The Ultimate Checklist for Designing Your Outdoor Living Space

When the warm weather beckons, there’s nothing quite like enjoying it in your own beautifully designed outdoor living space. Whether you’re hosting vibrant dinner parties, craving a serene spot to unwind, or need a fun and safe area for pets and kids, designing the perfect outdoor area can transform your home life.


Quick Guide to Getting Started:

  • Getting Started: Think about what you want to do in your space. Is it for parties, relaxation, or playing?
  • Flow: Make sure your indoor and outdoor areas work well together. It should feel like one big, connected space.
  • Views and Privacy: Use plants or structures to make your space more private and enjoyable.
  • Let’s Begin: Excited to create your perfect outdoor area? We’re here to help make it happen.


Creating an ideal outdoor living area requires thoughtful consideration of how you want to use the space. Whether it’s for dining under the stars, enjoying a quiet morning coffee, or providing a playful area for children, the design should cater to your lifestyle. The layout should mirror the thoughtfulness of an indoor floor plan, ensuring a logical connection to your home that maximizes convenience and visual appeal. Moreover, embracing the natural beauty and navigating the unique challenges of your surroundings will elevate the space from just functional to truly exceptional.


Ready to transform your home’s outdoor spaces into something truly special? Contact us online or call us at (201) 822-9327 and explore how our blend of expertise, creativity, and attention can make your dream outdoor living space a reality. At Borst Landscape & Design, we get to know your unique desires and turn them into stunning, practical outdoor environments.


Planning Your Space

When you decide to design your outdoor living space, understanding your needs and maximizing views and privacy are crucial steps. Let’s break down these important aspects.


Understanding Your Needs

First, think about how you’ll use the space. Will it be for lively dinner parties, quiet relaxation, or a safe play area for kids and pets? The purpose will guide your design decisions. For instance, if you often host gatherings, you may want an ample dining area. If relaxation is your goal, a cozy, secluded corner might be ideal.


Consider the layout. Just like the rooms inside your house, each outdoor area should serve a specific function that complements your lifestyle. Positioning is key—think about how the sun and wind affect different areas throughout the day. A spot that catches the evening sun is perfect for dining, while a sheltered corner suits a relaxation nook.


Maximizing Views and Privacy

Views can enhance your outdoor experience. If you’re lucky enough to have a scenic backdrop, arrange seating to take advantage of it. A quiet spot to enjoy a morning coffee while overlooking your garden can start your day right. For homes without natural vistas, creating visual interest with garden sculptures or water features can add charm and focus.


Privacy is equally important. Use screens, hedges, or strategic planting to shield your space from neighbors or passersby. This not only enhances the intimacy of your outdoor living area but can also block unsightly views or wind. For example, a well-placed hedge can serve as a windbreak and privacy screen, killing two birds with one stone.


When considering the design of your outdoor space, it’s crucial to focus on both its functionality and your personal joy. Your outdoor area can be anything from a sprawling space for big gatherings to a peaceful corner for relaxation. The key is in the planning. A well-thought-out design can transform your outdoor space into something special. By understanding your needs and the unique aspects of your space, you can create an outdoor living area that’s not just an extension of your home but a reflection of your lifestyle. Whether it’s the initial layout or the final decorative touches, every step in the design process is important to make your outdoor dreams a reality.


Next, we’ll dive into design elements and comfort, exploring how to choose the right furnishings, incorporate shade, and select plants to create a welcoming and comfortable outdoor environment. Stay tuned for expert advice on making the most of your outdoor living area.


Design Elements and Comfort

Creating an outdoor living space that’s both inviting and functional involves careful consideration of design elements and comfort. Let’s break down how to choose the right furnishings, incorporate adequate shade, and select plants that enhance the comfort and aesthetic of your space.


Choosing the Right Furnishings

When you design your outdoor living space, selecting the right furnishings is key to creating a comfortable and stylish area. Here are some tips:

  • Weather Resistance: Opt for furniture made from materials that can withstand your local climate. Materials like teak, aluminum, and all-weather wicker are durable and can handle exposure to the elements.
  • Practicality: Your outdoor furniture should not only look good but also be functional. Choose pieces that are easy to clean and maintain. Removable cushion covers and rust-proof frames are practical choices.
  • Style Consistency: Aim to extend your home’s interior aesthetic to your outdoor space. This doesn’t mean your outdoor area has to mirror your indoor decor exactly, but the style and colors should complement each other, creating a seamless transition from inside to out.


Incorporating Shade and Shelter

To ensure your outdoor living space is comfortable throughout the day, incorporating elements of shade and shelter is essential. Here’s how:

  • Pergolas: These structures not only provide shade but also add architectural interest to your outdoor area. Climbing plants can be trained over the pergola for additional shade and a touch of greenery.
  • Umbrellas: A simple and flexible option, umbrellas can be moved around as needed to provide shade wherever it’s required. They come in various sizes, colors, and designs, allowing you to add a pop of color to your space.
  • Covered Patios: If your budget allows, consider a permanent roof structure over your patio. This provides the most comprehensive shelter from sun and rain, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space in various weather conditions.


Plant Selection

Choosing the right plants is crucial for creating a comfortable outdoor living area. Consider these points:

  • Low Maintenance: Select plants that are easy to care for, so you spend less time on maintenance and more time enjoying your space. Succulents, native plants, and perennials require minimal care.
  • Privacy and Aesthetics: Use plants to create natural screens for privacy. Tall grasses, shrubs, and climbers can shield your space from prying eyes while adding greenery and beauty.
  • Comfort: Incorporate plants that repel pests naturally, such as lavender and citronella, to enhance the comfort of your outdoor living area.


Designing your outdoor living space with comfort, functionality, and style in mind transforms it into a haven where you can relax and entertain. By choosing the right furnishings, incorporating shade and shelter, and selecting plants wisely, you create an outdoor area you’ll love spending time in.


Adding Character and Functionality

Moving beyond the basic setup, let’s add some flair to your outdoor living space design. Character and functionality go hand-in-hand, enhancing not just the look but also the enjoyment of your outdoor areas.


Creating Focal Points

Water Features: The soothing sound of water can transform your garden into a serene oasis. From simple birdbaths to elaborate fountains or trickling streams, water features serve as natural gathering spots and provide a cooling effect on hot days.


Fire Pits: Imagine gathering around a crackling fire on a cool evening. Fire pits are perfect for extending outdoor enjoyment into the cooler months, providing warmth, light, and a cozy ambiance. They can be a simple, portable bowl or a grand, built-in fireplace.


Sculptures: Art isn’t just for indoors. A carefully selected sculpture can become a striking focal point in your garden, reflecting your personal style and adding an element of surprise and delight.


Enhancing Usability with Lighting

Lighting is the secret ingredient that can make your outdoor living space shine after the sun sets. Here’s how to use it effectively:

Outdoor Cooking Areas: Illuminate your grill or outdoor kitchen to make cooking outside a breeze, no matter the time of day. Proper lighting ensures safety and adds to the enjoyment of outdoor culinary adventures.


Pathways: Light up walkways and steps to safely guide your family and guests through your garden. Solar-powered lights are an easy, eco-friendly option.


Uplighting: Highlight trees, sculptures, or architectural features with uplighting. This technique can dramatically change the nighttime appearance of your outdoor space, creating depth and interest.


Incorporating these elements not only adds character but also increases the functionality of your outdoor living spaces, making them more enjoyable and usable at any time of day or year.


Wrapping It Up

Before we finish, let’s quickly go over our checklist to make sure we’ve covered everything important for designing your dream outdoor living space. The goal is to create a space that mirrors your needs and desires, whether that’s for big family BBQs or a peaceful spot to enjoy your morning coffee. Need help bringing your vision to life? Give us a shout online or at (201) 822-9327. The skilled team at Borst Landscape & Design is ready to transform your ideas into reality, ensuring your outdoor area is not only beautiful but functional for years to come.


We’ve covered a lot of ground together, from understanding your needs for outdoor living and choosing the right design elements to adding character and functionality. The goal is to design your outdoor living space in a way that reflects your lifestyle, maximizes comfort, and enhances your home’s aesthetic appeal.


Review Checklist: As you embark on this exciting journey to transform your outdoor area, keep the following in mind:

  • Define the purpose of your space—whether it’s for dining, relaxation, or entertainment.
  • Plan the layout with thoughtfulness, considering the natural elements and your home’s architecture.
  • Choose furnishings and materials that are both stylish and durable, suitable for outdoor conditions.
  • Incorporate shade and shelter options to ensure comfort throughout the day and across seasons.
  • Add character through focal points like water features, fire pits, or sculptures, and enhance usability with strategic lighting.


These steps will guide you in creating an outdoor living area that not only meets your needs but also elevates your outdoor experience.


At Borst Landscape & Design, we’re passionate about turning your outdoor area into a cherished part of your home. Every choice, from the layout to the smallest plant, is a step toward a space that invites joy, peace, and connection with nature. Let’s make your dream outdoor living space a reality. Call us today at (201) 822-9327 to start your journey.

Explore our landscape design services and let us help you design your outdoor living space with creativity, expertise, and care.