(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
As summer approaches and evenings grow longer, flowers are in full bloom, and the vegetables are ripening, it's time to evolve the porch into an outdoor living room. Here are a few tips and tricks to make it feel like an extension of the house, which is exactly what we think a back porch should be.

Creating a space outdoors is very similar to creating a room indoors.

1. An outdoor rug, like the recycled one pictured from Gaiam, can set the stage, giving you a base to work from. Just as in a living room, anchor furniture around the rug.

2. Arrange with Conversation in Mind: Just because the space is outdoors doesn't mean it can't function just as a living room. Arrange outdoor furniture, like the reclaimed wine barrel chairs and table (Viva Terra), with conversation and relaxation in mind.

3. Don't Forget to Look Up! Hang a DIY outdoor chandelier from a tree branch or pergola lattice. These look gorgeous at any time, day or night, and kick up the class in your outdoor lounging area.

4. Bring in Some Fun Details: Potted plants, perhaps, or a set of servingware that suits your space—perfect for kicking back with fresh margaritas after a summer day spent in the garden.

Stay tuned—later this week we'll bring you photos of one of our favorite outdoor living rooms.

How do you create an outdoor living room?