Outfitting the Space
If you want people to congregate in your outdoor room, give them something to gather around. A built-in cocktail bar or fountain is a mingling magnet, as is a wood-burning fireplace, which also extends the open-air entertaining season.
When selecting furniture, consider the weather-worthiness of the materials. Metal can rust, wood can turn gray, fabrics can mildew, and some wickers can quickly fall apart. Properly sealed, teak tables and chairs will retain their honey hues for years. Other practical choices are synthetic wicker made from resin and furnishings crafted from Poly-Wood, an extremely durable material made from recycled polyethylene plastic. Outdoor sofas and lounges —even recliners!— now come with cushions clad in fade- and mildew-resistant fabrics, in a slew of styles and colors. For outdoor kitchen appliances, as well as portable food and beverage carts, corrosion-resistant stainless steel is the safest bet.