sure that a sitout is usable for twelve months of the year, you should think of open versus closed sitout designs, and other elements such as the right furniture, heaters, and fans.
- In the same way, the materials used to create a sitout should be carefully chosen. They should be durable, suited to the outdoors and comfortable to spend time in.
- The best way to plan a sitout is to first think of usage and then move on to the overall theme. Will there be many people using it or only a few? Do you need separate areas for children? Should the sitout be an integral part of the house or a separately-designed space? The answers to these questions will ensure that you have a sitout you will love to spend hours in.
At HomeLane, our purpose is to provide homeowners with an array of choices to create the perfect sitouts and interiors. Come on over to our site, and you will discover plenty of other ways to create the house of your dreams. For example, you can start with these easy steps to design the perfect bedroom.
How can I decorate my sitout?
Here are some elements of great sitout decor.
- Keep it comfortable. That means cushions, comfortable upholstery and soft fabrics.
- Think of unusual and fun relaxation options such as beanbags and hammocks.
- Lighting plays a large role in creating the right sitout ambience. It could be low and atmospheric or bright and sparkling.
- The material for the furniture should be such that is remains unaffected by sun and moisture. Rattan, aluminium and treated plastic are some options.
- Potted plants play a big role in many sitouts. They add freshness and greenery to the space.
How can I create a sitout in my backyard?
- Look for pre-fabricated decks or patios.
- Get lots of rugs and cushions.
- If space permits, think of a tank pool for summer or a firepit for winter.
- Create spaces for plants, such as a trellis or a natural screen.
- Think of various zones for music, sitting, dining, etc.
How can I throw a dinner party in a sitout on a terrace or a balcony?
First of all, make sure there is enough seating for everyone. The chairs and sofas should be comfortable to sink into. If there is space, think of a separate dining table and chairs area.
The music system should be in one corner, and the wires and other equipment should not get in the way of guests when they are moving around.
The lighting should not be glaring but soft and atmospheric. Many people prefer a string of twinkling lights on the wall of railings.
Keep the weather in mind: if it is cold, provide blankets and heaters; if it is warm, use pedestal fans and coolers.
Small details will make a big difference. For example, floral arrangements, glass holders, and aromatic fragrances.