New Design Tips Make Creating the Perfect Outdoor Living Room Easy

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The Concrete Network offers handy tips and design ideas for creating the perfect outdoor living room. Ideas can be incorporated into outdoor remodels or areas of new construction.

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Creating an outdoor living and entertaining area can be just as trying as creating an interior space and, often, just as costly. Today, with the many options and possibilities available, it's important to cover all aspects of creating the perfect outdoor space. The Concrete Network, the most comprehensive resource for concrete information on the web, has highlighted top tips and design ideas to tackle this tedious task. Throughout its sections, the site includes tips to consider for creating a beautiful outdoor area by incorporating concrete.

Below is a sample of the many tips you can find on The Concrete Network:
1.    Furniture templates drawn to scale can help to layout patio size and shape. For this, large sheets of construction paper can be purchased from your local hardware or school supply store. Ultimately, patio size will need to be determined. Patios should be kept to a minimum size of 12 ft by 12 ft.
2.    It is important to remember to build for the long term, especially when adding new concrete hardscapes, or permanent structures like a barbeque or fireplace. One must consider weather conditions, property views, and views from a home's interior as well.
3.    The atmosphere of the overall space is also important. Areas can be modified easily by incorporating plants, fresh cut flowers, colorful umbrellas, lanterns and more to set specific moods.
4.    Choosing the right surface materials, furniture and hardware will determine how resistant these items are to withstand the elements of all seasons, and will determine how often items must be replaced. Consider concrete countertops to provide a solid, clean surface for cooking. Concrete furniture, such as benches and tables, can also be included. Hardware, including faucets, door handles and knobs should be made of stainless steel to avoid rusting.
5.    Incorporate decorative concrete. Long gone are the days of drab, grey concrete. Through methods of stamping or staining, there are hundreds of color choices, patterns and designs that can be used to personalize any concrete surface.

These are just a few of the many factors to consider when building an outdoor area. Browse through the site's Outdoor Concrete sections for many more tips and tricks. Get inspired by photos of completed outdoor projects by visiting the photo gallery, where artisans from around the country show how they incorporate these tips in creating the perfect outdoor space.

Established in 1999, The Concrete Network's purpose is to educate consumers, builders, and contractors on popular decorative techniques and applications. These include stamped concrete, stained concrete floors, concrete countertops, polished concrete, and much more. In July 2007 The Concrete Network Website had over 1.3 million visitors researching decorative concrete.

The site excels at connecting buyers with local contractors in their area through its Find-A-Contractor service. The service provides visitors with a list of decorative concrete contractors throughout the U.S. and Canada, and is fully searchable by 23 types of decorative concrete work and 200 regional areas throughout North America.

Article photo courtesy of The Green Scene. Attached photos courtesy of Michael Rogers Studio.

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JIM PETERSON
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