How to Design an Outdoor Living Space: The Ultimate Guide

In 2020, the home remodeling industry remained as strong as ever. Due to many Americans staying home for longer periods of time, it was easier to complete home projects they had been putting off.

One of the best ways to improve your home is by building an outdoor living space. Whether the space is enclosed completely or just an outdoor patio area, you should definitely put some effort into making it look beautiful.

You will need to think about many different factors when you create an outdoor living space that will suit your needs. Consider what you are using the space for, the weather in your area, and how often you will entertain family and friends.

Would you like to learn more about outdoor living space ideas? Here are some ideas to get you started with designing an outdoor living space that you will love.

Consider Flooring or Ground Material

When you first design your outdoor living space, you should think about what type of flooring will go best. If you want the area to have a more backyard feel, then you might want to go with gravel or even packed earth.

If you design a sunroom that is still attached to the indoors, then you might prefer a sturdy flooring that will transition well to the inside of the home. Vinyl or hardwood is a great option, as it is easy to clean up messes and is durable.

An outdoor barbecue or cookout area might call for a flagstone path. It looks and has a more natural feel, but it is also durable and resistant to staining.

If you have a pool or hot tub, then you should look into nonslip options for flooring. For children that like to run around after time in the water, the last thing you want is for them to slip and fall from a wet floor.

Decide on Walls and a Ceiling

You have the choice between installing an entire room, such as a sun porch as an extension to your home, or simply adding on an area between your house and the backyard. If you want to construct an entire room, you will need to add walls and a ceiling.

If budget is not an issue, then you may want to go all-in and build a nice room addition that can serve as a transition area between indoors and outdoors. For those who are more conscious of budget, you can still have a lovely outdoor area that is open air.

When you decide on walls, you should think about options that will let the maximum amount of sunlight in. Full-length glass windows will nicely illuminate a room. You can also try bay windows with wide shutters that can be opened.

For homes with colder weather in the fall and winter months, you should make sure to add insulation to the walls. That way, you will not lose money on heating bills by letting warm air escape through your outdoor space.

Even for completely outdoor areas, you can still have somewhat of a ceiling. An overhang with slats in it can provide welcome sunshine without having to build walls around your outdoor area.

Add Water-Resistant Furniture

If your space is completely outdoors, you should invest in furniture that will be resistant to all types of weather. A good patio set will last you many years if you take care of it properly.

Outdoor furniture does not have to be stiff and uncomfortable to be waterproof. There are many different materials that will dry easily in the sun and can be stripped and washed.

For outdoor living spaces that are more of a sunroom, you can get away with less sturdy furniture. However, you should consider choosing a material that will not fade with exposure to many hours of sunlight every day.

Certain types of material may get rusty if exposed to elements like rain and snow. In addition, materials like wood will warp and expand when it absorbs water. You will have to be more careful about which materials you choose if you live somewhere that has wet weather.

Open the Door for Outdoor Dining

One of the joys of warmer weather is bringing your family and friends to eat outside. You can absolutely equip your outdoor living area to facilitate enjoying a meal together.

Getting a sturdy dining table is a good option if you have many people over at a time. For a more versatile option, try a drop leaf teak table. It can expand to accommodate more people or remain intimate if you serve just the family.

You may want to consider patio furniture that can be used for lounging and dining. That way, your outdoor space will not be too crowded and you can rearrange the items depending on what type of event you host.

For open-air spaces, you may want to install screens or bug netting so that your food does not get bugs in it. You can easily move the netting if needed, and put it down when you want to have a meal without worrying about pests.

Get Warm With a Fire Pit

A fire pit or fireplace is a wonderful addition to any outdoor living space because it can provide both warmth and ambiance. Families can gather around a fire pit during warm summer nights or even to keep warm during the fall and winter months.

Fire pits come in a variety of price ranges, depending on how big or sophisticated you want your fire pit to be. A simple, wood-burning fire pit is no doubt the cheapest option. For a fancy upgrade, you can have a more modern design that is powered by a propane tank.

If you burn wood in your fire pit or fireplace, make sure that it is safe and nontoxic. That way, you and your family will be able to roast hot dogs or marshmallows on an open flame and enjoy them together.

You can install an outdoor fireplace if you want a more solid option. When putting in any kind of item involving fire, you should make sure that the surrounding area is safe and not flammable.

If you live in an area that is prone to high winds and fire seasons, you should always check with your local fire department about restrictions during peak wildfire season. Even a stray ember can be a red flag for a major fire.

Lighting is Everything

A good lighting system can bring your outdoor living space to the next level. Your goal for lights should be to illuminate the area so people see what they are doing, but also to make sure no one trips and falls in walkways.

For patio setups, string lights are a budget-friendly option that offers a beautiful glow. You can have string lights professionally installed, or you can even hang them yourself in whatever formation you would like.

You can even install lights in your plants that will be more covert but still serve their purpose. If you surround your outdoor area with plant lighting, it will seem much more natural.

If you have a room that directly faces the sun, you will not have to worry as much about light during the daylight hours. However, you should still have functional light that helps people to see at night.

To save some money on your electric bill, you should consider motion-activated lighting. You can easily set up timers for these types of lights. That way, if someone comes out into the room, the light will only remain on for a few minutes unless it is re-activated.

Make It Functional

When you design an outdoor living space, you have the option to customize it exactly to your needs. Think about all of the different ways you can use the space, and incorporate it into your overall design before you make any final decisions.

If you have a pool, then you can turn this area into a space designed for swimming parties and activities. Install non-slip flooring, have waterproof furniture, and even towels, sunscreen, or snacks.

For rooms with multiple uses, you can make it as flexible as you want to. A good compromise is making a transition from a sunroom to an enclosed area, with something like curtains or automatic blackout screens.

If you work from home, you can use your outdoor space as an office area to change up your scenery during the workday. Or, you can have an intimate date night with your spouse or partner. The options are endless.

Install a Grill or Outdoor Oven

The backyard or outdoor living space is a great place to gather for a barbecue or cookout. One of the most popular home design ideas for remodels is adding a grill or oven to an outdoor space.

Rather than simply buying a barbecue from a hardware store, you can bring your cooking to the next level by installing a permanent unit. Usually, these are connected to countertops and other areas that can help you organize while you cook for guests.

If you want to be even fancier, you should consider buying an outdoor oven. A traditional stone oven can be used to make pizzas and flatbreads, which is a fun activity to do with children. A make-your-own-pizza night is a perfect dinner for summer vacations.

Having an outdoor kitchen setup is handy when you are cooking for many people. You will not have to keep running into the house to get the ingredients or tools that you need. You can cook and interact with your guests at the same time.

Add Some Greenery

When designing an outdoor space, you should definitely include plants. Plants produce oxygen and can even purify the air around them, so they are a great addition to any room or open air space.

If your space is completely outdoors, then you can have bushes and foliage surrounding the patio furniture. This will provide a sense of privacy and can be a beautiful backdrop for gatherings.

To create an oasis in your sunroom, try going with hanging plants. These can provide a cooling effect and also stay out of the hands of small children.

For outdoor spaces that get direct sunlight, you want to find plants that can withstand many hours in the sun every day. Some of the prettiest examples include orchids and hibiscus flowers. You can add bursts of color to your room and nurture them with the sunlight that they need.

For children, you can even set up a miniature garden with flowers or vegetables. Having an outdoor living space is a great way to teach your children about different types of plants and flowers in a controlled setting.

Make It More Private

If you have nosy neighbors or you just want to enjoy a relaxing night away from prying eyes, then you should consider making modifications to your outdoor living space design. There are many ways that you can make the space more secluded without sacrificing your views or sunlight.

Privacy screens are a great option because they can be lowered at any time. If you have extra money, you may want to invest in remote-controlled screens or curtains that can be closed with the click of a button.

Tinted windows in a sunroom offer a myriad of benefits. You can keep your neighbors or other people from looking in, as well as keep the room cooler. This is especially helpful if the room directly faces the sun, and it gets hotter during the warmer part of the year.

Design the Perfect Outdoor Living Space

When you create your outdoor living space, you should want to enjoy spending time in it with your loved ones. With these tips, you can design a room that meets your needs and is within your budget.

Want to learn more about making your home perfect? Check out our site for recommendations and solutions for every part of your property.

Sudarsan Chakraborty
Sudarsan Chakraborty

Sudarsan Chakraborty, an adept blogger and writer, navigates the digital realm with finesse. His passion for storytelling drives him to explore diverse topics from Home Improvement to Business. With clarity and authenticity, Sudarsan captivates audiences, offering unique insights and fostering a community of engaged readers on his blog.

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