Designing Your Livable Outdoor Space

May 20, 2020

Aaaaah. The sun is shining, the days are longer, and the grill is hot – summer is officially right around the corner. It’s time to move our at-home lives outdoors.

When we design an addition or new construction project, the siting of the home on its property can be as important as the structure itself.  We consider ease of use, optimal light, available views, and then partner with landscape architects to create the ideal setting for outdoor living.  From the walkway that leads to your front door to the farthest point in the yard, the property should be a cohesive space that reflects your personal aesthetic and lifestyle – both the inside and out.

This summer, as we break out of the confines of indoor living, we can still get out in the fresh air while remaining at home. Here are some tips on how to create the kind of comfortable and useful outdoor space you’ll enjoy all season long.

1. Spread. It. Out.

Remember #togetherapart.  This summer, with social distancing likely to remain as part of our lives, we’ll be looking to create more space even in our own back yards.  Most of us spend our outdoor time in dining areas or patios situated very close to the house – consider spreading out.  A fire pit can be placed further out in the yard. Or create a variety of activity areas, one specifically for yard games like croquet or badminton, another with extra tables for board games. Utilizing the entire property will give you a sense of expanded breathing space, something we all could use more of.

2. Comfort is Key

comfortable and luxurious backyard with in-ground pool
Residence on Meadow Neck

An outdoor living space should not only be fun but also should evoke a feeling of comfort and ease. Do you have a pool or a spot with a view where you can relax in comfortable lounge chairs? Or consider creating an outdoor “room” with stylish furniture, lighting and accessories.

3.) Create a Seamless Flow from Inside to Outside

seamless design flow from inside home to outside
Modern Farmhouse on Beaver

Seamless outdoor/indoor living is a hot topic in design circles, and for good reason. Create entry points to your outdoor space that are easily accessible and invite the outdoors in. Choose and arrange furniture, flooring, fabrics and décor that suit your aesthetic and lifestyle, as well as complement the flow from inside out.

4.) Even if the Outdoor Space is Small…

revamp outdoor space in the home
Brownstone on Marlborough Street

If you’re a city dweller, chances are your outdoor space is at a minimum. Whether you have a patio, a small yard or a rooftop area, you can still create your own urban oasis. Tall greenery will provide privacy and help mitigate city noise. A bistro table and chairs are perfect for smaller spaces, whether dining in or working from home. And don’t forget comfortable seating — outdoor furniture comes in a variety of styles and sizes to fit any patio.

Remember, your yard or terrace is as much a part of your home as inside your house. Expand the way you live by using every inch of the outdoor space you have.

If you are looking for exterior design ideas, we’re happy to help you rethink your space, or put you in touch with our partners who specialize in landscape and garden design.