3 Tips from Sunset Magazine for Creating An Instant Outdoor Hangout Spot

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Does the "outdoor space" where you live consist of little more than a concrete pathway and a postage stamp of grass? The outdoor living experts over at Sunset Magazine insist that this is enough to work with. Here are three ways that they say you can create your very own outdoor hangout for this 4th of July — and all summer long!

1. Bring in a Rug: Just as rugs can help define a living space inside a loft space or big open apartment, they can also help create the feeling of an outdoor "room." Lay them over a side path, in the corner of the yard, or up on the roof. Use old woven rugs or picnic blankets that can handle a little dirt, or pick up a weather-proof outdoor rug like this one:

→ Chevron Indoor/Outdoor Rug from World Market

2. Throw Down Some Pillows: Pillows and cushions for lounging are the next step to creating a welcoming outdoor living space. I love the woven poufs that Sunset used in their insta-outdoor space pictured above — you can pile them to create height and they also double as trays for outdoor meals. Personally, I'd add a few big, poofy, bright-colored pillows to the mix for comfort and color:

→ Crocheted Outdoor Pouf from Crate & Barrel
→ Floral Garden Pillow from Pier 1

3. Add Some Light: The final touch to creating the kind of outdoor hangout that you won't want to leave is adding some light: clusters of tea lights in mason jars, twinkle lights trailing over a nearby wall, or hurricane lanterns hung from overhead branches. These will all add a romantic, summery glow as the sun goes down.

→ Hurricane Lanterns from Lehman's

Bonus Ideas! The three tips mentioned here are the real keys to creating an easy outdoor living space no matter what kind of outdoor situation you happen to have. But (!) if you have room for a more permanent outdoor nook, think about hanging a canopy overhead for lounging during sunny days or adding a few potted plants to your space for a homier garden feeling.

I gleaned these tips for creating an instant outdoor space while visiting Sunset Magazine's Menlo Park campus over their recent Celebration Weekend. For more great outdoor living tips, head on over to their website:

Check It Out! Sunset Magazine

How do you create a comfy outdoor space where you live?

(Images: Emma Christensen)