Planning your Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor Living Design Tips

Creating an outdoor space is a worthy home improvement project that will increase the value of your home and give you an entertaining space to relax with loved ones. But creating a stylish, functional space comes down to more than just patio furniture.

If you want your outdoor project to be a success, there are a few things to consider when planning your outdoor living space. Whether you need a large multi-purpose space for the whole family, an outdoor living room for entertaining guests, or a private sanctuary for relaxing at home, here are some tips to help you create the perfect space.

1. Study your existing landscape

Before you get started on creating outdoor living spaces, you need to have a clear idea of the kind of design you would want in your yard. This involves knowing your patio’s exact shape and size before bringing in the fixtures and furniture.

manchester patio aerial shot

Outdoor living space in Manchester MA

Having an accurate measurement of your space can’t be overemphasized. Imagine adding a large seating or dining area that may set up back a few thousand dollars, only to realize you have very little space to move around your patio. That would be disastrous.

So, to avoid such costly mistakes, it’s important to get a clear idea of what would fit in the space and what should be left out. Don’t forget to factor in your climate and consider a covered patio or pergola to provide protection from elements no matter the season.

2. Imagine how the space will be used

Having an indoor living area is excellent, but there’s nothing better than enjoying the warm sun or cool breeze that the outdoors provides. That’s where a stylish outdoor living area comes in. Your choice of functional and design features will determine how you would use this backyard every time you step through those doors onto your patio.

When planning the design, you first to spend some time imagining how you want to use your outdoor space. Will you be entertaining large groups or just relaxing with close friends and family? Where will guests dine comfortably? Do you like to prepare your meals outside while guests relax by the swimming pool? What about built-in speakers or a TV for watching the game? Do you need a space for your children to play? What about a garden or veggie patch?

Outdoor living space

Outdoor living space with fireplace, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, bar and dining area

There are a lot of decisions to be made, but compartmentalizing can help make the process easier. Try breaking your whole outdoor area into several smaller spaces or rooms. This will help you make decisions about how and where guests will relax, eat, chat and even dance.

See how we helped an Essex client transform their backyard into a multi-functional outdoor space for the whole family.

3. Research different materials

No matter how big or small your project is, you will want to use good quality materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions, are easy to maintain, and add a visual appeal to your space. Some popular outdoor materials include brick, stone, concrete, wood and of course turf.

While brick is versatile and durable for many outdoor surfaces, it can also be quite expensive. In comparison, concrete can provide a low-cost option for a patio but not as durable as the surface may crack or become discolored in high traffic areas.

When it comes to wood, there are several options to choose from including hardwood, cedar and even vinyl. Wood decking is often used to create a wow factor outdoors but this material isn’t for everyone. Keep in mind that wood isn’t as durable as concrete or stone, so will require maintenance like repainting and resealing which adds to the cost over time.

Stone is the most popular material for patios and outdoor spaces. Stone pavers are durable, low maintenance and provide a high end look and feel to any outdoor space. Speak to a stone mason before choosing a type of stone and pattern that will suit your outdoor space.

stone patio renovation

Outdoor space with a combination of custom wood decking and natural stone pavers

With such a wide variety of materials available, it pays to do your research. Consider your budget, maintenance requirements, personal style and how you will use the space before selecting the best option for your outdoor area.

4. Consider various functional and design features

Remember that your outdoor space is like an extension of your home. So, you’ll want to include elements that bring the indoors out, and create a space that is just as comfortable, functional and stylish as the inside of your home.

For most people, outdoor seating and dining are two of the most important features in their outdoor living area. Patio furniture comes in a range of styles to suit any lifestyle or budget and provides a flexible option for the occasional get together.

If you’re looking to create a complete outdoor living area, you might consider more permanent features like built-in seating, a fire pit area, hot tub, or even an outdoor kitchen or bar. This space should be your own personal oasis – a place to relax, gather with friends and family and enjoy the great outdoors.

pool and landscape project

Outdoor living space with outdoor kitchen, bbq area, outdoor dining and seating areas

Just as you would spend time selecting your interior home décor, you want to pay the same attention to your outdoor space. This includes your choice of colors, accents, and plants. Choose colors that blend effortlessly with the exterior and interior of your home and plants that suit your climate and maintenance needs.

Building or updating your outdoor space is an important project that involves every bit of planning to create fantastic results. We hope these tips will help you start thinking about the endless possibilities and our team of professional landscape designers are here to help when you’re ready to take the next step.

Whether you have a design in mind or are just exploring ideas, we can help you build your ideal outdoor living space. Contact us today and tell us about your dream project – we can’t wait to hear your ideas!

Contact us today to start your project.