Ideas for How to Create a Comfortable Outdoor Living Space

June 27, 2023

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Create a Comfortable Outdoor Space

Creating a comfortable outdoor living space is a wonderful way to extend your home’s living area. Whether you have a small balcony, a spacious patio, or a sprawling backyard, incorporating elements that promote relaxation and functionality is key. In this post, we’ll explore seven ideas that can transform your outdoor space into a cozy haven. From comfortable seating and ample shade to enchanting lighting and captivating water features, we’ll dive into each aspect. And provide you with practical tips to design an outdoor oasis that will be like an outdoor room to your home.


SOURCE: Kingswood Custom Homes

Let’s explore how to create a welcoming and cozy outdoor living space that matches your personal style and makes your life happy.

How to Create a Comfortable Outdoor Space

When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, having a comfortable and inviting space can make all the difference.

1. Comfortable Seating Is Most Important

To create a comfortable and welcoming outdoor space, one of the key elements to consider is comfortable furniture. Whether it’s lounging, dining, or gathering with friends and family, a comfortable seating area allows individuals to relax and enjoy their surroundings. Selecting seating that is not only aesthetically beautiful but also sturdy and practical is crucial.

For lounging areas, consider plush cushions, throw pillows and deep seating options that promote relaxation. For dining areas, opt for sturdy chairs with supportive backs that allow guests to comfortably sit through a meal or conversation. Additionally, the use of versatile seating options such as benches or sectional sofas can provide flexibility and accommodate different group sizes.

Want to save money and build your own bench? These easy plans will show you how!!

SOURCE: Gunn Landscape Architecture

Having enough space between seats is important for making guests feel comfortable because it allows them to move around easily. When there’s proper spacing, people can easily walk and move around without feeling crowded. This helps make the outdoor experience more enjoyable by letting everyone relax, socialize, and appreciate the fresh air of being outside.

Want to build an outdoor dining table for your outdoor living space? Here’s an easy build!! 

2. Enhancing Your Outdoor Space with Shade

Shade is another essential element to consider when creating a comfortable outdoor space. Without shade, the glaring sun can make the space hot and uncomfortable, making it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities.

An outdoor area can be shaded in plenty of ways:

  • planting trees
  • adding shade umbrellas
  • adding a pergola
  • adding a privacy screen

Trees are a natural and beautiful way to provide shade, but, of course, waiting for them to grow can take a lot of time. But once they do, they’re a great source of privacy and shade. When we bought our home, 16 years ago, it felt like our baby trees would never grow tall enough to provide shade over our deck. Amazing how fast they actually grew! I love the canopy they form and the seclusion they provide.

Umbrellas are a simple and portable way to create shade but may not provide enough coverage for larger spaces. Buying a good quality umbrella is key! My go-to for all of my shade umbrellas is Crate & Barrel. I’ve had mine for almost 10 years and am finally needing to replace the canopy this year. But not the structure of the umbrella, it’s still as good as new.

Pergolas are a great addition to any outdoor space. Not to mention, the increase they have on your property value. We had my cousin build our pergola over 10 years ago and we absolutely love it! The shade it provides is incredible. And with my outdoor rug, coffee table, sofa and chairs, it truly is an outdoor living room…

Outdoor patio area with wooden furniture. Great for a beginner building your own furniture project

​A privacy screen is another dual purpose feature. Not only does it provide privacy (hence the name, haha!) it can also give a lot of shade coverage. I built these planters a couple years ago. Every year, I fill them with tall plants that will fill out quickly, providing a more intimate, secluded space under our pergola.

Overall, it’s important to make sure you have plenty of shade when designing an outdoor space. This will ensure that the space will be comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.

3. Enhancing Your Space with Stunning Lighting

As I always say, lighting is literally everything! It can make or break a space. And your outdoor spaces are no exception. Lighting can transform an outdoor area by drawing attention to certain features, creating a relaxed ambiance, and adding safety and functionality to the area.

There are various lighting options available that can create a magical atmosphere in any outdoor space. From string lights and lanterns to landscape lighting and path lights. Choosing the ideal type and placement of lights can make a huge difference in the comfort and appeal of your outdoor area. For instance, dimmer switches, floodlights, and spotlights can be used to adjust the brightness level as needed while providing additional security.

Outdoor lighting is an area I’m hoping to improve on this summer in my own backyard living space. I’m planning to install solar lights throughout my landscaping and replace some of my old, out of style, dated lighting. I’ll be sharing the lighting options I decide on to make my outdoor space cozy.

Read all about outdoor lighting ideas in this post! 

SOURCE: Urban Oasis Design & Construction LLC

4. Elevating Your Outdoor Space with the Perfect Flooring

Outdoor flooring is an essential element to consider if you want to create a comfortable outdoor space. This is because it has a significant impact on the overall appearance and functionality of the area.

Choosing the right outdoor flooring material is crucial, as it will affect the ambiance, durability, and maintenance requirements of the entire space. Moreover, different flooring options offer varying styles, textures, colors, and patterns to suit any design preference. For instance, natural stones can create a rustic and earthy feel, while wooden decks can offer a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Ultimately, the choice of material should depend on the desired aesthetic and practical requirements. With the right outdoor flooring, you can transform your outdoor living space into an inviting and comfortable area that reflects your personal style.

SOURCE: Modern Summer House

This is yet another area, that I plan to change up this year. I actually contemplated replacing my decking with composite decking, but after much research I decided to stick with our wood deck. (I would love to know in the comments, if you have composite decking and how you feel about it. I haven’t completely ruled it out and may consider it for next year. I’ve just read and heard some things that made me pause. I would love to know your thoughts, if you’ve made the switch). As for this summer, I’m painting the deck–yet again. 🙁 I am changing up the colors though, so at least I have that to look forward to. 🙂 Be sure to check back for a full blog post on this transformation. Along with what colors I chose and what brand of paint. Coming soon!

5. Transforming Your Outdoor Space with Vibrant Greenery

As I mentioned above, lighting can make or break a room. But there’s another element that every space needs-GREEN! Adding a touch of green color palette to any room, is a must. And what better way to add green tones, than through plants!

Greenery is another essential element to consider if you want to create a comfortable outdoor space. Adding plants and foliage not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the area but also brings numerous benefits to your health and overall mood.

Greenery can have a calming effect and can help reduce stress levels, making the outdoor space a peaceful retreat. Plants also improve air quality, producing oxygen and reducing pollutants. They also provide shade and cooler temperatures, allowing for a more comfortable outdoor experience during hot weather. And as I mentioned before, they can provide privacy. So many benefits to adding green to your beautiful outdoor spaces!

SOURCE: OneAbode Landscape Design

Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t nix the idea just yet. There are several plants that are perfect for those of us who have a tendency to kill every living plant put under our care. Some great options for your outdoor space include:

  • Lamb’s Ear
  • Daylily
  • Bee Balm
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Sedum

Incorporating greenery can be done in various ways-from adding potted plants, creating a vertical garden, or planting trees and flower beds, making it a great option for any outdoor space.

6. Weather Protection Solutions for Your Outdoor Space

No one wants to sit outside and have the sun, rain, or wind ruin their outdoor experience. Providing shade from the sun with umbrellas or awnings is a great way to create a cool and inviting space to relax. Pergolas or gazebos are also excellent options for creating a shaded area.

In terms of rain protection, a covered porch or outdoor patio with a roof is an excellent way to give guests a dry space to retreat. For windy conditions, vertical outdoor curtains or panels can be added to block out gusts of wind while maintaining a tranquil environment.

SOURCE: Alto Design

Without proper weather protection, an outdoor space can quickly become uncomfortable and unenjoyable. By taking the time to consider the weather elements, you can create an outdoor space that is both cozy and safe from the elements.

7. Create a Stunning Outdoor Kitchen Retreat

Having an outdoor kitchen in your backyard allows you to enjoy the company of friends and family without having to go inside to do all of the cooking. Outdoor kitchens are perfect for BBQs, cookouts, and even hosting events such as birthdays or weddings. Adding an outdoor kitchen also increases the value of your home and can attract potential buyers. It provides a unique selling point and sets it apart from other traditional homes.

I built my outdoor kitchen a number of years ago. Yet another thing I need to do some touch up work on this summer. The overall structure has held up well. But the style and color of the kitchen itself is not really my look anymore. I’m looking forward to giving it a facelift soon. Once again, I’ll keep you posted and will be sharing the before and afters in an upcoming post.

I love the look of this outdoor kitchen! And that planked ceiling with the beams! Beautiful!!

SOURCE: Distinctive Interiors

Overall, an outdoor kitchen helps you to make the most of your property by creating an additional living room that everyone can enjoy. It is a worthwhile investment that will enrich your outdoor experience and offer you memories that last a lifetime.

8. Enhancing Your Outdoor Space with Captivating Water Features

Water features are a great way to create a comfortable and serene outdoor setting. By complementing the natural surroundings and offering a relaxing mood, water features such as fountains, ponds, or waterfalls can substantially convert your outdoor setting into a quiet paradise.

These features not only bring beauty and relaxation to the space but can also help to mask unwanted noise, creating a more peaceful ambiance. Furthermore, the sound of flowing water can have a therapeutic effect, promoting improved emotional and mental well-being.

A water feature can improve the visual appeal of your outdoor space and serve as a focal point for your landscape design. They increase the value of your home and make your outside spaces more pleasurable for family gatherings, hosting visitors, or simply unwinding after a long day.

SOURCE: GM Construction, Inc.

​More Great Outdoor Features

Of course there are many outdoor features we did not mention. Adding these elements to your outdoor space are sure to make spending time outside much more enjoyable…

  • Outdoor fireplace (or any other fire feature)
  • Hot tub (Yes please!)
  • Porch swings
  • Portable fire pit
  • Wood-fired pizza oven (Nice!)

Creating a comfortable outdoor space is not just about having a few pieces of outdoor furniture and plants. It requires careful consideration of various elements that contribute to creating an inviting and cozy atmosphere. The perfect combination of features, from lighting to foliage to furniture placement, may convert a drab outdoor space into a beautiful and useful refuge that you can enjoy all year.

By planning and designing your outdoor space carefully, you can create an area that reflects your own style while also meeting your needs for leisure, entertainment, and mingling with family and friends. Remember, with the right elements in place, your outdoor space can become the perfect extension of your home and provide you with countless hours of enjoyment and relaxation.

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

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