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37 Backyard Ideas for Outdoor Living Space Design

With spring around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about our outdoor living areas. Do you have an outdoor living space you love? Create one you’ll never want to leave with these beautiful backyard ideas.

Whether it’s a living space, dining space or a fire pit area, cozying up outdoor living spaces is key to enjoying the outdoors in the warmer months.

How to Release Ladybugs in the Garden

A few years after we first moved here, my husband decided to add on to our existing deck with another level.

So we actually have two decks – one that we use for dining and the other for sitting.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I love my outdoor dining space on my upper deck.

It is so warm and cozy. And whenever we are out there, it feels like we are hanging out at a country club!

But it wasn’t always this enjoyable.

For years, it was pelted with hot sun that we could barely sit out there on a hot summer day.

And we tried those market umbrellas, but they just didn’t cool it down enough.

I’ve learned so much through the years.

Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when designing a backyard living space.

Outdoor Living Space Home Tour
This is the lower deck that will be getting a makeover this year. Some elements will stay, but some will go. Stay tuned!

Updating the Lower Deck

What I rarely show on the blog is the lower deck. Not because I don’t love it, but it needs some attention.

We’ve had the same outdoor wicker furniture for 20 years.

So it’s time for a change.

I’ve been shopping around for it!

And can’t wait to show you some of the cool things I found!

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Outdoor Living Space Home Tour

My Favorite Outdoor Living Space Finds

Whether you are refreshing an outdoor dining or living space, or maybe adding an outdoor fire pit area, I’ve got you covered.

Deck Garden

Outdoor Living Room Ideas

Since I want to replace the old white wicker, I’ve been searching for outdoor living room furniture for the lower deck.

If it would fit, I would love to do an outdoor sectional here. But the deck is octagonal so one may not work.

I’m leaning towards this gorgeous outdoor living room set.

What do you think?

Here are a few more outdoor living room sets I’m loving now.

Outdoor Dining Room Ideas

Our deck at the Vermont cabin is a pretty good size, but not as large as our decks at home. I wanted to enjoy both a comfortable living and dining room space but couldn’t fit both.

To get the best of both worlds, I found THIS dining room set that could function as both living and dining.

So far it’s worked out really well.

My outdoor dining space in New Jersey is a little different. I wanted to use a large farmhouse table with wicker chairs.

To save some money, I found a wood farmhouse table through Facebook marketplace for $50 that I refinished with outdoor deck stain and sealer so it could withstand the elements.

Isn’t that a bargain for a table?

If you want a similar look to what I’ve done, here are some ideas.

Outdoor Area Rugs

Regardless of whether it is living or dining, it’s important to add a rug to define the space and make it feel more cozy.

Outdoor area rugs have come a long way, haven’t they?

I have THIS rug on both the upper and lower decks at my house. And I love it!

But I’m thinking about getting THIS one for the Vermont cabin to use under the outdoor dining area.

Here are a few other outdoor area rugs that I’m loving now.

Creating Shade for Outdoor Living Spaces

For SO many years, we did not fully enjoy our deck because it gets full sun all day long.

Shade umbrellas did not keep the space cool enough, so we were limited to enjoying it to the evenings in the dead heat of summer.

A few years ago, I found pre-made gazebos and pergolas and fell in love!

So we bought a pre-made gazebo like this one and it was life changing.

We are out there all the time now and I swear, it’s like 10 degrees cooler on the deck than the rest of the yard during the summer!

True, we could have built something, but we did not want to build anything else on the deck.

So the pre-made option was the right choice for us.

If you have an outdoor living space that needs some shade too, here are some ideas.

Gas Fire Pit Ideas

Although we have an outdoor fire pit area at the Vermont cabin, it’s pretty far away from the house up a huge hill.

We still use it, but I wanted to get a small gas one that we could safely enjoy on the deck.

THIS is the one we got and it works really well!

It throws off a good amount of heat and added the right amount of ambiance.

We added four adirondack chairs around it. So now, it’s the perfect spot to hang after a fun day on the lake.

Here are some more gas fire pit ideas.

Lighting Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces

In addition to our existing outdoor light fixtures, it’s a good idea to add mood lighting for ambiance.

I love to add twinkle lights that brighten up outdoor living spaces without overpowering them with too much light.

To me, you can never have too much twinkle.

Solar lights have come a long way in the last several years.

I’ve found some fun lanterns, string lights and walkway/garden lights that work really well and look so pretty!

If you aren’t sure how to extend lighting to outdoor living spaces that are not close to an electrical source, CLICK HERE.

Here are some of my favorite outdoor lighting finds.

Outdoor Planters

Every outdoor living space needs a few planters with some gorgeous greenery and flowers. There are so many pretty options out there to choose.

I suggest going with larger vs smaller sized planters because they retain more moisture so you have to water less often.

Not to mention they have a greater visual impact on a space.

Lately, I’m loving self watering planters. I bought these beautiful self watering urns to flank my garage and love them!

Here are some of my favorite outdoor planter ideas.

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37 Gorgeous Backyard Ideas
37 Backyard Ideas for Outdoor Living Space Design
37 Backyard Ideas for Outdoor Living Design

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    1. I couldn’t agree more Linda! I love those lanterns – I have them throughout my yard on shepherd’s hooks.

  1. Your yard and outdoor living spaces are beautiful! Because of the sun, we also had to invest in a pergola. Best investment, ever! Definitely ready for spring/summer and all the sights, sounds and fun they bring! I am also looking forward to planting this year and will continue to follow all your good tips!

    1. I am so happy to hear that! Thank you! I can’t wait to get outdoors more – we’ve had such a gorgeous week here. Spring is on the way! Yay! xoxo

  2. I love your home. Can you tell me where you got the fireplace on the lower deck? Possibly the brand and or name of it. Everything in your home and yard is beautiful.

  3. Hi! Stacy, I have a couple of questions about the fireplace you have on your deck. I have wanted to get one to put on our deck. Does the wood on the deck get hot when you have a fire going? Where did you find a smaller fireplace? Thank you for your help!

    1. Hi Mary! That fireplace was open on three sides so we could rarely use it on the deck because there was always a little too much wind. That particular fireplace is better suited for a patio. That’s why we decided to switch to a gas fire pit there instead.

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