Despite many young Americans relocating to bigger cities and living in apartment buildings, the vast majority of us still value our outdoor space. In fact, around 81% of Americans have a lawn. And prospective house buyers would prioritize a yard way more than they would new bathrooms, hardwood floors, or storage space.
So, if we value our outdoor spaces so much, we should put as much effort into designing them as we do our indoor spaces!
There are so many ways you can create the perfect outdoor space that fits your needs. Whether you have children, love entertaining, or just want a peaceful oasis away from daily stresses.
And you don’t need to have acres to work with, you can still do a lot with a terrace!
Here are ten design ideas that will help you transform your outdoor space to suit every budget. So, by the time summer rolls around, you’ll have your idyllic garden.
Create a Cozy and Calm Environment
You want to get as much use out of your outdoor space as possible. So, make sure it’s somewhere you’d want to spend time even through cold snaps and when the nights draw in.
Fairy String Lights
One of the simplest ways to enhance your outdoor space is by hanging outdoor fairy string lights around your terrace or patio area. If you don’t have an exterior power outlet, you can purchase solar-powered fairy lights that charge up by day so they’re ready to go at night when you need them.
String lights are less over-powering than regular outdoor lamps and create a soft, calming glow. Plus, you can hang them in trees, on the outside of your house, wherever you want!
A firepit or stone campfire is a great centerpiece for outdoor gatherings. You can choose wood-burning fires or ones that double up as barbeques and they’re available in all shapes and sizes. Plus, who doesn’t love roasting marshmallows on an actual open fire?!
Throw in some wool blankets and comfy pillows, and you’ve transformed your uninspiring outdoor space into a cozy hangout place.
Invest in Statement Seating
If you’re looking for outdoor living space ideas that will inject fun and life back into your garden, choosing a statement seat is a simple way to do just that.
And there are tons of options including hammocks, rocking chairs, daybeds, swing seating, and egg chairs.
If you already have strong, sturdy trees in your garden then a hammock is a fun, inexpensive way to mix up your outdoor space. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re a “go big or go home” kind of person, then a swing seat or an egg chair is a great way to give your yard the wow factor.
Build Shelter With Flora
Don’t let the harsh midday sun stop you from lounging around in your garden or terrace. Instead, incorporate a pergola into your outdoor living space designs.
Pergolas are more eye-catching and permanent than a parasol. Plus, you don’t have to keep putting it up and down whenever you need it.
You can build your own pergola if you like woodwork so decide how big you want it. Depending on your needs, you may want to cover your entire patio area or just a small section most affected by the sun.
Plants to consider using for your pergola are wisteria (which is a fast-growing climbing plant), grapevines, and honeysuckle.
Bring the Farmer’s Market Home
Planting fruit trees and a vegetable patch is a fantastic way to entice you to spend more time in your outdoor space. After all, the veggies aren’t going to harvest themselves!
It does take some research and trial and error, especially learning which vegetables are best for your climate and how to repel insects. But if you have children, the opportunity to learn about where their food comes from would be invaluable.
And you don’t need a huge backyard either. You could just start with some herbs! Or if planting and pruning aren’t for you, perhaps some citrus or apple trees?
Choose a Cool Theme
Take inspiration from around the world for your outdoor living spaces. Do you love the peace and tranquility of Japanese gardens and does the idea of having a koi pond make you excited rather than squeamish? Or how about the beautifully manicured look of English stately homes with rose bushes and small shrubs?
Perhaps you prefer a less-maintained look and would rather your garden escape look more like an Amazonian jungle.
Whatever your style, choosing a theme will give you a clear direction in terms of plants, furniture, and layout instead of leafing through books and catalogs filled with thousands of options.
Picnic Table? Try Alfresco Fine Dining
Many of us have attended outdoor parties with metal fold-up garden furniture and plastic tables while chowing down on a hotdog with our drinks served in red plastic cups.
And they’re usually awesome parties! But if you want to take your outdoor event space to the next level, there are so many ways to do so. First, ditch the rusted garden chairs and invest in quality, wooden furniture.
If you buy the right kind of furniture, it will stay in great condition for years. You can view these teak outdoor dining chairs and team them with a matching table. Then, get some chunky soy wax candles, Moroccan-style glassware, and real tablecloths.
And that’s all you need to do! Everyone will be talking about your high-class garden parties for weeks afterward.
Think About Your Patio
A lot of homeowners pick out the cheapest beige paving stones for their deck without really considering how the right patio can really transform the look of your whole yard.
And the material you choose for your outdoor patio spaces will not only affect how long it lasts but the overall design and feel of your whole garden.
You can choose paving stones in geometric or free-flowing designs, wood, or even metal patios in many different colors. Think about your year-round climate and the best option for you.
Install a Fun Water Feature
Water features might sound like a lot of work initially, but there are tons of ways to add water into your outdoor space. If you love fish, why not build out a pond? Small ponds are a lot easier than you think to install and you can decorate the edges with stones and plants to make it a focal point of your outdoor space.
If you’d prefer a water feature you can relax in, a hot tub or plunge pool could be great options. Depending on your budget, you could fill a huge metal basin for a rustic and refreshing plunge pool or splash out on a wood-paneled hot tub.
Water fountains are surprisingly easy to install too. For some, it’s just a case of connecting it to a power source. The sound of running water can be extremely calming and can transform your outdoor space into a zen garden.
Upcycle and Reclaim Your Outdoor Space
Taking your yard or terrace to the next level doesn’t have to be expensive. The best way to redesign your garden or yard is to start with what you have.
Don’t want to buy a new patio, or maybe you’re in a rented property? Hire or lend a power washer to make sure those stones gleam and remove all the weeds growing in the cracks.
Sometimes just cleaning or clearing the mess is all it takes to transform your patio or lawn.
If you have some old wooden furniture, sand them down and repaint them with striking, bright colors. That old table and chair set won’t look so dated if they’re sunshine yellow or brick orange. Don’t forget to add patterned seat cushions, too!
No Grass for Plants? No Problem
There’s plenty you can do to rejuvenate your balcony, terrace, or paved back yard and add some greenery. You just need a little creativity!
For those who love growing veggies and herbs, wooden crates make great planters. You can stack them and create a cool design for your outdoor living space and add some color by growing plants like basil and lavender.
To create the illusion of trees, choose potted plants that can grow really tall. Bamboo plants are a great option because they grow really fast, which can be a nightmare when planted in lawns but perfect for containers.
Eucalyptus and emerald green arborvitae trees are perfect for potted gardens, too.
Or maybe you have a huge fence that you don’t know what to do with? Create a vertical garden! Hanging baskets have gotten a lot cooler in recent years. There are so many metal and wooden planters with unlimited design options so you can create striking wall art right in your back yard.
Take Your Outdoor Space to the Next Level
Hopefully, your mind is buzzing with inspiration on how you can redesign and upgrade your own outdoor space. No matter your style, budget, or resources, you can see there are multiple ways to transform your garden or terrace.
If you want more style tips, check out some other articles on our website!