35 Most Beautiful Outdoor Living Space Ideas & Designs
Outdoor living space is a great way to expand the comforts of your home a little further.
Whether you are designing a new outdoor living space, or looking for tips to spruce up your current one, these ideas and tips will help make your outdoor living space the most beautiful part of your home.
We have put together a diverse range of 35 outdoor living space images to help you find inspiration.
Some of them are large projects and others are simple designs, but all of them have tips and tricks you can use in your outdoor living space to take it to the next level (and make it the only place you want to be in your home).
It is broken it up into two simple sections to plan and design your dream outdoor living space:
- Outdoor Living Space Designs – Simple and unique designs help make your outdoor living space fit your needs
- Outdoor Living Space Ideas – Unique ideas and easy secrets to make your outdoor living space special, beautiful, and feel like home
Check out all 35 designs and ideas below, as well as links to places that you can use to make your outdoor living space the most beautiful.
Outdoor Living Space Designs:
Idea 1: Give Your Deck Space Purpose
Creating different areas in your outdoor living design is an easy way to give it purpose and take it to the next level.
This deck has multiple tiers which help separate the purpose of each space. This lower seating area looks set apart from the rest of the space and is an inviting place to host some friends.
Also, do not be afraid to use different colors to separate areas. Just like in the photo above, different color gray decking boards can help distinguish the transition to different spaces in your outdoor living design.
Idea 2: Your Deck Can Hold Its Own
When it comes to outdoor living design you don’t need furniture or landscaping to make it special, your deck can do it all by itself.
This gorgeous rooftop deck overlooking the lake with a herringbone pattern deck of Ipe and Garapa hardwoods steals the show.
A little secret through, you don’t have to use fancy woods to make an impression. You can also use different color composites to create a similar contrast or do a similar pattern to create a beautiful visual focus point.
Idea 3: Less is More, but Everything Becomes More Important
Even small spaces can make beautiful outdoor living spaces. Take this front porch for example.
What you use to build the space becomes increasingly important. These composite deck boards and rail from Trex will require no maintenance and look great for years to come, giving you a timeless design.
When you have a smaller space, the less you put in it, the bigger it will feel. A few simple chairs and one or two accent pieces like a plant or a small table, and you have a warm and inviting outdoor living space.
Idea 4: Little Touches Make A Big Difference
As you plan your outdoor living space, make sure to think about little touches that will make big differences. Like these riser lights!
Outdoor living design is at its best when it incorporates day and night. Warm evenings don’t have to be the end of enjoying your space, and built in lighting is a classy way to make your space enjoyable after the sun goes down.
Lights can be in risers, in posts, and even in the deck boards. Take a look at some of these different options to help light the way.
Idea 5: If You Can’t Go Out, Go Up!
You can always make better use of a small space by taking it vertical!
Small spaces don’t have to feel small. Take this small deck for example, adding a vertical deck wall behind the grill turns it from two dimensional to three dimensional and will give you a nice accent wall.
Idea 6: You Can Mix Appealing Design With Privacy
Take this privacy wall for example. If you have neighbors that are really close and you want to have some privacy while you are outside, turn that necessity into an accent piece like this privacy fence.
It also has the double benefit of providing seclusion in your outdoor living space, but it is also a focal piece that will keep your attention on your space and less on your neighbors!
Idea 7: Make Space to Escape the Everyday
In your outdoor living design, you can create little pockets you can retreat into! We love this little pond that also has a secluded seating area!
Now that is cozy, peaceful, and an easy way to escape from daily stress.
Idea 8: Mix Materials to Create Different Textures
Hardscapes are a great element to include in your outdoor living design. Add wood railing and pergolas to contrast the hard stone with softer wood to take your design to the next level.
This cedar pergola and railing breaks up the brick and paver space to add contrast and character. Don’t be afraid to mix and match elements when you are designing your outdoor living space.
Idea 9: Contrast is the Spice of Design
Contrast can be the most powerful component of outdoor living design. The secret is to use it just enough to add character to your space, but not overwhelm it.
The pickets on this railing do just that. Clean crisp lines all over the deck and a little bit of curve in the railing balusters keeps it interesting.
You can do this even with wood railings as well. Take a look at some of the many different baluster designs from deckorators, one of the leaders in this space.
Idea 10: Decking can Make the Deck
Even if you are looking to do something simple like a square deck, there are ways you can make it stand out from the rest.
How the decking is put down can make a world of difference! Instead of a standard deck, this one has a parting board in the middle to change the direction of the decking. A simple design component, but definitely an eye catching layout.
An easy trick to help you start your design is to start with some standard designs from a website like Decks.com, and then pick a few small changes like that parting board that make it anything but ordinary.
Idea 11: Even the Ordinary can Become the Extraordinary
You do not have to splurge on expensive additions to make your outdoor living space the best design. Take this wood deck as an example.
With just a few design elements this deck went from simple to one of the most beautiful outdoor living spaces. There is a bump out that has parting boards and changes in decking direction that give it unmatched character.
Also, don’t be afraid to cut the corners off so it all feels less square. This built in bench also makes it an easy place to relax at then end of the day.
Not all outdoor living spaces have to have expensive upgrades or designer level amenities to be the best outdoor space. Some can use the same elements throughout with little changes to make them great.
Just remember with wood decks it is important to stain and seal it regularly. You can check out this guide from Lowes on how to best approach it.
Idea 12: Mix and Match Outdoor Living Spaces to Optimize Your Design
Another secret to designing the most beautiful outdoor living space is to combine different spaces. For example, in the photo above there is a covered porch and a deck.
While both of them are connected, the porch roof creates its own space from the open air deck, and their areas can be used for different purposes, like a covered dining or seating area in the porch and an elite grilling space on the deck.
Idea 13: You Don’t Have to Start Over
Don’t be afraid to expand! Not every project can be completed all at once to make the most beautiful outdoor living space for your home.
Outdoor living space designs can be made to be flexible so they can change to your needs. Perhaps you need a dining table and chairs to eat outside with the family. A few years later you need that space for a hot tub and lounge chairs.
This sunroom, deck, and concrete patio give a great contrast of textures and a great versatility of space that can be used to fit your needs for years to come.
Idea 14: Straight Lines Rarely Make History
Don’t be afraid to mix in some curved elements to your space.
Take a look at how this large stone patio curves nicely along this deck. It is a great way to add a splash of character when combining different elements.
Also, notice how the deck uses a different tone from the stairs to the porch above. Just because you use some of the same materials doesn’t mean you have to use the same colors. Mix up the tones to add some depth, or mix up sizes of your materials.
Idea 15: Living Rooms Don’t Have to Be Inside
Do you want to know how you can make the most of your outdoor living space? Make an outdoor living room.
A covered patio, a screened in porch, or a fireplace like the one above can create a living room atmosphere that will really set your outdoor living design apart.
Outdoor living rooms can be similar to their indoor counterparts, just remember to keep everything a little bit more casual.
There are plenty of outdoor furniture places to make a space like this your own, but did you know Costco has incredible deals on outdoor furniture if you are a member? Check it out and find some great designs for a great price.
Idea 16: Mix and Match
Composites may be a great choice for you when it comes to your outdoor living space design. But you can mix and match them with traditional materials like wood to add some beautiful character to your space.
This space uses both composite decking, rail caps, and post sleeves, but also uses wood for the railing with black aluminum balusters. The effect is beautiful color contrast and texture that you can enjoy for years to come.
You can find similar modern ideas and designs that you can do with the help of big box stores like Home Depot to take your outdoor living design to the next level.
Outdoor Living Ideas:
Idea 17: Single Space, Multipurpose
You can have an area of relaxation and dining mixed together in your outdoor living space.The trick is to tie it all together.
We love what was done with this porch and deck to tie the casual seating area into the dining as well. Soft, neutral tones with a blue color pallet keeps all the elements feeling connected and part of the same space.
Idea 18: Make Spaces that Can Bend to Your Needs
One of the best things you can do for your outdoor living space is to add flexibility!
This open air patio porch is great for a nice breeze and warm afternoon, but if the sun is going to get in the way for a portion of it, these easy to use sun screens can provide a nice bit of shade. And when you aren’t using them, they can roll up out of the way.
Idea 19: Put Something Soft Underfoot
Outdoor living spaces are taken to a whole new level when you add a rug. It is a great way to add some softness under foot compared to hard decking or stone materials.
Keep it warm and casual with a small tree and neutral tones for an inviting and relaxing space.
Idea 19: Destination Spaces to Delight Your Guests
If you have a lot of space, create a destination space for specific moments like dining outside. Not only does it allow you to design the space for that, it creates areas you can make specific memories.
We love the use of this table and wicker chairs to create a beautiful dining space. Also, match the run of the table with how the deck boards run to make everything feel longer and more spacious.
There are plenty of places you can go to find great outdoor living ideas and guides to help you decorate your dream space.
Idea 20: Go Out of Your Way to Put Stuff In Your Way
This is one of our favorite little tricks when it comes to outdoor space ideas: Don’t be afraid to put things in the middle!
If you have a long set of steps, or a big open patio, you can add potted plants or decorative lanterns or even a small fountain to make it unique to your style and give it some charm.
Just like in the photo above, you can put a simple flowering plant in the middle of your steps and you instantly added some charm.
Idea 21: Retreat into Relaxation
One thing we love about this outdoor pool and patio area is that it has small little retreats that you can escape into.
Want to slide down the slide and swim over to the bar for a drink before you hop out for a snack at the dining table? You can!
You can create little areas for activities in your outdoor space and if you have a lot going on, say kids playing in the pool and adults having a conversation in the chairs under the umbrella, everything has its space to be enjoyed separately while everyone is together.
Lina Kavika Photography
Idea 22: Make People Green With Envy
Outdoor living ideas wouldn’t be complete if there weren’t plants. Even small spaces will feel more alive and inviting with plants.
We love what this front porch has done with the plants. Using simple concrete planters and a variety of plants to bring colors into the mix, this has become an inviting and charming outdoor living area even though it is small.
You can use websites like this one to find hundreds of different planters and designs to make your space inviting and feel like home. There is no limit to the creativity out there for planter options.
Idea 23: Let Opportunity Close the Door, And Open a (Eze breeze) Window
We love the idea implemented in this photo, a three season gazebo!
You can take something classic, like a gazebo, and turn it into something timeless with just a few upgrades. The use of Eze Breeze windows and screening makes this gazebo feel like a private retreat away from the home for you and your family.
The best part is, depending on the climate where you live, these windows can keep your space warm year round and act like a mini greenhouse for your plants.
Idea 24: Decorate Your Outdoor Living Space with You in Mind
We love this use of space because it focuses on the people who will be using it!
You can use your outdoor space just like an indoor space, just more casual. Set up some chairs near a fireplace or fire pit, add a small table so you can set your drinks on it, and let the memories and friendship unfold.
Idea 25: Let a Fire Pit Warm Up Your Space
Another great outdoor living idea is a fire pit! They come in many varieties, from built in to stone to metal, but they all do the same thing: create warm memories.
You can easily place a firepit and chairs in your outdoor living space so you and your family can enjoy cool evenings together.
If you have the space like in the image above, you can even create a permanent space for one so you always know where to go when you need to make a s’more.
Idea 26: Round Out Your Space with a Good Table
You can always set up a nice round table outside on your deck with a classy umbrella to liven up your space. And better yet, if you have your grills in the same area you can entertain while you grill.
You don’t miss the conversation and you can serve the food fresh off the grill.
Idea 27: Add Some Privacy and Decorate It To Make it Charming
Sometimes you can create your own outdoor living space getaway with some simple tricks. Like in this photo, you can seclude your patio with a small fence. You can also put in windows that you can add flowers, plants, or candles to create a charming ambiance.
Also, a simple trick to spruce up any outdoor seating is to add pillows. Just like in the photo, it can take you seating from simple outdoor furniture to classy private retreat.
Idea 28: Windows Of Opportunity
The best part of adding windows to your outdoor living space is you get two spaces in one. Take this porch for example.
Slide the windows down a warm day to turn it into a screened porch where you can relax and enjoy the breeze.
Slide the windows up on a cool day to turn it into a three season room that keeps the warmth inside so you can relax and enjoy the outdoors a few months longer.
You can check out other Eze Breeze and screen porch images in the gallery here.
Idea 29: Privacy Designs Open Up Different Design Opportunities
We love how this porch and patio have mixed privacy and openness in a modern design. The porch has a privacy wall that closes the view off to the neighbors, but they keep it open by getting rid of railing where it isn’t required.
An easy outdoor living space idea to keep it all flowing together is to not use rails if they aren’t needed. The building codes vary based on where you live, but it is an easy way to keep your space open.
Idea 30: Don’t Let Railings Close Your Space Off, Use Them To Open Up Your Design Choices
One of the best ways to make your outdoor living space better is to use rail planters!
They add some green and life closer to eye level and if you plant herbs or good smelling flowers, the scents can be relaxing as well.
Another thing we love about this photo is that instead of doing a normal step that is lost in the background, the steps here are unique and become the center point. Don’t be afraid to take something ordinary and turn it into extraordinary.
Idea 31: Make Sure Your Outdoor Living Design Lets You Take It All In
One of the best things about outdoor living is that you can enjoy the sunset (or sunrise). That is just what was done in this photo.
There is plenty of space to relax and entertain, but there are also reclining chairs set to watch the sunset. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.
Idea 32: Use Your Furniture to Naturally Break Your Space Into Different Areas
Sometimes you have one big outdoor space and you can easily break it into different areas. Take a look at the simple tricks used in this photo to do just that.
You can buy beautiful outdoor rugs to help break up your space and make each area feel special.
And in your uncovered areas you can add a fire pit to help warm up the cool nights and extend how long each year you can use your outdoor living space. And if you don’t have an open space for a fire pit, you can always get an outdoor heater to warm things up.
Idea 33: Use Your Space How You Want To
The most important outdoor living idea to keep in mind is to use your space how you want to.
If you want to use the space as an extension of your home, go for it. And if you want to use it as a peaceful, non intrusive escape into nature, do it!
This small space does just that. It was made to be a small escape to sit outside and enjoy the shade and the trees. Simple chairs, no frills, just a great way for you to enjoy the outdoors.
You can find even more small outdoor living space ideas and projects here to tune up little areas.
Idea 34: Break The Rules To Maximize Your Space
One simple idea to create more room if you can’t make your space larger, is to simply break the norms.
Take this deck for example, instead of putting the table in the middle of the deck, it has been set against the railing. You can still sit 4 people at it, but now you also have room to enjoy the rest of the deck as well.
Idea 35: Make It Great To Look At From All Angles
One of the most important outdoor living space ideas is to not forget about the view from the outside looking in!
This deck is fantastic, striking, and can easily be enjoyed sitting on looking out over the yard.
But the built in planter boxes on the lower level are a next level idea! Now when you are walking up to your outdoor living space it has an inviting appeal on all levels for you to enjoy!
Outdoor living designs and ideas can be endless, but hopefully the 35 tips and tricks outlined here can help you make your space the most beautiful outdoor living space that you can enjoy for years to come.