Big or small, inexpensive or extravagant, your outdoor living space is an investment toward creating your own personal sanctuary. But it doesn't have to be overly complicated: Just include fire, water and earth. Here are several ways to use these elements to create a cozy open-air refuge. Home and Garden Television
In a recent national survey, the biggest request for an outdoor room was the outdoor kitchen. Although outdoor kitchens can involve pricey, extensive projects, the idea is to extend your home's living space into the back yard. So if a built-in gas grill with all the accoutrements isn't in the budget, a charcoal grill will cook your meals up nicely. Whether you're serving a few or dishing a family feast, you can find a variety of stylish outdoor-dining tables and chairs to suit your needs.
The sound of a gurgling fountain is a soothing addition to your backyard oasis. Keep it simple with a tabletop fountain, or get more elaborate with a professionally installed bubbling stream at the patio's edge.
Overhead structures like a gazebo or screened porch provide comfort and protection from rain, giving you more opportunities to spend time outdoors.
Earthen elements, such as plants, rocks and other natural materials, provide year-round interest. Some elements, like stone paving and rock walls, anchor the space, while others, such as trees, shrubs and flowers, are fleeting and change throughout the seasons.
Outdoor furniture can also enhance the earth element by incorporating pieces made with different grains and colors of wood. When selecting furniture for your outdoor room, aim for comfort. Then consider the size; don't over- or under-scale your furniture for the size of the space. Finally, consider durability. Select items of good quality that won't easily fall apart in the elements.