Ideas for Creating an Amazing Outdoor Space

| | | | | | |

Looking for inspiration and ideas for decorating your outdoor living space? Would you like to know how to make an outdoor space cozy and inviting?


Outdoor spaces such as porches, decks, patios, terraces, and even front stoops, are an extension of our homes. Let’s make the most of them!

They’re like hidden gems. Think of them as an outdoor living room, waiting to be polished into a perfect little haven for relaxation or lively gatherings. 

Whether it’s a cozy porch or a sprawling patio located in your backyard, there’s so much potential to turn them into your own slice of paradise. 

So, why not transform these spots into stylish, welcoming extensions of your home where you can unwind or entertain in the great outdoors?

outdoor dining area on a deckPin

This post contains affiliate links to products for your convenience. See my full disclosure HERE.

When it comes to outdoor decor, it can be tempting to just fill a few pots with flowers, sweep the cobwebs away, tidy things up, and call it done. 

While that may be perfectly acceptable, why not go the extra mile to turn your outdoor living area into a true haven? Why waste that valuable “real estate”?

Using these tips, I’ve been able to create a relaxing outdoor oasis that we use and enjoy nine months of the year! 

Specifically, I want my deck and porch to feel more like an outdoor room instead of just a place for some potted flowers and a table with an umbrella over it.

The First Step is to Clean – How to Make it Easier

This isn’t a fun step, but it’s a very necessary one! 

person pressure washing a wood deckPin

All of my outdoor spaces are filthy after a fall and winter of dropping leaves. And don’t even get me started talking about the yellow pollen we have to deal with for a couple of weeks in early spring. UGH

Even though cleaning isn’t my favorite thing to do, here are three ways that I make it as painless as possible:

#1 – My favorite product for easily cleaning dirt, dust, green algae, mold and mildew from siding and woodwork is Mold Armor E-Z House Wash.

Mold Armor House CleanerPin

Guys, this product is nothing short of amazing! I literally attach it to my hose, spray my woodwork, and wait a few minutes before hosing it off.

There were only few spots that were particularly mildew’y that needed a little bit of scrubbing.

After using this product, the white railing on my screen porch always looks like it has been freshly painted.

Be sure to read all of the directions before use to see what you need to do to protect plants and exactly how to use the product.

#2 – Try to use outdoor rugs and outdoor pillows and cushions made with outdoor fabric and outdoor inserts, even if the area they’re in is covered and protected. 

coffee table vignette using turquoise and brown on a deckPin

These types of products typically only need to be vacuumed or knocked together to get rid of dust and pollen. If they do need additional cleaning, they can be cleaned with a garden hose.

A pressure washer works too, but make sure to test the fabric or rugs first to make sure they can withstand the force of the water. This one has a 4½ rating.

#3 – I dust all of my furniture and accessories with microfiber cloth.  If I need a little extra scrubbing power, I’ll grab a Mr. Clean sponge.

How Will the Space Function?

To get the most out of your outdoor space, determine the functional needs and desires that you have for your area. 

brown deck with white pergola type structures on it to create zonesPin

Those are what should dictate the type of furnishings and accessories that you need and what the layout should be.

Things to consider:

  • How much space do you have – what are the dimensions?
  • Is privacy an issue?
  • Do you need an outdoor dining area and/or dining table for entertaining?
  • Do you need to create shade?
  • How much seating do you need for yourself and for guests?
  • Do you need lighting?
  • Do you need outdoor storage?
  • Do you need noise control features, such as a water feature?
  • Do you need to set up the furniture to take advantage of a pretty view?
  • Do you need an outdoor kitchen area or will just a grill suffice?
  • Could climate control such as ceiling fans or an outdoor heat source allow you to use your space most of the year or even year-round?

Speaking of Furniture

If your goal is to spend extended periods of time enjoying your outdoor space, comfort is key. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been stuck with hard seats or rocking chairs that sit too straight.


If at all possible, try out pieces for seating before purchasing. I’ve learned the hard way that purchasing outdoor furniture online without being able to try it out first, isn’t necessarily the way to go.

For low maintenance, make sure the sofa and chair cushions are made with outdoor fabrics. I know if I can avoid it, I don’t want to have to bring my cushions inside in case of rain.

Accommodate Dining in Your Outdoor Room

Even if it’s just a small table with a couple of chairs tucked into a corner, adding a spot for outdoor dining is a perfect way to create an instant invitation to enjoy an outdoor space.

outdoor dining area on a deckPin

Having a spot for dining ramps up the cozy factor and is like an unspoken invitation to stay a while.

A defined dining area, no matter how small, will make outdoor entertaining a breeze.

Add Greenery With Plants

Greenery adds life to any space! Use plants as accents throughout the area or think about placing them around the perimeter of an area to help define the outdoor room feel.


If you want low maintenance, look no further than succulents. They come in all sorts of varieties and colors and are the ideal plant for adding texture.

No worries if you don’t want to have to remember to water! Using faux plants to add life works just as well. 

You can even purchase UV resistant faux plants on Amazon if you’re concerned about fading from the sun.

Layering is Key to Decorating an Outdoor Space

That’s right – layering your decor is just as crucial to creating a cozy, intimate, and inviting outdoor space as it is to creating the same feeling in an indoor space. 


So, layer those doormats, layer that wall decor and layer those pillows!

Tips for layering:

  • Arrange multiple throw pillows on an outdoor couch or chair so that some are toward the front and some are toward the back.
  • Use two different sized area rugs, with the smaller rug layered on top of the larger one.
  • When placing decorative items, stagger them front to back so that items aren’t simply lined up in a straight line.
  • Add throw blankets to the backs of chairs or sofa.

One example of layering is to fill empty corners with a beautiful decorative lantern.

beige and aqua deck furniture and decorPin

Just make sure that whatever you use is outdoor friendly and is heavy enough not to be blown over by the wind. Some of my favorites include:

  • grouping a trio of multiple size lanterns on the floor
  • hanging string lights
  • adding candles (whether real or battery operated) for a pretty evening glow
  • adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit
  • using a coffee table, bench, or a stack of outdoor cushions for extra seating
  • the sound of a small water fountain is very soothing and relaxing

TIP: To make an indoor accessory safe for outdoors (other than fabric), spray it with a clear sealer that is outdoor proof.

How Can I Make My Outdoor Space Feel Cozy and Inviting?

One way to make your outdoor space feel cozy is to define the area in some way.

flagstone patio with an outdoor table and umbrella in a backyardPin

If you have a wide open area, such as a backyard patio, consider adding a low wall to create a sense of intimacy and a feeling of privacy. 

The low slate wall surrounding the above terrace works beautifully for creating the feeling of being in a private room even though it’s located beside a wide open golf course.

Or, you can always choose to build a wall where nothing currently exists. The addition of the trellis behind these seats helps to “enclose” an otherwise very open patio. 

outdoor seating area with an arched trellis behind the sofa for privacyPin

No need to go to the expense of having something built. I found very affordable premade privacy screens HERE.

Even though my friend Nancy’s deck is a very large wide open space, make note of the cozy intimacy that the addition of structure in the form of “walls” and a pergola type ceiling adds.

Plus, a pergola type of ceiling is a great way to add shade to an overly sunny area.

deck with white railing and pergola roofPin

You can also use outdoor planters with an attached trellis to create the illusion of a wall. 

Add Entertainment Features

If you want your outdoor living space to be truly amazing, add some form of entertainment. It will be the proverbial icing on the cake!

diy outdoor movie screen and snack barPin

Picture a cozy outdoor movie area complete with a snack bar, where you can cuddle up for family movie nights under the stars.

No need to go to the expense of purchasing one. A white sheet does a good job of acting as a movie screen.

Add portable outdoor speakers for chill background music. 

outdoor seating area with traditional wrought iron furniture on a deckPin

How about a portable, tabletop firepit for roasting marshmallows?

Don’t forget board games for the perfect blend of comfort and fun out in the fresh air.

two people playing chess outdoorsPin

And there you have it—your guide to turning that underused outdoor area into a personal retreat that’s just as comfortable and inviting as your living room. 

From the essential clean-up to the strategic placement of furniture and the addition of greenery and decorative elements, every step you take brings you closer to creating that perfect outdoor oasis.

Here’s to many enjoyable moments in your new, personalized outdoor living area—cheers to making the most of your outdoor real estate!

pinterest graphic for outdoor decorating ideasPin

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Angelina @ Peonies & Orange Blossoms says:

    Great ideas! I really like those trellis on rollers! You could plant a citrus tree on them and wheel them in the Winter!

    1. That’s a great idea, Angelina!

  2. I really enjoyed seeing all these gorgeous outdoor spaces and the ideas you’ve shown for enhancing our backyard areas. You’ve got me excited to start putting what I call our “cabana area” together again and perhaps creating a new look for it. The addition of outdoor lighting last year has made it one of my favourite places to be on a summer evening. Thanks for rounding up all these wonderful pics to share with us.

    1. Hi Lori. The images that I ran across while putting this post together had me drooling too! I would love to add some outdoor lighting to our porch. Definitely on my list of things to do!

  3. I am planting my patio this weekend! Nothing makes me more excited that fresh plants and flowers! Love the Southern Living image!

    1. That Southern Living porch is one of my favorites too! I drool over it! Have fun playing on your patio!

  4. I love all of those patios/outdoor rooms…lots of great ideas! We have a large deck. My main requirements, are comfy chairs, a place to put up my feet, and a place to set a drink…and flowers, greenery! We are still several weeks away from setting things up…our weather is playing games with us! 😉

    1. Hi Donnamae. Boy, I totally get the weather game – warm then chilly, sunny then rain, calm then windy. Hopefully things have settled here a bit. Fingers crossed! Now if the pollen would just stop….

  5. Wow, Suzy, this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I just ordered echo beach outdoor furniture from Pier1. I’m still looking for a rug, a garden stool and some pillows. Thank you for sharing all those outdoor spaces and all your great ideas I’m really excited to put things together now!

    1. Hi Nancie. New outdoor furniture? How exciting! Having fun pulling your space together!

  6. Thanks for sharing Suzy! I love the drapes curtain, they make the space look do cosy 🙂

  7. Hi, do you give instructions for making the four piece hanging divider that is featured? Thanks!

    1. Hi Dian. Can you tell me which one of the images that you’re referring to?

  8. Brenda Radliff says:

    Beautiful porches!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Many great ideas and inspiration since it’s time for me to re-do my “sanctuary”!!!!!!!

  10. I just love your blog…Your ideas have been so helpful…Thank you for providing such wonderful outdoor ideas…

  11. This advice is just what I need! We are in a condo now with a small patio. I’m struggling with ideas to make it inviting. Thanks to you, I’m able to envision it much better. Any additional hints for a nautical theme? Thanks for your talents you share.

    1. Hi Doreen. I’m so glad you found this helpful! Everyone’s taste is different, but if I were doing a nautical theme, my tendency would be to do it with color more than with too many cutesy accessories. I would choose a main color scheme of dark’ish blue and white. As far a pattern goes, anything with stripes is great for a nautical theme. Other items that would remind me of a nautical theme are teak or wood furniture, blue cushions or pillows with white piping, using rope somewhere, using rope cleats for hooks, hanging an oar on a wall. I would definitely go to Pinterest and search “nautical decor”. You’ll get tons of ideas there. 😀

  12. Adding a handrail will cordon off your deck so you can use it much like a room or extension of your house. You can also paint the handrail to match your painted garden furniture. For example, if you have white-washed garden furniture and dark blue umbrellas on your outdoor decking, you can paint the top of the rail blue, and the bars, white.

  13. Nancy Carroll says:

    Love your post! I’m ready to get outside and enjoy our deck…now if only the pollen would go away!! Yesterday we cleaned out all our flower beds and pots. This morning we’re heading to the nurseries to buy flowers. One of my favorite things about spring!

  14. Sue Gardner says:

    I am excited to receive the free Ebook.

  15. Sue Gardner says:

    I love your ideas! Thank you for sharing.

  16. Enjoyed thr pictures and ideas….can you share more details on layering pillows…etc also more details on outdoor storage for cushions etc.. and where to purchase?

  17. Corine Mullins says:

    omg! absolutely gorgeous
    this is ME!