Creating outdoor living spaces is a great way to make the most of your outdoor space. Whether you are looking to entertain guests or just want a place to relax and enjoy nature, having an outdoor living area can be a great addition to any home.

With some creativity and planning, you can create a perfect place for relaxing outdoors that is both comfortable and functional without hiring interior designers or a landscape architect. And by doing it yourself you will also save money if you are on a tight budget.

From deciding on the right furniture and accessories to choosing the perfect landscape design for your yard, there are many ways to customize your outdoor area.

Lots of people have asked me, “How do I decorate my deck, outdoor patio, porch, or yard?” The answer is easy…Just like you would inside your home. The same rules apply. You should always look at your outdoor spaces as an extension of the inside of your home.

But don’t forget to keep your choices as low maintenance as you can. After all, you want to enjoy the space, not spend all your time taking care of it. And for those of you in northern areas like me, you only have the summer months to enjoy your outdoor space so you will want to make the best of it.

pretty patio design ideas

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Create separate areas

The first step to creating outdoor living spaces is to create a space, not by where it is, but by how you’re going to use it. You will need to have a designated area for cooking, dining, lounging, or other activities. By separating these areas, you can ensure that each space serves its purpose without interfering with the others.

For example, if you’re planning on having an outdoor kitchen or grill area, make sure it’s away from any seating area or dining area. You don’t want your guests to be bothered by smoke or grease splatters while they’re enjoying their meal.

Similarly, if you plan on having a lounge area with comfortable seating and maybe some music playing in the background, keep it away from any noisy activities like playing sports games.

Creating separate spaces for each task also helps in organizing your outdoor living space better. It makes it easier to maintain and clean up after different activities as there is no overlapping of activity areas.

By keeping these things in mind when designing your outdoor living space, you can create a functional and enjoyable environment that everyone will love spending time in!

seating area on patio

Divide the space with physical items

Physical barriers can be an effective way of separating different task areas in an outdoor living space. Consider each area outside as you would for different indoor rooms.

One option is to use plants as natural barriers, such as hedges or tall grasses, that not only visually define the different areas but also add texture and color.

Another option is to use physical structures like pergolas or trellises that create a sense of enclosure without completely blocking off the view. These structures can also be used to support climbing plants or vines for added privacy. Or you can even use built-in seating to separate two areas.

In addition to providing separation between the dining and living areas, physical barriers can help create a more intimate atmosphere. For example, if you have a large backyard, using multiple smaller seating areas with low walls or separated with stone pavers or dividers can give each area its own distinct feel while still maintaining an overall cohesive design.

Similarly, placing potted plants strategically around your outdoor space can help break up large open spaces and make them feel more inviting.

You can also use outdoor rugs to define spaces as well. Area rugs have been used in your indoor space to define areas in an open-concept space forever. It just makes sense to use them in the same way outdoors.


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If you are not sure how to choose a rug for your outdoor space my post “How to choose an area rug for your living room” has lots of tips that will apply to your outdoor space as well.

Ultimately, the key to successfully using physical barriers in your outdoor living space is finding the right balance between function and aesthetics. By carefully selecting materials and incorporating natural elements like plants into your design scheme, you can create a beautiful and functional outdoor space that meets all of your needs.

cozy seating area in a garden

Find a focal point

When it comes to designing your outdoor living spaces, it’s important to determine a focal point for each area. This not only adds visual interest but also creates a sense of purpose and direction for the space.

For example, if you have a large deck or patio area, consider placing an outdoor dining table at the center as the main focus. This allows you to entertain guests and enjoy meals with family while creating a sense of community. Check out this beautiful and affordable dining set from Target by clicking the link above.

In addition, incorporating water features such as fountains or ponds can provide a peaceful backdrop and serve as the focal point in smaller spaces like courtyards or gardens.

Consider adding a fire pit area, outdoor fireplace, or other fire feature as a focal point. These not only provide warmth on chilly nights but also add ambiance with their flickering flames.

By selecting one key element for each space, you’ll be able to design cohesive outdoor living areas that are both functional and visually appealing.

patio looking out onto a pool

Outdoor Livingroom ideas

One outdoor living space idea is designing an outdoor Livingroom area. This can be a great way to enhance your outdoor functionality and create a cozy space for relaxation, entertainment, and family gatherings.

To get started, consider the size of your yard or patio and think about how much space you have to work with. Even with a small patio, or small space in your garden or yard, you can create a comfortable and beautiful living area.

Determine the purpose of the outdoor living room and choose furniture accordingly. If you plan on entertaining many guests, opt for larger pieces such as sofas, ottomans, chairs, and a coffee table to make a comfortable seating arrangement.

Next, consider incorporating elements that will make your outdoor living room comfortable and inviting throughout all seasons. Install a fire pit or portable heater for cooler nights so that you can still enjoy your outdoor oasis during autumn evenings.

Additionally, add in plenty of lighting options like string lights or lanterns which will provide ambiance while also keeping things bright enough to see at night.

outdoor swing with side tables and lamp

It’s also a good idea to keep accessibility in mind and have an appropriate amount of side tables for say, setting down your drink or placing a lamp. Figure out just how you want to use the space and make sure you have everything you need to create it.

Once you’ve selected all the necessary patio furniture and decor elements for your outdoor living room area it’s time to start arranging them! You want to make sure that there is adequate spacing between each piece of furniture so guests can move around easily without feeling cramped or uncomfortable.

Set up your outdoor furniture just like a living room keeping your conversation areas in mind. By this I mean you’ll want to keep a furniture grouping close together so if you were having a conversation with your guests you wouldn’t have to yell across the room or the yard.

Finally, don’t forget about adding in some personal touches like throw pillows or rugs which will really help bring everything together!

Click the image below to see some of my favorites!

ltk post image of outdoor decorating products

Designing an outdoor dining area

Designing an outdoor al fresco dining area can be a fun and creative project that allows you to enjoy your backyard or patio in a new way. The first step in designing an outdoor dining area is to determine the space available and the furniture you need.

Do you have enough room for a large table, chairs, benches, or other seating options? What kind of materials do you want to use for your furniture? Are you looking for something durable and weather-resistant like metal or wood?

A dining area can be made with your patio set, picnic table, or another dining table. Use an area rug to define the space making sure it’s large enough to hold the table and the chairs while pushed out.

You could also add a piece of furniture to use as a buffet for serving all that yummy food coming off the grille. And of course, you’ll want a spot for the grille that is handy to the space, but not too close that its heat and smoke will bother guests.

The next step is to consider lighting options for your outdoor dining area. A well-lit space will allow you to continue enjoying meals even after the sun goes down. String lights, lanterns, candles, and lamps all make great choices for outdoor lighting. They not only provide ample light but also add ambiance and personality.

outdoor lighting for your outdoor patio ideas

Outdoor kitchen ideas

Outdoor kitchens have become increasingly popular over the years as people look to create functional outdoor living spaces. The ideas are limitless, and there is a wide range of options to suit any budget or style preference.

A simple yet effective outdoor kitchen can include a built-in grill with cabinets for storage and counter space for preparation. For those seeking a more elaborate setup, an outdoor kitchen could feature a full-size refrigerator, sink, and even a wood-fired pizza oven or smoker.

To create an ambiance that feels like an extension of the home’s interior, one might consider incorporating lighting, seating areas, and outdoor decorations. Additionally, using durable materials such as stone or stainless steel can ensure longevity in harsh weather conditions.

Overall, an outdoor kitchen adds versatility to your backyard while increasing your home’s value. Whether you’re hosting large gatherings or just enjoying some family time outdoors, having an outdoor kitchen provides convenience and comfort to any occasion.

outdoor kitchen idea

Accessorizing your spaces

Now you’ll need to accessorize. Start with some new fabrics (try Joanne Fabrics or Hobby Lobby). There are many colors and patterns available for many different tastes. Use them to recover cushions, make window treatments, tablecloths, or throw pillows.

Next, add an outdoor area rug to help define the different areas. Try Home Depot or Lowes for some inexpensive options.

A nice comfy throw on the sofa would be so cozy for that afternoon nap or reading that good book. 

outdoor decorating with lots of pillows

Incorporate a water feature

Adding a water feature can significantly enhance the sensory experience of your outdoor living space. The sound of flowing water can create a calming and relaxing atmosphere that encourages relaxation, allowing you to unwind after a long day at work. It also helps to mask undesired noises in the surrounding environment, such as traffic or construction sounds.

There are various types of water features you can incorporate into your design, such as fountains, ponds, streams, or even waterfalls and a hot tub. Each comes with its own unique benefits and drawbacks based on factors like maintenance requirements, cost, and available space.

However, regardless of which one you choose, it’s important to consider how it will fit into your overall design scheme and ensure that it complements other features and elements.

If done correctly, incorporating a water feature in your outdoor living space can transform it from just an ordinary backyard into an oasis where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It adds value to your property while providing multiple benefits like improving air quality by releasing negative ions among others.

Therefore, take some time to research different options that will suit your needs before choosing one for your home.

outdoor water feature

Add lots of plants and flowers

Plants and flowers will make your space welcoming and alive. Place them next to furniture, in corners, on tables, or use real or artificial tall trees to separate one space from another. Make sure you spread them out over the entire area and not just in one spot to add splashes of color and texture around the whole area. This is especially important if your outdoor living space is on a deck or a patio without gardens.

Overall, making your outdoor living spaces an extension of your home is about creating a welcoming environment where friends and family can come together to enjoy each other’s company.

By incorporating thoughtful design elements into these spaces, such as comfortable seating arrangements and ambient lighting fixtures, homeowners can maximize their enjoyment of their property while also increasing its value.

So why not make this summer one where you transform your backyard into an oasis?

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