Turning your backyard into the ultimate outdoor living room? Whether you have a small or large backyard, designing the perfect outdoor entertaining area doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out these 18 ideas for creating the perfect outdoor living room!
Opt for a Covered Outdoor Living Room
A covered outdoor living room is the perfect spot to host a backyard BBQ party or relax and unwind after a long day. Putting your outdoor living area under a gazebo or pergola is a great way to protect your guests from rain and sun, so you can keep the party going no matter the weather. Love the summer air, but hate the buzz of mosquitoes? Keep bugs out of your covered porch or deck with easy-to-install screens.
Get Some Shade
There are other ways to catch a break from the sun besides adding a pergola or gazebo to your outdoor space. By installing a retractable awning to your uncovered deck, you always have the option of either letting in the sun or staying in the shade. Or for an affordable or renter-friendly option, simply place outdoor umbrellas over your tables and chairs. Lightweight umbrellas are also perfect as moveable sunshades for hosting parties or for those with backyard pools. Plus, while outdoor curtains can help you get out of the sun, they offer a bit of privacy, too.
Invest in Weatherproof Furniture
For the ultimate outdoor living room, invest in durable outdoor furniture or take the time to properly store patio furniture. While you don’t necessarily need to have weatherproof furniture, water and sun-protected cushions can help your pieces last longer. Opt for tables and chairs made from wrought iron, rattan, cedar, or recycled plastic, since these are some of the best materials for outdoor furniture. Have indoor seating that you want to put outside? Simply weatherproof the furniture before moving it to your outdoor living room.
Provide Ample Seating with Benches
Looking to add more seating options to your outdoor living room? DIY an outdoor bench! Not only do outdoor benches give your guests more space to lounge, but they can also double as extra storage for cushions, throws, and outdoor essentials. To achieve a modern feel in your outdoor space, place long, wooden benches on your patio or a matte black iron bench on your deck. Or use rattan furniture to finish off a boho-themed outdoor living room.
Save Space with Hanging Furniture
If you’re in an apartment with a small outdoor living area, hanging furniture can provide plenty of outdoor seating without sacrificing space. Egg chairs and porch swings with stands are great temporary options for renters, while hanging daybeds are more permanent because they need to be anchored. You can make your own hanging chair out of a drop cloth and rope, or choose a traditional hammock. To complete this relaxation spot, include accent pillows and blankets so you stay comfortable while reading a book or taking a nap outside.
Kick Back in a Chaise Lounge or Outdoor Bed
For summer naps outdoors, chaise lounges or outdoor beds are essential to any outdoor living room! Reclining chaise loungers are perfect for poolside relaxation and tanning. Make your chaise extra comfortable by adding waterproof cushions that match the rest of your outdoor decor. For more privacy or shade, you might try a bamboo bed with a canopy or a pop-up tent bed. Or, if curling up next to your partner beneath the stars sounds better, invest in a Bali bed!
Add a Weatherproof Rug
Pull your outdoor area together with a weatherproof rug. An outdoor rug is a great way to incorporate color or eye-catching designs that extend your interior decorating style to the outdoors. Along with making your outdoor living room feel cozier, an area rug can help you avoid burning your feet on hot decks or dark surfaces. Plus, outdoor rugs are designed to be durable and resistant to dirt, dust, and mud to keep your outdoor floors looking new.
Add Coffee Tables & Side Tables
Accent tables provide a place to set beverages, snacks, and other items in your outdoor living room. Consider small, lightweight tables that are easy to move around while entertaining. To save space on a balcony, opt for nesting tables that can be stacked when not in use. For an inexpensive DIY option, build an outdoor coffee table from cedar boards and use your favorite stain. Or if you have a small outdoor living area, consider DIYing a cooler table that allows you to store drinks during a backyard BBQ. Complete the look with fun outdoor decorations on your end tables, like candles, succulents, or freshly planted flowers!
Install Open Shelving
Just like an indoor living room, you can use decor to bring character to an outdoor living space. Use open shelving to display fun outdoor decorations, bring plants off the ground, or store out-of-season items. When deciding on the type of shelving to use, choose metal for easy cleaning and a sleek, modern finish, or go with wood for a more rustic look. Whether you choose an A-frame shelf, ladder, or floating shelves of varying lengths, open shelving can elevate any outdoor living room.
Stay Toasty with an Outdoor Fireplace or Fire Pit
A wood-burning or gas fireplace is ideal for cool summer nights and fall bonfires with friends. If still you want to roast s’mores but don’t care for fireplaces, install or DIY a fire pit instead! There are plenty of affordable fire pits on the market that can add value to your home. Don’t have enough room for a real fireplace, but want to create the look of one for a cozy feel? DIY a fake fireplace.
Or Fire Up Outdoor Space Heaters
If you don’t want to commit to an outdoor fireplace or a backyard fire pit, outdoor space heaters are a great addition to your space that will allow you to use your outdoor living room year-round. You can either place a standing heater around your entertaining space, gazebo, or pergola, or you can hang heaters on your covered deck or porch. Whichever you decide, you’ll be able to provide a comfortable environment for your guests any time.
Keep Cool with Outdoor Fans
During the summer months, keep your outdoor living area cool by adding an outdoor fan. Installing ceiling fans in a covered outdoor living space is great for controlling the breeze and eliminating unattractive extension cords. Alternatively, you can set up a portable fan if you don’t have room to mount a ceiling fan, or if your outdoor living area is open.
Create the Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment Center
Whether you’re looking to host the next tailgate or host a movie night, make your outdoor living room an epic entertainment destination! Hang a flatscreen TV on the wall or set up a projector to watch a film or the big game. Install a sound system and wireless speakers in your outdoor living room to complete the perfect entertaining space!
Set Up an Outdoor Game Space
Challenge your friends to a game tournament! To go along with your outdoor entertainment center, add outdoor games like a pool table, shuffleboard, foosball, table tennis, and more. Or set up a chess board, giant Jenga, and cornhole. You can even install a putting green to work on your short game. A gaming center makes your outdoor living room the go-to hangout spot, whether you’re hosting a BBQ or watching a sports game on TV!
Set Up an Outdoor Wall for Privacy
Whether you have a large or small outdoor space, consider installing a pallet wall for some privacy in your outdoor living room. Pallet walls can also be used to hang planters or decorative lanterns to brighten up your space. To create a more intimate setting for an outdoor party, put up temporary outdoor privacy walls like a sunscreen shade or room divider. Or opt for a sustainable backyard solution and try bamboo or a green wall.
Get Creative with Plant Placement
Vibrant plants and greenery are a must for your backyard living area, especially for grassless backyards! A plant wall with hardy succulents or vines can make your outdoor living room look bright and fresh. Fill flower pots with your favorite color flowers and place them along walkways or on tables. For an outdoor living room idea that’s both trendy and functional, create your own urban garden with the help of vertical and hanging planters.
Make a Statement with a Water Feature
Make your outdoor living area a calm and relaxing spot by adding a backyard water feature. A calming backyard pond and a traditional water fountain are simple yet beautiful features to include in your outdoor living area. If you get nice weather year-round, your backyard pond could feature koi fish, lily pads, or frogs. Trying to attract birds? Place a birdbath nearby. You can even add privacy with a water wall. Or go big by wrapping a small stream around your yard!
Set the Mood with Lights
Want to brighten up your space with outdoor lighting? Hang string lights from trees, along a pallet wall, or under a pergola for gorgeous nighttime lighting! Another great way to light your outdoor living room is to hang colorful lanterns and candles to give your space a cozy feel. As an energy-efficient backyard idea, consider installing solar lights in your outdoor living room. Lining your deck steps with outdoor lights can also give your backyard a more finished look while also making it safer to walk up and down your stairs when it’s dark.
Looking for a space to store outdoor furniture and decor when the season is over? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities across the country that can help you store seasonal items. Find self storage near you!