12 Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces

November 17, 2023

Designing and building your custom home is exciting, but a home isn’t complete without its surrounding property. From just front yards to acres of land, you have an entire lot to think about and a canvas at your disposal. In addition to a custom home design that suits your wants and needs, you can create gorgeous outdoor living spaces to surround your home and yourself with beauty and relaxation while also adding curb appeal. Here are a few ideas for outdoor living spaces to inspire you as you think about your custom home and the area around it:

1. Consider Including Patios and Decks

wrap-around porch and second floor balconyPatios and decks are excellent ideas for outdoor living spaces and can make spending time outside fun, comfortable, and relaxing. They are also one of the classic ranch architecture design ideas that fit in well with a wide variety of design styles.

Deciding whether a deck or patio, or both, is best for your home design will depend on a variety of factors. Decks, porches, and patios can extend your home design and give you a perfect place to relax on a sunny day. With roofing or patio covers, you can even enjoy the space on a rainy day.

Better yet, decks and patios are prime celebration spots. Bring family and friends together to enjoy gathering on a beautiful deck, or even a wrap-around porch! Depending on how you want to use these spaces, your home design, and lot size, you may find a spacious porch in the front and a deck and patio in the backyard are right for you. With a custom home, it’s up to you and what you need.

2. Think About Outdoor Kitchens and Dining Areas

house with outdoor kitchenSome kitchen design trends include a lot of natural light and merging indoor and outdoor spaces. In some home designs, this shows up as an indoor kitchen and a dining area that blends into an outdoor dining area. In other home designs, it’s a wall of windows or doors that open directly from the indoor kitchen area to outdoor living spaces.

Another option is building an outdoor kitchen and dining area and blending them seamlessly with the interior design. There are pros and cons of outdoor kitchens and they may not be the right fit for everyone. But, if you love cooking, entertaining, and dining outside, outdoor kitchens are not only convenient, but they are also beautiful!

French doors are one of the popular types of doors to use to lead to an outdoor living space, especially an outdoor kitchen area with comfortable seating. An outdoor kitchen can be as simple or grandiose as you want. Consider what sort of food you’d most enjoy outside so you can prioritize what to buy. Suggestions often include a grill, pizza oven, sink, and bar.

There are many things to consider for your outdoor kitchen design. You can design your own kitchen or work with your builder to acquire a premade set. The popularity of outdoor dining has given rise to customizable models that are absolutely enchanting. These give you plenty of sitting room, allow you to show off your cooking skills, and let the open air add its own flavor!

3. Create Gardens and Plant Paradises

Gardening is a fantastic hobby to pick up for a multitude of reasons. It’s good exercise, it helps the environment, it can be mentally soothing, and it can make your home look beautiful. Whether you plant a flower garden solely for aesthetics, or a fruit and vegetable garden for practicality, starting a backyard garden will bring color and a charming flair to your home.

Gardens can be a place to disappear to get your mind distracted by their loveliness or by the hard work that goes into tending them. The kinds of plants you can bring to your garden are bountiful and sure to inspire all kinds of ideas, and there are plenty of planting tips to help you make the most of the work you’re putting into your landscaping.

If you love immersing yourself in nature and want more in your backyard than just lawn grass, you can take gardening a step further and create a plant paradise in your backyard. With different plants, garden fences, benches, walkways, and more, you can use plants and backyard structures to create your own oasis in your backyard.

4. Determine if You Want a Pool

Even if you enjoy swimming, there are pros and cons of swimming pools when it comes to deciding if you want one of your own. You have to consider how often you will use it and what you will get out of it and make sure the added maintenance, cost, and liability are worth it for you.

If a pool is right for you, there are a lot of things you can do. Swimming pool designs have come a long way and there are a lot of options, whether you want a sprawling lap pool or something smaller. Depending on your lot, what you want in a swimming pool, and more, there are also plenty of pool landscaping ideas to enhance the look and function of the pool itself and the area around it.

5. Add a Fire Pit

rear porch with built-in fireplaceThinking about how you want to use the space and including luxurious and comfortable details are tips for creating incredible outdoor living spaces. If you enjoy the feeling of relaxing outside by a fire in the evenings, adding a fire pit is one of the ideas for outdoor living spaces to explore.

Depending on what you are looking for, there are plenty of fire pit options available. Different fuel types, shapes, and more can all help you get what you want in a fire pit in a way that works for your outdoor living space. There are even fire and water bowls that allow you to integrate a fire pit into your pool design!

There are dos and don’ts of fire pits. There needs to be enough distance between them, your home, and other structures. There may also be local regulations that you need to be aware of. If a fire pit is something you want to include in your home design, your custom home builder can help walk you through what that looks like.

6. Opt For Multilevel Outdoor Living Spaces

custom home with backyard deckWhen thinking about landscaping and outdoor living spaces overall in addition to your home design, you may find yourself with several different elements. Although you do want these to fit together cohesively, there may still be a need to separate spaces.

By opting for multilevel outdoor living spaces, you not only make the most of the space you have, but you can also subtly separate spaces in a way that allows for easy interaction and access when needed. This can elevate your outdoor living spaces visually while also improving comfort and function.

7. Get Creative With Lighting

outdoor patio with stone fireplaceLighting choices can make or break a space. This is true for interior spaces and outdoor living spaces. One of the extra benefits that come from the continued seamlessness and merging between indoor and outdoor spaces is the increase in outdoor lighting options.

Depending on the type of lighting you choose and the placement, you may still need to plan ahead for electrical needs. However, there are tons of options available for lighting outdoor living spaces that were previously only used inside.

Hanging lights, full fixtures, and more can all help you layer lighting to get the light you want when and where you need it along with the flexibility to change that along with the time of day, weather, atmosphere, etc.

8. Upgrade a Gazebo

There are a lot of customizations and flexible options when it comes to gazebos. They can be large or small structures and can elevate your outdoor spaces. A gazebo can be integrated into a patio that is close to the home or can create a backyard retreat further away.

The placement options may be limited by your lot, but you still have a lot of flexibility with the design of the gazebo itself. Whether open-air or screened-in, you can customize the exterior and the interior, and then add decor. You can consider patio furniture trends, like built-in furniture, comfort, and more, and then you can go beyond just seating to create a comfortable, relaxing, and attractive space.

9. Play With Materials

Depending on what structures you want to include in your outdoor spaces, you have a lot of opportunities to play with materials and material trends. And, it goes beyond the material and textiles of outdoor furniture.

Whether hardwood or composite, you can play with different colors, finishes, grains, etc. on decks. Patios can range from polished concrete and different types of stones or pavers to stamped concrete featuring designs and more. You can also mix and match materials with walkways, railings, garden fences, and any other structures or decor you want to include in and around the space.

10. Implement Some Privacy

Another one of the popular ideas for outdoor living spaces is to add some privacy. You can add privacy to your backyard overall with a stylish fence or a privacy wall. This can be done with actual physical structures or it can be done with plants and vegetation; or even a combination of both.

Whether you make your backyard more private or not, you also have options to implement some privacy for any outdoor living spaces within your backyard. You can add structures with walls, windows, retractable screens, or even curtains. You can also add a gate for both fashion and function.

11. Hang a Swing

A swing can be a relaxing feature that can enhance and upgrade your outdoor living space design. You still have the traditional porch swing, hammock, tree swing, and tire swing options. On top of those, you also have several modern options that take swings to a completely different level.

Swinging platforms full of pillows with protective curtains are an option. You can even get hanging globes or orbs! Swings are one of the things to build in your backyard and there are so many different options available to help you get the perfect swing you’re imagining.

12. Evaluate a Fountain

Fountains and water features can seriously elevate your landscaping and help create a relaxing, soothing atmosphere. They can also be a lot of work and can become a landscaping mistake if they’re not right for you or you’re not prepared to maintain them.

Large water features are beautiful and also usually require extra considerations and extra maintenance after they are installed. If you are happy and ready to take that on, then adding a large fountain could be a good idea for your outdoor living space.

If you want some sort of water feature, but don’t want to deal with as much maintenance, there are plenty of other options available to implement this outdoor patio design idea. A smaller fountain or even smaller tabletop water features could be good options for more manageable water features.

Get Your Dream Custom Home With CHG

These are just a few ideas for outdoor living spaces. Whether you want to plan ahead to beautify the area around your home design, seamlessly merge indoor and outdoor spaces, or something in between, an experienced, reputable custom home builder can help ensure you get what you want and need. If you’re ready to bring your dream home to life, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!