Creating an Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor living space equipped with a stone fireplace and wicker furniture.

Creating an outdoor living space expands the home and provides extra room for entertaining or just relaxing in the sun or under the stars.  The appeal of the outdoors affects us all and having a well-designed space just steps away helps us to escape the hectic pace of our lives and breathe in the fresh air with style.

An outdoor living space with a stone patio and a wooden pergola.

When designating an area for an outdoor living space, consider the surroundings and if enclosures are desired.  For partial shade, incorporate trees into the space.  If there are no trees, use umbrellas or build pergolas for partial coverage.  Enclose the area in columns for a regal appearance or use areas of lattice fencing for a more casual feel.

An outdoor living space with a table and chairs under a red umbrella in a garden.
Photo courtesy of BHG

If you are designing your space in the yard or garden, slate or other natural materials can form the floor.  Use outdoor rugs to anchor a particular seating area and to add texture and color.  Customized bench seating topped with cushions can be useful for additional outdoor storage and form the foundation for a living space.

Outdoor living space with a circular garden.
Designer, Harold Leidner

Make furniture choices depending on the amount of space you have available.  Passage through the area should be free-flowing and void of any obstructions.  Upholster loungers, chairs, ottomans, benches or stools in durable outdoor fabrics.  Include throw pillows for a punch of color and added comfort.

An outdoor living space with a stone fireplace and patio furniture.

An outdoor fireplace or fire pit make outdoor living comfortable in all seasons.  Imagine sitting under the stars with a fire burning in the fireplace on a cool night or roasting marshmallows with the kids over a fire pit.


An outdoor water fountain in a garden.
Photo courtesy of HGTV

For a truly magical escape, install a water feature such as a flowing fountain or the ever-popular hot tub.  For maximum impact, create a raised area for the hot tub or incorporate a fountain into the hot tub area.

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Outdoor living with wicker furniture on a patio.
Photo courtesy of BHG

Lighting can be supplied by candles, outdoor lamps or string lights.  You can make your space softly romantic or creatively lively with different styles of lighting.  For the deck, lighting can be a part of the deck installation for the perfect amount of nighttime illumination.  Install lighting along walkways for safe passage to and from the living area.

Outdoor living with a wooden deck.          A patio with outdoor living amenities.

Photos courtesy of BHG

Outdoor living spaces create the perfect setting for fun gatherings or just relaxing with friends and family.  So, pour yourself a cool drink and enjoy the outdoors in the comfort of your own back yard.


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