Recent events have pushed homeowners to find new and versatile ways to utilize their outdoor spaces. In many cases, the solution is to convert all or part of their backyard into an outdoor room.
Outdoor rooms aren’t identical to their interior counterparts. They tend to be more casual and built to withstand Mother Nature and all of her abuse.
But these factors aren’t limiting in terms of design. An outdoor room can be just as comfortable, stylish, and functional as any space inside your home.
Keep reading for our favorite outdoor room ideas that will inspire you to see your patio, deck, or yard in a new light.
Are you planning to use your patio as a full-time bedroom? Probably not. But it can be a great place to catch a few minutes of shut-eye or house guests during temperate weather.
Outdoor hotels are incredibly trendy right now. (Who wouldn’t want to spend the night sleeping under the stars?) Don’t be afraid to pull inspiration from your favorite vacation spots when outfitting your outdoor living space.
If you value versatility in your home design, opt for a daybed that also serves as comfortable seating. Hang shade curtains around the space to keep out rain, wind, and the morning sun.
Depending on where you live, incorporating a mosquito net in your outdoor bedroom isn’t a bad idea, either!
Bohemian decor fits perfectly with the breezy, relaxed atmosphere of the typical outdoor space. Whether you’re planning a casual living area or place to entertain guests, you should seriously consider adding some Boho charm to your design.
While Bohemian decor is extremely flexible, it tends to include lots of neutral shades and organic textures. Look for outdoor furniture made from materials like wicker or woven bamboo. Straw and rope work great as accents.
If you want to add some color to your patio, reach for warm shades of pink, orange, and other earthy tones. Potted plants should definitely be included in your outdoor room — cacti and succulents are very popular in Bohemian design.
You might think that a covered porch or patio defeats the purpose of a dedicated outdoor space. But there’s no better way to make your outdoor room as functional as possible.
On top of offering protection from the ever-changing weather, a covered patio allows for much more flexibility in your design.
One downside to a covered porch is the lack of natural lighting, especially in the evening or early morning. Hanging string lights from the ceiling can offer an atmospheric glow without ruining the vibe of your outdoor room. And if you live somewhere warm, a ceiling fan is definitely a worthwhile investment!
You don’t need a professional contractor to design an outdoor living room. All it takes is a few easily DIYable updates to make your backyard or patio a more beautiful and functional living area.
Outlet-powered string lights are a great way to add ambient lighting to your outdoor room without drilling holes or messing with electrical wires. Installation can be as simple as wrapping the lights around your pergola or using Command Strips.
Curtains make an excellent alternative to a screened porch or gazebo. On top of offering protection from bugs, rain, and the wind, opaque curtains are the easiest way to add much-needed privacy to your outdoor space!
The beauty of a deck is that the space is already well-defined. All you need to do is add furniture and decor to turn it into an outdoor living area.
Be sure your deck has enough chairs for everyone in your household. If you entertain often, it doesn’t hurt to invest in an extra seating area. Every deck is different, and it’s important to understand the amenities your outdoor space may or may not already have.
Don’t hesitate to invest in deck upgrades that will boost your quality of life. These could include anything from a canvas shade sail to a powered ceiling fan. Some homeowners even include a flatscreen TV in their deck designs!
One of the greatest challenges to creating a stylish outdoor room is the sheer scope of design. You can’t just choose furniture and decor that goes together. It must also serve the space — most importantly, your home’s exterior — as a whole.
If you have experience designing interior spaces, then you’re well-equipped for this project. Start with basic decisions like color palette and overall theme before moving onto the details.
Any trend that can be used inside your home can also be used outside. Aesthetics like Bohemian and rustic are both popular choices for outdoor space. But you can also draw inspiration from trends like modern, industrial, contemporary, and more.
7. Dining Room
An outdoor dining area might not be the first idea that comes to mind for your patio space. But you’ll have a hard time coming up with an outdoor layout that’s more elegant and versatile than a dining room.
Dining furniture is the perfect companion to an outdoor kitchen setup. If you love grilling or BBQing, then your backyard really isn’t complete without a comfortable dining area!
An outdoor dining table can be a great backdrop to entertaining guests or spending time with the family. The space can even double as a backyard home office or general meeting area.
Few design elements are as ubiquitous with outdoor living spaces as the fire pit. Whether you’re decorating a small backyard porch or full-scale patio, including an outdoor fireplace in your design can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
The best option for an outdoor room is not an in-ground fire pit but a stand-alone structure. A freestanding fireplace can be placed on an existing deck or patio. You can even invest in a portable fire pit for added versatility.
Of course, it’s not just about adding a fire pit to your outdoor living area. It’s about creating a comfortable and inviting seating area for family, friends, and other guests. Don’t skimp on the furniture!
You can’t have an outdoor living area without furniture. Arguably, choosing the right furniture is the distinction between an outdoor room and your average patio design.
Unlike the furniture in an indoor space, outdoor furniture is rarely confined by existing walls. Instead, the way you arrange your patio furniture is what defines the space as a whole.
The most important part of outfitting an outdoor area is selecting furniture that can withstand the elements. An outdoor sofa features much different upholstery and finishes than the sofa in your home’s living room.
Be sure to invest in furniture and decor that is specifically designed for outdoor living!
Curating an outdoor living space should not mean giving up a green backyard.
Blending your deck or terrace with the surrounding garden area is the ideal way to upgrade your home with a private outdoor oasis.
On top of offering aesthetic beauty, your garden can also be functional. Consider planting species that offer natural shade or privacy from the eyes of prying neighbors.
Remember that plant life doesn’t only grow in the ground. Even balcony-dwellers can grow a container garden.
Placing potted plants throughout your patio — don’t forget the versatility of hanging baskets! — is an excellent way to blur the line between “outdoor living room” and Mother Nature.
Gone are the days of rising and going to bed with the sun. So there’s no reason to let your outdoor patio space fall dark at nightfall.
While a permanent light fixture is ideal for a screened porch, it’s not going to fit into the average terrace or patio. Instead, reach for battery-, solar-, or outlet-powered lighting that you can easily install yourself.
String lights are perfect for creating a soft glow that won’t interfere with your outdoor fireplace or evening sunset. Tabletop lanterns can be used to brighten up an outdoor dining space. You can also install recessed lighting along staircases and patio borders to increase safety.
12. Living Room
An outdoor living space can add tons of value to the average household. Not only can this type of space increase your home’s usable square feet but it can also be the perfect place to entertain guests without worrying about limited elbow room.
Feel free to incorporate more relaxed pieces like a chaise lounge or porch swing in your outdoor living room design. Throw pillows made from outdoor fabric can soften wicker, metal, or wood furniture.
Be realistic about your local climate when converting your terrace or patio into a functional living area. A hot, sunny, or bug-filled space will get much less use than one equipped with shade, electric fans, and insect netting!
Countless homeowners enjoy the look of hyper-modern design against the natural elements of their backyards. But if you’re looking for more organic outdoor patio ideas, rustic decor is the best place to start.
Rustic decor can be inspired by old American farmhouses, Northwoods cabins, or even French country homes. Many spaces blend elements from multiple sources to create a more contemporary look.
Giving your outdoor decor some rustic charm can be as simple as incorporating materials like live-edge wood, river stone, or brick. It can also mean including vintage-inspired items like wrought iron chairs or chandeliers.