The Do’s And Don’ts Of Creating A Beautiful Outdoor Living Area

You’ve spent years decorating your home. You have a unique style that you’re known for, and it’s something that makes you happy to come home every day. Now is the time to take all of that hard work and put it outside! 

Spring is the perfect time to start planning an outdoor living space, whether you’re building or renovating. 

Here are some ideas on how to create an elegant yet comfortable place where you can enjoy your meals, read books, or just relax with friends.

How To Design The Perfect Outdoor Space
Key Takeaways
Do prioritize function over form when designing an outdoor living area.
Don’t forget to consider the climate and weather conditions in your region when deciding on the design and elements of your outdoor space.
Do create zones within your outdoor living area to maximize functionality and comfort.
Don’t overdo it with too many decor elements, plants, or patterns.
Do incorporate lighting to extend the use of your outdoor living space into the evening.
Don’t ignore the importance of maintenance in keeping your outdoor living space beautiful and functional.
Do balance your budget by investing in high-quality materials that will last longer and save you money in the long run.
Don’t forget to personalize your outdoor living area with decor, accents, and items that reflect your personality and style.

Do Have Good Drainage

Good drainage is important for outdoor living because it prevents puddles from forming. In order to create good drainage, you can add a layer of gravel or crushed stone to your landscaping bed. 

This will help move water away from the foundation and keep it from pooling up around your house. The benefits of having adequate drainage include:

  • A cleaner patio or deck area that won’t get ruined by excess moisture
  • No more worrying about puddles forming around the house when it rains

Create an outdoor living space that resonates with you, your personality and your lifestyle! Our article on 15 Secrets to Successfully Designing Your Outdoor Living Area shares valuable insights and tips to create a stunning outdoor living space.

Don’t Go Overboard With The Hardscape

If you’re looking for an outdoor living space that is both functional and beautiful, it can be tempting to go overboard with hardscape materials. But don’t! It’s best to stick with one or two types of material and use them sparingly throughout the space. 

For example, if you choose stone as your main material (or even just one of them), then try not to use anything else–no brick or concrete pavers in this area; no wood chips or mulch under these plants; nothing else but stone here. 

You’ll end up creating a cohesive look by sticking with just one type of material at a time instead of throwing everything into the mix without thinking about how all those different elements work together visually.

Sure, here’s an example of a table based on the semantic of the point “Don’t Go Overboard With The Hardscape”:

Outdoor Living Areas: Hardscape Dos and Don’ts

Use high-quality materials for your hardscaping, such as pavers by brands like Belgard or Unilock, which are durable and come in a variety of styles and colors.Create too many hardscaping elements that take over the space and overwhelm other design elements.
Plan out the hardscape elements in relation to the greenery and natural elements of your outdoor space.Hardscape too much of the space with rock, concrete, or other materials, which can make your outdoor space look less natural and inviting.
Leave enough space for functional elements, such as furniture, lighting, and decor.Focus solely on hardscaping without considering the functionality and comfort of the outdoor space.
Create customized hardscape elements, such as a fire pit or outdoor kitchen, that integrate with the design of your outdoor space and enhance its appeal.Use low-quality hardscape materials that can crack or deteriorate quickly.
Incorporate softscaping elements, such as plants, shrubs, and trees, to balance the hardscaping and create a more natural and inviting outdoor space.Overuse of hard-to-maintain materials or hardscaping that requires extensive cleaning or upkeep.

Note: This table is not exhaustive and there may be other factors to consider when designing hardscapes in outdoor living areas.

Do Incorporate Unique Plants And Flowers

Incorporating unique plants and flowers is a great way to add character to your outdoor living space. When choosing plants, think about what you want the end result of your garden to be and then choose species that will complement this vision. 

For example, if you have an Asian-inspired theme in mind, consider using bamboo or lotus flowers instead of roses and tulips.

If you’re looking for easy-to-maintain landscaping ideas for beginners (and even if you aren’t), here are some suggestions:

Use plants native to your area whenever possible. These varieties tend not only look better but also require less maintenance since they’ve evolved over time with local conditions such as rainfall patterns or temperature extremes. 

They’ll also help preserve biodiversity by preventing invasive species from taking over when they spread beyond their natural habitat

Looking for ways to elevate your outdoor living space? Check out our article on 15 Must Haves for Any Outdoor Living Space to learn about the essential features that your outdoor living space should have to create a comfortable and relaxing environment.

Don’t Build Too Much Decking

You don’t want your outdoor living area to look like the deck of a cruise ship–it’s supposed to be relaxing, not stressful.

A good rule of thumb is that if you can see all of your neighbors’ houses from your new deck, then it’s too big! The same goes for small decks: if your friends have trouble finding their way around it because there are so many different spaces and nooks (and crannies), then maybe consider downsizing before building again?

Don’t build steep stairs leading up to the front door; instead opt for gentle inclines or flat surfaces instead–this will make it easier for everyone involved–you included!

Outdoor Living Areas: Decking Dos and Don’ts

Choose durable materials for your decking, such as composite decking brands like Trex, Fiberon or TimberTech.Build too much decking that overwhelms the space and the design.
Use decking as a natural transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.Sacrifice functional space for decking that may not be used often or at all.
Ensure proper spacing and ventilation to prevent moisture buildup and rot.Neglect maintenance, which can lead to premature decking deterioration and replacement.
Incorporate built-in storage, seating, and planters into your decking design for added functionality and appeal.Overuse of accessories or furniture that might take up too much decking space.
Choose appropriate railings and barriers that meet safety standards and complement the overall design of your outdoor space.Use low-quality decking materials that do not hold up to weather conditions or heavy use.

Note: This table is not exhaustive and there may be other factors to consider when designing decking in outdoor living areas.

Do Create Seating That’s Within Arm’s Reach From What Needs To Be Done

One of the most important things to consider when designing an outdoor living space is that you want to be able to relax and enjoy it. 

But if your entire yard is filled with furniture that’s too far away from everything else, you’ll never get any rest! 

So make sure that all the seating options in your yard are within arm’s reach from what needs to be done–whether it be eating, playing games or just looking at something beautiful.

For example: if there’s a grill in the middle of your patio area and no chairs around it, guess who has to stand up every time they want another beer? You guessed right: nobody! That’s why we recommend putting some comfy chairs near all those grills so everyone can sit down while they cook up their next meal outside together as a family (or just themselves).

A landscape renovation project can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can revamp your outdoor space with ease. Read our comprehensive guide on The Ultimate Guide to Landscape Renovation: What You Need to Know to gain insights and tips on how to get started with your landscape renovation project.

Don’t Forget About Lighting And Power Outlets

When you are creating your outdoor living space, don’t forget about lighting and power outlets. Lighting is a safety feature that can help improve the overall look of your patio or deck area by providing illumination during the evening hours. 

It’s also important to have enough lighting so that guests can see where they’re going without tripping over anything.

Power outlets are another thing that people often overlook when they’re designing their outdoor spaces but they’re very important if you want to be able to use certain types of technology outside (such as laptops). 

Even if all you want is to charge up phones and tablets so they won’t die when there’s no outlet nearby inside the house, this will still come in handy!

Make the most out of your outdoor living space with our expert tips and tricks on Maximizing Your Outdoor Living Space. Our article shares valuable insights on how to make your outdoor space more comfortable, functional, and beautiful.

Do Choose Outdoor Furniture That Is Comfortable And Durable.

When you’re choosing your outdoor furniture, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure that it’s comfortable! 

If you have guests coming over, they’ll be able to enjoy their time with you more if they aren’t feeling stiff or sore. 

Also consider durability; if something breaks or has holes after one season of use, it’s not worth the money spent on it at all. 

Finally (and most importantly), choose pieces that are easy to clean and store away when not in use so that they don’t take up much space when stored inside during winter months or rainy days–especially if you live somewhere where those conditions happen often!

Landscape lighting is a crucial element to enhance the beauty and ambiance of your outdoor living space. Our article on The Top 13 Landscape Lighting Mistakes to Avoid shares tips and insights on the common mistakes to avoid when installing a landscape lighting system to make sure you achieve your desired look and feel.


We hope you’ve found these tips helpful, and that they will help you create the perfect outdoor living area. 

With a little bit of planning and creativity, anyone can make their yard into something special!

Further Reading

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

Better Homes & Gardens: Check out their article on outdoor room ideas for inspiration and guidance on how to create the perfect outdoor living space.

Ayars Complete Home Improvements: Learn the dos and don’ts of creating an outdoor living space and how to create a comfortable and functional outdoor area.

My Master Plan: Discover the best outdoor living space design ideas, dos and don’ts, and tips for creating a beautiful and functional outdoor living space.


What are some essential features of an outdoor living space?

An outdoor living space should have some essential features, such as comfortable seating, shade, lighting, and weather protection. These elements can make your outdoor space more comfortable and inviting.

How can I make my outdoor living space more functional?

There are several ways to make your outdoor living space more functional, such as adding storage, dividing the space into zones, and incorporating multifunctional furniture.

What is the best way to add privacy to an outdoor living space?

To add privacy to an outdoor living space, consider installing a fence, adding tall plants, or using screens or curtains. These elements can provide privacy and create a more intimate and relaxing outdoor space.

What are some of the common mistakes to avoid when designing an outdoor living space?

Common mistakes to avoid when designing an outdoor living space include not considering the climate, neglecting lighting, and choosing the wrong type of furniture. These mistakes can impact the comfort and functionality of your outdoor space.

How can I create a cozy ambiance in my outdoor living space?

To create a cozy ambiance in your outdoor living space, consider using warm lighting, adding an outdoor rug, incorporating soft cushions and throws, and using fragrant plants. These elements can create a comfortable, relaxing, and inviting environment.