Must-Have Features for Stunning Outdoor Living Spaces

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


The best outdoor living spaces are a blend of beauty and functionality. They are the perfect place to entertain or create a zen-like relaxing environment.

A design professional will consider several factors, including landscaping, hardscaping, furniture, and entertainment elements. Lighting is also essential for both safety and aesthetics.

A Fireplace

One of the most popular outdoor living space features is a fireplace. Whether for ambiance or warmth, this can be the focal point that brings people together during long evenings.

When selecting a fireplace, ensure it's the right size and shape for your landscape design. A short, wide fireplace will fit well with a ranch-style mid-century modern home, while a tall, broad fireplace can match the height of a two-story estate home.

A fireplace can complement other landscaping elements to add visual interest to your landscape. For example, a framed mirror leans casually on the mantel in some cozy outdoor living spaces to complement the rustic stone wall and wood furniture. It also helps to take note of the prevailing wind pattern when designing your landscape to ensure you create a functional entertainment area.

A Water Feature

A water feature like a fountain, waterfall, or rock pond provides a soothing backdrop for relaxing and engaging with the environment. It helps to block out noise pollution from neighbors or traffic and creates a meditative setting for outdoor landscape design.

Water features like in decks also purify the air by attracting bacteria, pollen, and dust particles and forming filtering water vapors. These benefits are significant for those with respiratory issues and allergies.

Choose a waterfall or fountain that reflects the style of your garden. For example, classic water features with cherubs or millstones work well in traditional gardens, while modern types of concrete and glass blend nicely with contemporary landscaping. A waterfall or fountain also works as a focal point that draws people together when entertaining.

A Grill

A grill makes a backyard an ideal place to entertain. Whether you want to become the neighborhood hotspot for bratwursts and burgers or enjoy your own private grilled chicken dinner, a grill is a must-have for an outdoor living space.

A simple fountain can provide an attractive focal point in your backyard for a budget-friendly option. The sound and sight of water have been proven to reduce stress, so you can be sure your guests will feel relaxed and at ease while enjoying the soothing sounds of running water.

Creating a visually appealing outdoor lounge area is possible at any price point, thanks to the availability of stylish furniture and decor that blurs the line between indoor and outdoor living areas. Embrace a color palette that would look equally at home in your living room and incorporate fabrics like rattan or upholstered chairs to elevate any backyard instantly.

An Outdoor Kitchen

Grilling a delicious meal outdoors with friends is a great way to enjoy balmy summer nights. But hauling food back and forth from the kitchen to your outdoor seating area can take time and effort.

An outdoor kitchen eliminates this issue by allowing you to cook and serve dishes in one cohesive space. These open-air cooking areas can range from basic, with just a grill and countertop for prep, to luxurious designs with a stovetop, sink, refrigerator, and even wood-fired pizza ovens.

If a full-fledged outdoor kitchen sounds like your dream, budget accordingly. Cantor explains that many homeowners regret skimping on the kitchen's features later, so choosing your backyard's most functional layout and style is wise. He recommends incorporating a contemporary, rustic, or traditional design to match the home's exterior.

A Pergola

In a day and age when many families spend most of their time in their homes due to remote work, online school, and in-home activities, outdoor spaces that feel insulated from the surrounding neighborhood are becoming increasingly desirable. A pergola is a great way to create an enclosed space with shade without the cost of an entire roof or walls.

Pergolas are often confused with arbors, trellises, and gazebos, but they offer a unique design and function. They are usually constructed from columns that support a roofing grid of beams and rafters.

Pergolas become a focal point for entertaining and gathering, providing a shaded area with a defined spot to eat, drink, talk, or relax. They also offer a canvas for beautifying features like hanging plants, lights, soft curtains, and other natural materials.

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