15 Ways To Turn Your Outdoor Living Space Into A Mini-Retreat

When the weather is warm and sunny, there’s nothing like relaxing outdoors. Whether it’s your back yard or a patio at the local pub, creating an outdoor living space can be easy and inexpensive. 

How to Turn Your Backyard into a Winter Retreat
Key Takeaways
– Create a relaxing outdoor living space with comfortable seating, mood lighting, and privacy.
– Incorporate water features, fire pits, and landscaping to enhance the ambiance and promote relaxation.
– Select sustainable materials and native plants to reduce your environmental impact and create a more eco-friendly outdoor space.
– Regularly maintain your outdoor living space by trimming and pruning plants, cleaning outdoor furniture, and repairing any damage.
– Consider working with a professional landscaper or horticulturist to ensure that you’re selecting the right plants for your area and achieving your desired aesthetic.

Here are some tips to help you create your own mini-retreat!

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the first thing people see when they pull up to your home. Make sure the yard is clean and free of clutter, weeds and dead plants. Trim the grass and keep it looking tidy. Make sure there are no trash items laying around, either inside or outside of your house.

Clean up any debris that may have been left over during a recent storm (like branches from a tree) or after using your lawn mower for mowing the lawn. Cleaning up these things will make your home look cleaner and more inviting from afar!

Plant some flowers or other plants in pots that sit near your front walkway; this will add color to your landscape as well as making it more welcoming to guests who might stop by occasionally on their way home from work or school

Sustainable landscaping is achievable even for busy homeowners. Follow our guide on 15 Simple Steps to Sustainable Landscaping to create an eco-friendly outdoor space that you can maintain without sacrificing your precious time.

Warm It Up With Lighting

How can you create a cozy, romantic, relaxing or energizing atmosphere? Lighting!

It’s one of the easiest ways to transform your outdoor living space. Those who want to re-create an indoor setting (such as a fire pit) should look for lights that provide a warm glow. If you’re looking for more ambient lighting, consider hanging lanterns around your yard and patio area.

If you want to set the tone for romance even if it’s just with yourself consider adding some subtle lighting such as candles or string lights on the deck railing or along walkways in between seating areas. 

Candles are also great for creating an intimate feel when entertaining guests on your patio during dinner parties or barbecues.

The first thing you need to do is figure out where your outdoor living area will be. This may mean deciding on a section of your backyard, or maybe it’s just an open space next to your patio. 

Either way, once you’ve decided on the boundaries of your outdoor living area, it’s time to add some definition and style with rugs. You have many options when it comes to selecting rugs for this type of application:

Rugs can be used in multiple ways—they can define an area (think dining room), they can create pathways through areas that are already defined (think hallway), or they can add some color and personality (think bedroom). They also serve as great conversation pieces!

The best thing about rugs is that there are so many different styles and materials available today; there really isn’t anything that doesn’t look good with them!

Choosing the right plants for your yard is crucial in achieving a healthy and attractive landscape. Learn the expert tips for Choosing the Right Landscaping Plants for Your Yard to ensure that you’re selecting the right plants that can thrive in your area and complement your outdoor design.

Add Outdoor Curtains For Added Privacy And Elegance

Privacy is often a concern when it comes to outdoor spaces, and curtains are a great way to help ensure that your space remains private.

Curtains can also add elegance and style, making your outdoor space feel like part of your home rather than another room.

If you have the budget for it, try coordinating the color scheme with other rooms in your house. It will help create cohesion throughout all areas of your home, making it feel more like one cohesive unit instead of several disjointed pieces.

You can also choose different types of curtains for different purposes: sheer for privacy or thick material for maximum sun protection (and warmth).

A well-designed outdoor living space can provide immense benefits for your mental and physical well-being. Our article on 15 Must Haves for Any Outdoor Living Space will help you create a relaxing atmosphere in your backyard that promotes relaxation and rejuvenation.

Give The Yard An Upgrade

Your outdoor space can be a relaxing retreat, but it also needs to be functional—and that means it must be maintained and cared for properly. 

If you want to use your backyard as a getaway, first consider what kind of plants are going to work best in your environment. 

Plants with natural elements like rocks and wood can create a serene mood in your yard while still adding beauty. 

There are also plenty of low-maintenance options that require little upkeep on your part (think succulents). And if you’re looking to go even further with this idea, consider using native plants that require very little water and care!

Go Vertical With Storage And Plants

Plant shelves. They’re an easy way to add instant greenery, and they can be installed in the walls of your home or on a deck with ease. There are tons of options out there, so don’t be afraid to mix it up and experiment!

Plant containers. These are small enough that you can move them around as needed (or change up the colors), but big enough to have an impact on your outdoor space.

Plant pots. These come in all shapes, sizes, colors—and they’re ideal if you’re looking for something that’s more portable than a planter or window box would be. They also work great if you want something more permanent but not quite as large as a full-on planter or window box!

Window boxes are another classic choice when it comes to adding plants outside; these give off major curb appeal because they sit right at eye level for passersby who might notice them while walking by the house/building where someone lives who loves nature as much as we do here at UrbanFarmers!

If you’re considering revamping your landscape, there are many things you need to know to ensure a successful transformation. Check out our comprehensive guide on The Ultimate Guide to Landscape Renovation: What You Need to Know for expert advice, tips, and tricks to achieve your dream outdoor space.

Give The Room A Unified Look

Use the same materials. If you’re going to have an outdoor room, it’s best to use the same materials as those inside your house. That way, your mini-retreat doesn’t look like an afterthought or a temporary structure that will be torn down in a few years.

Choose a color palette. To create continuity between your indoor and outdoor space, choose colors that complement each other and work well together even if one of them is different from what you used indoors (like black). 

Or choose one main color for both indoors and out: think blues or greens for cool environments; reds or oranges for warm ones!

Use matching furniture styles whenever possible. When it comes down to it, style matters most when trying to make two rooms visually similar; this means choosing furniture with the same lines as those found inside your home instead of something more modern or contemporary-looking (which would clash). 

The type should also match: wood tones are perfect if you’ve got hardwood floors inside; metal frames go well with stainless steel appliances in kitchens; rattan looks great around poolside bars…

Get Yourself A Comfy Chair

A comfy chair is the cornerstone of any outdoor living space. It’s where you will sit and people watch, daydream, or just relax.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a chair: color, style, size and material—and how much use it will get!

If you’re buying an outdoor chair with the intention of using it often (daily even!), then make sure there’s enough cushioning so that your backside doesn’t feel like it has been sitting on a rock all day long after sitting on this poor excuse for furniture. 

If your cushions are made from material like plastic or vinyl instead of fabric, they might wear out more quickly than they would if they were made from fabric like canvas or cotton twill. Consider how much use your outdoor living area gets before deciding which type of material is best for the job at hand (or in this case – bottom).

Landscape lighting is a key element in enhancing the ambiance, mood, and security of your outdoor living space. Learn about the different types of lighting and how to incorporate them into your landscape by following our comprehensive guide on The Ultimate Guide to Landscape Lighting: How to Transform Your Outdoor Space.

Don’t Forget The Food!

You might not think of food as a crucial part of your outdoor living space, but if you want to turn it into a mini-retreat, you need to make sure it’s there. 

If you have an outdoor eating area or kitchen, make sure it has enough seating so guests can relax and enjoy the experience. Adding lighting that shines on your tables helps create ambiance and makes these spaces more inviting for nighttime festivities.

If you don’t have an outdoor eating area or kitchen, consider adding one. The benefits are many: You can keep food hot or cold using heat lamps; light up the entire space with lanterns; provide cover from bugs with nets; set up refrigerators for drinks; and add tables, chairs and other furniture like sofas and benches (all of which can be used indoors). 

You may also want to consider adding a fire pit so that people have somewhere else to sit if they get tired of standing around in the kitchen all night long!

Outdoor Cooking EquipmentDescription
Gas GrillA popular type of outdoor cooking equipment that uses propane or natural gas as fuel, typically featuring a variety of burners, temperature controls, and other advanced features such as rotisseries, side burners, and built-in thermometers.
Charcoal GrillA traditional type of outdoor cooking equipment that uses charcoal as fuel, typically featuring a simple design and fewer advanced features than gas grills.
SmokerA specialized type of outdoor cooking equipment designed to cook meat slowly and infuse it with smoky flavor, typically featuring an offset firebox and various racks for holding meat.
Pizza OvenAn outdoor cooking equipment that uses wood-fired heat to cook pizza at high temperatures, typically featuring a cooking surface made from stone or clay to deliver a crisp, authentic crust.
Outdoor KitchenA fully equipped outdoor kitchen that can include a range of equipment, such as a gas grill, sink, refrigerator, storage cabinets, and more, typically featuring high-quality materials such as granite or stainless steel.

Note: The table above showcases different types of outdoor cooking equipment that you can use to take your outdoor living space to the next level and elevate your dining experience. When selecting equipment, consider your cooking needs and preferences, as well as the size and layout of your outdoor living space, and invest in quality brands such as Weber, Traeger, or Big Green Egg to ensure that your equipment lasts and performs well.

Create An Oasis In Your Backyard

If you want to create an oasis, there are several ways to do it. First, decide on the style of your outdoor retreat—a cozy reading nook, a space for entertaining or somewhere in between. Then, start incorporating features that will make the area feel like home.

Use plants and flowers with cool-season foliage that you can keep all year long and add some seasonal foliage for spring and summer season.

You may also want to consider adding furniture pieces such as sofas and chairs that offer comfortable seating options for guests who come over for drinks or dinner parties during warmer months. 

Add lights around your patio area so it feels welcoming at night too! Your yard doesn’t need any more than this to become a beautiful escape from everyday life!

Chill Out On A Hammock

Hammocks are a great way to relax outside, whether you’re using them as an extra bed or just as a place to hang out. In our opinion, hammocks are the most comfortable way to recline outdoors. They’re also easy on the eyes if you have them hung up in a beautiful spot.

They have lots of benefits: they can be used in any weather and are portable enough that you can move them around easily (making it possible to bring one indoors). 

Hammocks come in many different styles and types the best kind depends on what fits your needs best! The most popular ones are rope hammocks made from cotton rope; however, there are plenty available made from synthetic materials like synthetic rope or nylon straps.”

Get Yourself Some Cool Decor Items

Decorating is an essential part of turning your outdoor living space into a mini-retreat. You can use decor items in both the inside and outside of your house.

For example, you can use indoor decor to turn your backyard into a movie theater. If you have a projector and sound system, it will make your outdoor living space even more enjoyable. Using fabric shades over the projector screen will help protect it from getting damaged by rain or sun damage (you can find them here).

If you don’t want to go through all that trouble, try finding some cool decorations that make watching movies fun! 

They’re also perfect for setting up outdoors if there aren’t many trees around—and they’re especially nice because they provide just enough light so that everyone can see each other while they’re sitting down but not enough so everyone has to squint their eyes when looking up at them!

Decor ItemDescription
Patio UmbrellaA large umbrella designed to provide shade and protection from the sun, typically featuring a durable canopy made from high-quality materials such as Sunbrella fabric.
Outdoor RugA rug designed specifically for outdoor use, typically constructed from weather-resistant materials such as polypropylene or similar synthetic fibers.
Throw PillowsSoft, comfortable pillows designed to add a pop of color and style to your outdoor seating area, typically made from durable materials that can withstand exposure to the elements.
Outdoor CurtainsLightweight curtains designed to provide privacy and add a decorative touch to your outdoor living space, typically made from fade-resistant materials that can withstand sun exposure.
Garden SculptureDecorative statues, sculptures, or other art designed to add visual interest and a touch of whimsy to your outdoor living space, typically made from materials such as metal, stone, or ceramic.

Add An Outside Kitchen To Your Patio Or Deck.

Adding an outdoor kitchen to your patio or deck is a great way to extend the living space of your home. 

A well-designed outdoor kitchen can be a beautiful addition to your home, not just a place to cook. Outdoor kitchens are more than just a place to cook, they can be a gathering place for friends and family.

Whether you want an appliance-filled breakfast nook or something more rustic and simple, adding this feature can completely change how guests see your outdoor area. 

So let’s get started with the basics on creating an outdoor kitchen that works for you!

Cozy Up With Fire Features

Let’s face it: there’s nothing quite like sitting by a fire. There’s something magical about the flickering flames, and creating an outdoor space with fire features will add a cozy vibe that makes you feel right at home. Here are some of your options:

  • Fireplaces

Fireplaces are the original way to warm up your space while enjoying cold nights outdoors, but they’re not always practical for every situation.

If you’re limited on space or live in an apartment, look into gas fireplaces (or even electric ones) instead—they still give off that same relaxing vibe without taking up much space!

Go Wild With Water Features

Water features are a great way to add some natural beauty to your outdoor space, plus they provide a soothing sound and calming effect. 

If you want to be creative, think about adding a fountain or waterfall. You can also add a fish tank or aquarium for extra fun!

Water FeatureDescription
FountainA decorative water feature that typically features an ornamental design and captures the tranquility of a natural water source, such as a spring or waterfall.
PondA man-made body of water that can range from small and simple to large and complex, providing a home for fish, plants, and other aquatic life.
WaterfallA natural-looking water feature that cascades water down a series of rocks or other materials, creating a gentle and soothing sound and enhancing the ambiance of an outdoor living space.
StreamA water feature that mimics the meandering path of a natural stream, typically incorporating a source of flowing water and a variety of rocks, plants, and other natural elements.
PoolAn artificial body of water designed for swimming, lounging, or other recreational activities, typically featuring a variety of water features and luxurious amenities such as spas, waterfalls, and lighting.

Note: The table above showcases the different types of water features you can incorporate into your outdoor living space to enhance the ambiance and promote relaxation. Be sure to research and select water features that are appropriate for your backyard’s size, design, and maintenance requirements.


We hope you enjoyed this list of 15 ways to turn your outdoor living space into a mini-retreat. If you have any tips or ideas of your own, we’d love to hear them!

Further Reading

If you’re looking for more tips and inspiration to transform your outdoor space into a mini-retreat, check out the following articles:

How to Create a Mini Outdoor Retreat: This article by Houzz provides detailed tips on creating a cozy and inviting outdoor retreat that feels like an extension of your indoor living space.

10 Ways to Turn Your Backyard into a Resort-Inspired Retreat: This article by Houzz is all about creating a luxurious and tranquil outdoor oasis that provides the perfect escape from the daily grind.

10 Ways to Create a Retreat in Your Own Backyard: This article by HGTV provides simple and practical tips on transforming your backyard into a serene and peaceful retreat that’s perfect for relaxing and unwinding.


How can I create an outdoor living space that feels like a retreat?

Creating an outdoor living space that feels like a retreat involves a combination of design elements, such as comfortable seating, mood lighting, privacy, and serene surroundings. Adding elements like fire pits, water features, and landscaping can also help create a more calming atmosphere.

What are some must-haves for an outdoor retreat?

Some must-haves for an outdoor retreat include comfortable seating, mood lighting, privacy, a water feature, and landscaping. Additionally, consider adding amenities like an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, or a pool to take your retreat to the next level.

How can I make my outdoor living space more sustainable?

Making your outdoor living space more sustainable involves using environmentally-friendly materials, selecting native plants that require less water and maintenance, and carefully managing water use. Consider adding solar-powered lighting to reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

How do I choose the right plants for my outdoor space?

Choosing the right plants for your outdoor space depends on several factors, such as your climate, soil type, and available sunlight. Consider working with a professional landscaper or horticulturist to select plants that will thrive in your area and achieve the desired aesthetic.

How can I maintain my outdoor living space?

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your outdoor living space looking great. This includes trimming and pruning plants, cleaning outdoor furniture, and repairing any damage or wear and tear. Consider hiring a professional landscaping company if you don’t have the time or expertise to maintain your outdoor space on your own.