15 Secrets To Successfully Designing Your Outdoor Living Area

When it comes to outdoor living areas, you might be surprised by how much you can do. You don’t need to be a gardening expert or have an entire team of people working on the project; instead, think about how you can use what you already have and make it work for your needs and tastes. 

In this article we’ll share some tips on successfully designing your outdoor space so that you can create something that looks good and works well for years to come!

How to Design the Perfect Outdoor Space and Patio
Key Takeaways
Designing an outdoor living area involves creating a functional and comfortable space that reflects your personal style.
Incorporating eco-friendly elements can help reduce your environmental impact while still creating a beautiful and inviting space.
Choosing the right plants for your outdoor space can greatly enhance its design and overall appeal.
Renovating your landscape requires careful planning and consideration of various factors to achieve the desired result.
Maximizing your outdoor living space involves taking advantage of design tricks and expert tips to create a more functional and enjoyable area.

Start By Mapping Out The Space

Before you begin your outdoor living space, it’s important to map out the area and think about how you want it to be used. 

Think about where furniture will go, whether there is enough space for all of your furniture, how access will be provided (whether from indoors or outdoors), and how lighting will be arranged.

Once you’ve mapped out the space, use measurements to figure out what layout works best for the area. If a particular size isn’t working, try changing things up until you find one that fits perfectly into your yard or patio!

Many homeowners are looking for ways to create a beautiful outdoor space while being mindful of the environment. To that end, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to create a beautiful eco-friendly outdoor space that can help you achieve your goals.

Keep A Planner For Your Project

Keeping a planner for your project is an essential part of the design process. Planning is the key to success, and will help you stay on budget and stick to your schedule. A planner should include all of these things:

  • A time frame
  • An estimated budget
  • Information about what kind of materials you need (such as flooring, cement, etc.)

Outdoor Living Space Planner Comparison

FeatureProject Planning ServicesOnline Planner ToolsProject Management Software
Primary UseProfessional advice, assistance in planning and carrying out your projectOnline garden and outdoor living design toolsCollaborative tools, Automatic Schedules and Cost Tracker
BrandsLowe’s Outdoor Living Design Services, BrightView Design Group, YardzenGarden Visualizer, Autodesk Homestyler, iScapeTrello, Asana, Monday.com
ScopeAssistance in planning from start to finishVirtual room design, scalable to landscaping plansProject management, collaboration, Agile Methodology
PricingVaries by project and location, $500 – $10,000Free basic services, monthly/annual fee for advanced featuresMonthly subscription, 14-30 days free trial, price per user
FeaturesCollaboration with experts, site analysis, 3D modelingDesign customization, plant libraries, cost estimateBudget tracking, resource allocation, customizable Kanban Board
MaintenancePeriodic reviews with the designer; software updatesSoftware updates, design reviews for accuracyRegular software updates, troubleshooting by provider

Key Takeaway: Keeping a planner for your outdoor living space project can help you stay organized and on track. Consider using project planning services, online planner tools, or project management software to assist with your planning and execution needs. Evaluate features, pricing, and maintenance options before choosing the right planner for you.

Resist The Urge To Overspend

One of the biggest mistakes people make when designing their outdoor spaces is overspending. They see a beautiful outdoor space, and they want it to be as nice or nicer than the one they saw. 

The problem is that they don’t realize how much it will cost them in the long run to buy those designer pieces. To avoid this, resist the urge to overspend on your outdoor space by following these tips:

Don’t buy everything new: If you want a new deck or patio area but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an all-new structure, consider looking into used options instead. You can often find great deals at local home improvement stores or online websites like Craigslist and Kijiji (a Canadian version of Craigslist).

If nothing else works out for you there are always options like replacing flooring surfaces with wood planks from large roll-out sheets which are easier on your wallet while still giving off that natural aesthetic feel everyone loves so much about traditional barn style homes

Your outdoor living space should be a place of relaxation and tranquility. If you’re looking for ways to transform your space into a mini retreat, be sure to check out our article on 15 ways to turn your outdoor living space into a mini retreat for some expert advice.

Play With Pattern And Texture

Pattern and texture are key to playing with color, which we’ll get to in the next step. But they’re important on their own, too.

Materials like brick and stone work well with a variety of patterns and textures because they have such a natural feel to them. 

For example, if your space is made up mostly of brick or stone and you want to add more interest, consider mixing in other materials like metal or wood planks (think: reclaimed barn wood). 

You can also use different types of tile together like we did here to create a more interesting design element than just one material would provide on its own. 

Each material adds something different that keeps things from feeling monotonous in an area where you spend so much time enjoying your outdoor living!

When choosing the right pattern for your space keep in mind the length of time you will be spending there (after all who wants ugly couch cushions after only two years?). 

If it’s going to be an entertaining area where people hang out during happy hour then choose something bolder like paisley prints or geometric shapes while also adding some warmth using softer tones like reds & browns (or even blues!).

Choosing the right plants for your yard is an important aspect of outdoor design. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of expert tips for choosing the right landscaping plants for your yard to help you make the best decisions for your space.

Make It Cozy And Inviting

The most important thing to remember when designing your outdoor space is that you want it to be comfortable and welcoming. 

You can do this by choosing furniture that is inviting, durable and easy to move around. If you don’t like something or change your mind about where the furniture should go, just move it! Nothing says “I don’t give a darn about my guests” like having them sit on wobbly chairs or unstable sofas.

The next step is making sure your furniture will stand up to the elements outside: consider using weatherproof materials such as teak wood if you’re going for an exotic feel; but if you prefer something more traditional then avoid buying anything made out of fake plastic or metal pieces because they won’t hold up over time (and in some cases may even catch fire).

And finally there’s comfort the most important quality in any piece of outdoor furniture since nobody wants guests thinking “I wish I was home instead.” 

So always look for items with cushions made out of thick foam rather than thin pieces which can cause backaches after only twenty minutes!

FeatureOutdoor FurnitureLightingFire Pit
Primary UseSeating, Dining, LoungingIlluminating Space, Setting MoodProviding Warmth and Light
BrandsLa-Z-Boy Outdoor, Hampton Bay, HanoverPhilips Hue, Ring, MalibuSolo Stove, Outland Living, Fire Sense
MaterialsWicker, Metal, WoodLED, Solar, Battery-operatedSteel, Cast-Iron, Aluminum
Price Range3,0005001,500
MaintenanceWaterproof cushions, rust-resistant framesChanging bulbs, replacing batteries, cleaning fixturesRegular cleaning of ash and removing debris

Key Takeaway: Making your outdoor living space cozy and inviting involves incorporating comfortable and stylish furniture, ambient lighting, and a fire pit to provide warmth and light. Consider factors such as materials, price, and maintenance before choosing the right brand and equipment for your needs.

Treat It Like An Extension Of Your Home

When creating your outdoor living space, it’s important to keep in mind that the room should feel cohesive with the rest of your house. 

That means using the same materials, colors and furnishings as you would indoors. It also means making sure your lighting fixtures reflect those used in interior spaces if you have a chandelier hanging from your dining room ceiling, for example, consider hanging it outside too!

To help you create an extension of your home that feels like a seamless part of it—and not an afterthought—we’ve compiled some tips for creating cohesion between indoors and out:

Use similar furniture styles throughout the house so they can be mixed seamlessly outdoors as well: An industrial coffee table works perfectly in an entryway or living room but can be equally at home on an outdoor patio; likewise with chairs made with metal frames and leather upholstery that look great indoors or out.

Keep flooring consistent across rooms: If the hardwood planks in your foyer look like they’d make good additions to an outdoor space (and if there are no bugs outside!), consider installing them there instead of carpeting down below where everyone will see them every day when entering through this door.

Extend window treatments into outdoor areas whenever possible so they match up perfectly; install curtains on windows opening onto patios that already have curtains upstairs.

Hang artwork above windows rather than directly behind them so it doesn’t block natural light coming through onto furniture below this way there’ll always be enough illumination even on cloudy days!

If you’re considering a landscape renovation, there are many things to consider before getting started. Our ultimate guide to landscape renovation covers everything you need to know, from the planning stages to the finished product.

Consider Your Climate

Weather is a huge factor for outdoor living. Your climate determines the types of plants and trees you can use, how much maintenance they require, and how much water they need. It also affects your design decisions: will you be able to use large furniture pieces? Do you have to build in storage solutions?

Climate zones are based on average temperature ranges, annual precipitation (rain), humidity levels, wind exposure and elevation above sea level. 

Different parts of the world have different climates for example: Los Angeles has an arid Mediterranean climate while Seattle has wet winters and dry summers (and therefore needs more shade).

Consider these points when designing your outdoor living area:

Hot Climates: Choose hardy plants that are drought-tolerant or don’t require much moisture at all. Use only native plants so they’re used to local conditions; avoid invasive species like ivy or bamboo which may spread quickly if left unchecked!

Add In A Fire Pit Or Fireplace To Extend Use

You can extend the use of your outdoor space by adding a fire pit. Fire pits can be placed in the middle of a deck, or on a patio. They are also great for cooking food and keeping warm.

Add In A Pizza Oven/Grill/Smoker

If you’re like us, you love entertaining. We also have a thing for good food and great company, so when we entertain, we like to make sure that everyone is comfortable and has enough to eat. Having an outdoor pizza oven/grill/smoker allows us to cook delicious pizzas in the garden while enjoying time with friends.

Choosing the right type of oven depends on how often you use it and what kind of cooking experience you want to provide your guests. 

A pizza oven can be installed outdoors or indoors depending on your preferences and will provide a different experience from an indoor wood fired oven or even a regular grill because it has its own special way of cooking pizzas. 

The same is true for grills which again have their own unique characteristics but allow for a faster cooking time than some other options such as smokers which take longer but provide great results if done right!

Outdoor Cooking Equipment Comparison

FeaturePizza OvenGrillSmoker
Primary UseBaking pizzasGrilling foodSmoking meat
Cooking Time5-7 minutes10-20 minutesSeveral hours to overnight
BrandsOoni, Forno Bravo, RoccboxWeber, Traeger, Big Green EggMasterbuilt, Pit Boss, Dyna-Glo
Fuel TypeWood, Pellets, PropaneCharcoal, Propane, WoodWood, Charcoal, Electric
Price Range$200 – $5,000$50 – $2,500$50- $1,500
Cooking Capacity1-3 pizzasSmall to large quantities of foodSmall to large cuts of meat
MaintenanceRegular cleaning of the stone or cooking surfaceGrates and flavorizer bars should be cleaned after each useCleaning of the ash and grease accumulation

Key Takeaway: Adding a pizza oven/grill/smoker to your outdoor living space can enhance your experience by offering a variety of cooking options to enjoy. Consider factors such as cooking time, price, and maintenance before choosing the right brand and equipment for your needs.

Consider Adding In A Pergola For Shade

Adding a pergola to your outdoor living area is a great way to provide shade from the sun, and it can be used in many different ways. 

For example, you can use the pergola as an extension of your home maybe even as a place to sit and enjoy the view from your window.

Or maybe you want to create an additional dining area for entertaining guests during warm weather months. A pergola would be perfect for this purpose!

A well-designed outdoor living space can be a wonderful place to relax and entertain friends and family. To get the most out of your space, check out our article on maximizing your outdoor living space: expert tips and tricks for some practical advice on how to enhance your setup.


Hopefully, these tips will help you to design your perfect outdoor living space. It’s not a difficult process and it doesn’t need to be expensive either! 

Remember that you don’t need to invest in high-end materials if you don’t want to because there are plenty of resources available at most hardware stores. 

You can also check out our post on How To Build Your Own Outdoor Living Space if you’re looking for more information on construction techniques.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you create the perfect outdoor living space:

10 Outdoor Living Tips: This article provides helpful tips for designing an outdoor living space that is both functional and comfortable.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Ideas for Outdoor Rooms: Check out this HGTV article for some inspiring ideas on how to create the perfect outdoor room.

TheKwendyHome Outdoor Decorating Secrets: This Better Homes & Gardens article shares some secrets to creating a beautiful and inviting outdoor living area.


What are some popular materials for outdoor furniture?

Some popular materials for outdoor furniture include metal, wood, and wicker. Metal furniture is often durable and versatile, while wood furniture offers a more natural look. Wicker furniture is lightweight and comfortable, making it a great choice for lounging areas.

How can I create privacy in my outdoor living space?

There are a number of ways to create privacy in an outdoor living space. Planting tall hedges or installing a pergola with climbing vines can help block out neighbors or unwanted views. You can also use outdoor curtains or trellises to create a more secluded space.

What are some key features to include in an outdoor living room?

An outdoor living room should be comfortable and inviting, with plenty of seating options. It’s also important to consider lighting and temperature control, as well as any necessary storage or entertainment options.

How can I incorporate water into my outdoor living space?

Water features can add a calming and peaceful element to an outdoor living space. Consider incorporating a small pond, fountain, or waterfall into your design for an added touch of luxury.

What are some best practices for outdoor lighting?

When designing outdoor lighting, it’s important to consider both functionality and aesthetics. Use a variety of lighting options, such as pathway lights, accent lights, and task lighting, to create a well-lit and visually interesting space. Be sure to also consider the types of bulbs used to ensure the right brightness and energy efficiency.