A brick patio outside of a blue house. On the patio, there are two lounge chairs with wheels and a table with an umbrella. Beyond the patio is a well-maintained lawn with several shrubberies and trees.

A Guide on Optimizing Your Outdoor Living Space

There are many reasons why you might choose to remodel your outdoor living space. Maybe you want to create a welcoming environment before you host an upcoming social event, or you’re looking to improve your home’s value before you put it on the market. Perhaps you simply want to create a relaxing space that your entire family can enjoy.

Whether you’re remodeling your entire outdoor space or simply adding a grill, enhancing an outdoor living area isn’t always easy. For help controlling costs, choosing furniture, and making other important design decisions, reference the below strategies for help in optimizing your space.

Designing Your Dream Outdoor Living Space

A vibrant outdoor space can add depth and value to a home. To create your dream outdoor living space — no matter what that looks like to you — you’ll need to follow a few simple steps.

First, you’ll want to measure the total size of your space. Whether you’re adding a large playground or a small fire pit, you should know exactly how much space you have to work with before purchasing any items to place in your outdoor space. For easy measurement, document the dimensions of your yard and all features you plan to add.

If you’re planning on adding one or more structures to your outdoor living space, you’ll need to create a list of required materials. Prioritize eco-friendly building materials to limit the impact your renovations will have on the environment, and don’t forget to create a shopping list before visiting a materials supplier. Many home improvement stores are staffed by construction experts, who can provide additional insight before you begin building.

Budgeting for a Remodel

Before you begin optimizing your outdoor living space, take a moment to outline your budget. You may want to itemize any potential expenses to identify exactly how much each outdoor upgrade might cost. You can factor in costs like building materials, labor, and furniture, to better understand total expenses for your project.

You can finance a remodel in a variety of ways. Sell old outdoor furniture to make space for new installations, or dip into your savings account to fund upgrades. In certain cases, your bank might also have personal loan packages available for use, though you’ll need to account for any interest you accrue.

Buying the Right Furniture

Well-optimized outdoor living spaces often have one factor in common: comfortable outdoor furniture. The right furniture can enhance any outdoor area, offering ample seating and promoting a relaxed ambiance.

With so many outdoor furniture options available, you might find it difficult to identify the pieces that best accommodate your space. Consider the following furniture types that can elevate any outdoor environment:

  • A gazebo to provide ample seating under a protective roof;
  • Benches that provide more intimate seating options;
  • Tables and chairs that make outdoor meals easy;
  • A fire pit for s’mores and warmth alike;
  • Outdoor sofas and sectionals with weather-resistant cushions;
  • Umbrellas that complement sunny areas with opportunities for shade;
  • Hammocks or swing chairs for relaxation that’s easy on the back.

No matter the size of your space, these and other furniture options can help you create your ideal yard, patio, or outdoor space.

Investing in Storage Options

For many, the ideal outdoor living area also includes storage options. The right storage unit allows you to keep vehicles, materials, or unsightly yard fixtures safe, without compromising the integrity of your space. Outdoor storage structures offer a convenient, cost-effective method to keep virtually any item secure.

These potential backyard storage opportunities can include the following structures:

  • Storage units, lockers, and sheds;
  • Detached garages;
  • She-sheds;
  • Greenhouses;
  • Two-in-one storage benches.

You can include a variety of storage options in your backyard, whether you’re looking to house gardening supplies or protect your garden from inclement weather. If you’re looking to store small to medium-sized items in your backyard, consider a yellow pine or steel-frame storage building. Larger items fit well into a specialty storage structure, which can be tailored to your specifications.

Backyards are often the perfect place for a carport. You can build a carport yourself, or purchase a completed structure ready for installation and use. Steel carports are particularly popular as a cost-effective vehicle storage option. 

Keep Privacy in Mind

You might choose to optimize your outdoor living space to create a tasteful barrier between yourself and your neighbors. Enhancing your living space can help distance your backyard from your neighbor’s property, creating valuable privacy when necessary.

To make privacy a priority, consider implementing one or more solutions in your space. Depending on the level of privacy you’re looking to establish, the following remodel options can help you establish a healthy level of seclusion:

  • Concrete or plaster walls;
  • Wooden, metal, or bamboo fences;
  • Bushes or greenery;
  • Covered pergolas or gazebos;
  • Wooden boards or stone.

These and other privacy-minded renovations help to create an appropriate distance between your living space and those of other residents.

Take Advantage of Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting fixtures can help you transform your outdoor living space on virtually any budget. Generous outdoor lighting provides several benefits for any outdoor environment, creating a warm setting and improving safety after the sun sets.

You’ll have a variety of options at your disposal when installing outdoor lighting. Lanterns complement any ambiance, bathing your outdoor space in a natural glow. Alternatively, flameless candles can help safely establish more of an intimate vibe. And when you’re decorating for a holiday, themed celebration, or any upscale event, string lights will illuminate any space without causing a distracting glare.

When you’re optimizing your outdoor lighting, you must take safety into account. Candles and outdoor fires present potential hazards, as do electrical fixtures. Make sure that you regularly check your lighting after you complete installation, to avoid electrical issues over time.

Be Mindful of the Different Seasons

Optimizing your outdoor living space isn’t a one-time activity. Stay mindful of the different seasons, and the ways that weather might affect your backyard and its structures. Simply by protecting outdoor furniture against the elements, you’ll be able to extend the lifespan of any tables, chairs, sofas, and other fixtures in your yard.

In addition to purchasing outdoor furniture for your yard, you’ll want to invest in covers and other defensive measures for any outdoor items. This means protecting any grills and metal fire pits with thick canvas or vinyl covers, and opting for waterproof cushions that stand strong against rain, snow, hail, and other conditions.

Sometimes, the right furniture for your outdoor living space isn’t waterproof. Whenever this is the case, you’ll need to move furniture pieces out of harm’s way before rough weather hits. The above storage options — especially carports and full-coverage sheds — can offer shelter for vulnerable outdoor items.

Create a Decoration Theme

Your outdoor environment should exhibit your unique style. With the right combination of structures, lighting, and storage, you’ll be able to establish a tone for the entire space.

Choose a theme for your backyard, one that balances open space, furniture, and boundaries. Theme options for your outdoor living space can include:

  • Comfort and leisure;
  • Upscale;
  • Private and intimate;
  • Cultivated greenery;
  • Holiday.

These and other backyard theme options can define your outdoor living space. Don’t be afraid to transition from one theme to another — or incorporate elements from multiple themes at once — during the year.

When determining the right theme for your outdoor living space, consider the individuals who will enjoy it. Subtle, neutral coloration is perfect for anyone who wants to relax in a more laid-back atmosphere. Conversely, tropical, bright patterns might better suit individuals looking to socialize and celebrate, particularly during a party or themed celebration.