The "outdoor room" is one of those in-between concepts. Normally, the word, "room" implies an enclosure indoors. Meanwhile, if someone talks about living large in the "great outdoors," the image conjured up is one of raw nature, with its wide open spaces. Outdoor rooms fall somewhere in the middle, providing the comforts of an indoor setting, but with a breath of fresh air.
The mention of "outdoor rooms" naturally begs two questions:
- Why bother with them?
- Assuming a compelling reason in answer to question #1, what's at the crux of installing an outdoor room effectively?
The "Why bother?" question will be immediately dismissed by anyone who, like me, enjoys dining outside as often as possible. I've been known to pick one restaurant over another simply because it offered outside dining....
But -- to answer the second question -- an effective outdoor room must be able to shade you from the scalding summer sun and keep you dry on rainy days. If you're not protected from the elements while dining in a spot outside, then you really can't call that spot an "outdoor room." Another expression comes to mind, instead: "roughing it"!
Steve Ostrowski, pergola expert, has more to say on these subjects in this Q&A on outdoor rooms.
Read article: Outdoor Rooms