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Outdoor Design Ideas

Even though outdoor spaces are often overlooked, yard renovations and redesigns frequently pack the biggest punch. Your outdoor living area is your first chance to inspire and make an impression on neighbors and guests, so sprucing it up can give your blah house a much-needed boost. When browsing outdoor decorating ideas and remodel inspiration, keep in mind the following advice to make the most out your great outdoors:

Because such dramatic changes can cost a pretty penny, it’s important to carefully consider all outdoor ideas before delving in. Set your budget ahead of time, and work carefully with your designer to make sure you stick to it. Research materials and landscaping techniques that are appropriate for your location and style, and don't forget add the plan for the final touches, like outdoor decor and furniture, to complete the space.

What are my outdoor design options?


When making changes to your front yard or backyard, be sure to consider what makes sense for your home and the local weather. For those in dry desert climates, avoid water-thirsty grass and opt for less-thirsty alternatives, then invest in a pool that will keep you and the neighbors cool in the heat. For more mild climates, a pool may not be the most practical of outdoor ideas, but a hot tub or unique water feature could be just the right element for you. On top of thinking about climate, consider maintenance as well. If you have the time and energy to work outdoors every weekend, a flower or vegetable garden would be a worthy investment. If all that effort isn't in your future, consider a nice rock garden, pond or intricate hardscaping instead. Finally, think about what works for your family. Some plants and flowers are poisonous for pets, and kids should have plenty of space to run around and play with friends, whether it be grass or pavement. Ultimately, yards should act as outdoor rooms, so plan them that way.

How do I create an outdoor room?


During the summer, your outdoor designs become key for entertaining and should flow like an extension of your indoor space. With a few key components, your patio, porch or deck can easily be turned into an entertainment haven; after all, when the weather is nice, most people don't want to be stuck indoors. To make your outdoor living space really feel like part of the house, create an outdoor kitchen, complete a grill, prep station, countertop and mini fridge. To become the neighborhood party house, you should also invest in a fire pit and hot tub, which are both great outdoor ideas for those cooler nights.

If expensive renovations are out of your reach, new outdoor furniture and accessories are great for a cheap yet effective end result. A typical concrete patio or front porch can get a major makeover by simply implementing a few easy outdoor decorating ideas, such as new furniture cushions and string lighting, or some brightly colored pots and accent statues. Take a look a variety of pictures and outdoor design ideas to draw inspiration for your own space.
Design ideas for a mid-sized traditional full sun backyard stone landscaping in Denver for summer.

Design ideas for a mid-sized traditional full sun backyard stone landscaping in Denver for summer.
HOLY CRAP!!!! HAD TO SAVE THIS BECAUSE IT IS OUR NEIGHBORS HOUSE IN COLORADO!!! - webuser_97015696

Inspiration for a large transitional backyard concrete patio remodel in Seattle with a fire pit

Inspiration for a large transitional backyard concrete patio remodel in Seattle with a fire pit
Nice bar outside outdoor living room with fire pit - webuser_598869476

Example of a classic backyard patio kitchen design in San Francisco with a pergola

Example of a classic backyard patio kitchen design in San Francisco with a pergola
Pergola lighting and built in BBQ and counters - meanmachine3

Example of a trendy rectangular hot tub design in Los Angeles with decking

Example of a trendy rectangular hot tub design in Los Angeles with decking
I like this because the water is blue. - ehmsroom003

Inspiration for a timeless backyard stone patio remodel in Minneapolis with a roof extension and a fireplace

Builder: John Kraemer & Sons | Architect: Swan Architecture | Interiors: Katie Redpath Constable | Landscaping: Bechler Landscapes | Photography: Landmark Photography
Freestanding patio cover design - breev8

Inspiration for a contemporary backyard patio remodel in San Francisco with a fire pit

Michelle Lee Wilson Photography
Inspiration for a contemporary backyard patio remodel in San Francisco with a fire pit
I like the cement with the wood open space - rosalinda_love

Inspiration for a contemporary backyard deck remodel in Dallas with a fire pit and a pergola

Inspiration for a contemporary backyard deck remodel in Dallas with a fire pit and a pergola
Love the feel of this space and the shade structure, very cool! - swiley7997

Elegant pool photo in Orange County

Nick Gingold Photography
Elegant pool photo in Orange County
I like the balcony/deck over looking the pool - qweenbee_22

Inspiration for a large contemporary backyard deck remodel in Atlanta with a fire pit and a pergola

The upper level of this gorgeous Trex deck is the central entertaining and dining space and includes a beautiful concrete fire table and a custom cedar bench that floats over the deck. Light brown custom cedar screen walls provide privacy along the landscaped terrace and compliment the warm hues of the decking. Clean, modern light fixtures are also present in the deck steps, along the deck perimeter, and throughout the landscape making the space well-defined in the evening as well as the daytime.
Love the idea of the shade "structure" matching the benches and free-standing panels for privacy. - swiley7997

Classic stone front porch idea in Chicago with a roof extension

Joe Kwon Photography
Classic stone front porch idea in Chicago with a roof extension
Dark planked ceiling for porch and the swing - katie_palitto

Inspiration for a mid-sized farmhouse front porch remodel in Richmond with decking and a roof extension

Inspiration for a mid-sized farmhouse front porch remodel in Richmond with decking and a roof extension
Entry: love the door, tall horizontal siding, covered entry - erin_sheamccann

Pool fountain - transitional pool fountain idea in Dallas

Located in University Park, Texas, this residence provided a dramatic pool and garden renovation creating a transitional outdoor space with clean lines and sophisticated design details. The project included a pool renovation adding new tile and fountain jets, along with formalized landscape plantings around the perimeter and new concrete step pads for outdoor seating & entertainment. The rear garden terminates with a decorative wall fountain feature with brick detailing to match the house. The project is enhanced at night with decorative lanterns, landscape lighting and sting lights overhanging the entire garden.
ornate and romantic - webuser_830010538

Inspiration for a mid-sized contemporary backyard concrete patio remodel in Milwaukee with a fire pit and a pergola

Design: modernedgedesign.com Photo: Edmunds Studios Photography
Inspiration for a mid-sized contemporary backyard concrete patio remodel in Milwaukee with a fire pit and a pergola
Pavers off bulkhead area, grill and seating - erica_amaro

Inspiration for a mid-sized beach style backyard stone patio remodel in Phoenix with a gazebo and a fireplace

Photography by Matt Vacca
Inspiration for a mid-sized beach style backyard stone patio remodel in Phoenix with a gazebo and a fireplace
indoor brought out ceiling idea - theresa_trimble

Patio kitchen - beach style patio kitchen idea in Orlando with a roof extension

Rickie Agapito
Patio kitchen - beach style patio kitchen idea in Orlando with a roof extension
Claire likes this outdoor kitchen - webuser_1568872264526874

Country pool photo in Austin

Country pool photo in Austin
Lighting for basement brick posts - snyderhp

Multi-Level pool fits into a very difficult backyard. With grades exceeding six feet the pool has an eighteen inch retaining wall, twelve inch raised beam stone face, and an eighteen inch reverse beam stone face.

Inspiration for a farmhouse deck remodel in San Francisco with a fire pit

Inspiration for a farmhouse deck remodel in San Francisco with a fire pit
sunken seating. watch out for drainage ! - carol_buysse

Example of a coastal patio design in San Francisco

Photo: Margot Hartford © 2018 Houzz
Example of a coastal patio design in San Francisco
Retaining wall with bushes - liz_braden

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