Designing your own backyard entertaining space doesn’t have to be complicated! Check out these budget-friendly tips, tricks, and DIY ideas for creating the ultimate outdoor living room!
Turn a Gazebo into an Outdoor Living Room
A backyard gazebo is the perfect space to relax and unwind. Covered spaces like gazebos provide protection from the rain and sun, keeping the party going no matter the weather. All you need to do is add comfy seating along with some wicker tables. Check out these gazebo ideas from The Backyard Boss!
Set Up Seating on an Open Deck
Upgrade your deck to a stylish outdoor living room! Simply add a coffee table and weatherproof seating with durable cushions to create an inviting space for having guests over or just reading outside on a nice day.
Make a Covered Deck Your New Favorite Room
Offering protection from the sun, rain, and wind, a covered deck makes it easy to sit outside no matter the weather. Add chairs and a cozy couch with a coffee table and end tables, and you have the perfect setup!
Create an Outdoor Living Space with a Patio
Whether you already have a patio or you decide to build a new patio, this is a great spot to set up an outdoor living room. You can even add a canopy or a tent over top of your patio for more coverage!
Style Your Porch into a Living Room
A front or back porch is an excellent option for an outdoor living room. Set out durable seating, hang up lights, and add sunscreens or curtains to create a beautiful entertaining space outdoors.
Get Creative with a Small Balcony
Don’t have an actual backyard because you live in the city? Get creative with whatever outdoor space you have! Even a small table or bench can transform a tiny deck into a cute outdoor room! For a small apartment balcony, add a few hanging planters to save floor space, as well as some string lights for ambiance!
Provide Ample Seating with a Long Bench
Keep outdoor furniture to a minimum with a long bench. Wooden benches are great for decks or patios, and they provide a modern feel to any backyard. If you build your own, be sure to include storage inside!
Go with Hanging Chairs
Everyone will be fighting to sit in your outdoor seating if it’s hanging! Whether you go with a hanging egg chair or a traditional porch swing, these seats are perfect for relaxing outdoors.
Choose Weatherproof Outdoor Couches
For the ultimate outdoor living room, invest in a durable, weatherproof couch. Not only will this outdoor seating option be comfortable for you and your guests, but it’s easy to clean, too!
Invest in a Classic Hammock
Nothing says “relax” more than a hammock. Both affordable and a space-saver, a hammock is a great item to have in your outdoor living room—especially if you’re looking forward to taking naps outside!
Kick Back in a Chaise Lounge
With reclining outdoor chairs like chaise lounges, you can read, soak up the sun, or just enjoy the beautiful weather in your outdoor living space!
Use Bali Beds in Place of Traditional Seating
If you want your backyard to feel like a tropical escape, ditch the typical chairs, chaise lounges, and couches and instead go with a gorgeous, comfy Bali bed for your outdoor living room furniture!
Hang a Bed Swing
Want to combine the hanging chair with the comfort of the Bali bed? With a hanging bed swing, you get the best of both worlds! Sit back and relax with a drink or a good book in this outdoor furniture!
Include Tables Around Outdoor Seating
To make your outdoor living room feel complete, set up a coffee table and/or end tables so you have somewhere to set beverages, snacks, and other items while you’re outside. For an affordable way to decorate your outdoor space, utilize items you already own and simply weatherize them! Find out how to prep your wooden furniture for the outdoors here.
Don’t Forget a Storage Trunk
Keep extra items within reach with an outdoor storage trunk. Store pillows, outdoor games, or other items in a spacious, stylish trunk that can double as additional seating.
Use Overhead Shelving for Decorations
Just like an indoor living room, overhead shelving can provide plenty of display space and storage for decor in your outdoor living space.
Stay Toasty with an Outdoor Fireplace
Having a wood-burning or gas fireplace outside isn’t just unique. It’s also ideal for an outdoor living space! With a fireplace, you can stay outside even longer during cooler fall, spring, or summer evenings.
Design a Fake Fireplace
If you can’t put in a real fireplace, you can create the same look without the expense! Put up an antique mantle on a fence or wall, and use candles or lanterns to make the “fire” aspect of the fireplace.
Add a Fire Pit
Fire pits are perfect for outdoor get-togethers! There are plenty of affordable fire pits on the market that can add incredible value to your backyard. Or if you’re feeling crafty, you can build your own DIY fire pit!
Stay Warm with Outdoor Space Heaters
Outdoor space heaters are invaluable for year-round outdoor entertaining. You can either use a standing heater that can be placed around the entertaining space or hanging heaters in covered decks, porches, or gazebos.
Keep Cool with Outdoor Fans
You can always have a few small fans on hand, but installing ceiling fans in a covered outdoor living space is great for controlling the breeze and eliminating ugly extension cords.
Set Up an Outdoor Projection Screen
Who needs a drive-in movie theater when you can have your own outdoor theater at home? With a pull-down screen and a projector, you can easily watch the big game or classic movies in your backyard!
Hang a TV Outside
Have a covered outdoor living room? Add a flatscreen TV to a wall or beam so you can enjoy the outdoors and watch your favorite TV show or movie at the same time!
Add Outdoor Speakers
Listen to your favorite tunes in your outdoor living room! You can either invest in an outdoor sound system with speakers attached to the walls, or bring out one or more bluetooth wireless speakers. Not sure which speakers to get? These tips from Audio Advice are a great guide for choosing the best outdoor speakers for your space.
Put Up Curtains to Block the Sun
Make your outdoor living room an extension of the inside with curtains. Not only do they add color and protection from the sun, but they also can be used for privacy.
Add Screens to Keep Out Bugs
Love the summer air, but hate the buzz of mosquitoes? Keep bugs out of your porch or deck with easy-to-install screens. For extra protection, citronella candles and bug zappers are always good to have on hand!
Set Up a Pallet Wall for Privacy
Whether you have a large or small outdoor space, having a pallet wall is a great way to get privacy in your backyard. You can also use the pallets to hang planters or decorative lanterns to brighten up the space.
Utilize a Canopy for Cover
For an upgrade of the patio umbrella, go with a colorful canopy over your backyard entertaining space to provide shade, protection from the rain, and a burst of color!
Add a Weatherproof Rug
Craving more color on your deck or porch? Put away the paint brushes and add a weatherproof rug under your chairs, sofas, and tables instead!
Create a Hanging Plant Wall
Beside adding visual flair, a plant wall with hearty succulents or vines makes your outdoor living room look bright and fresh.
Go with a Water Feature
A calming water feature like a backyard pond or fountain is a wonderful addition to an outdoor space. For a budget-friendly option, a small tabletop fountain will also work.
Include a Backyard Bar
With a fun backyard bar, every hour is happy hour! There are plenty of ways to add a bar to your backyard. You can go with the traditional bar and stools. You can build it onto your deck or a wall of your home. Or if you have an outdoor shed you’re not using, turn it into a backyard bar shed!
Make Your Own Cooler Table
Now THIS is a centerpiece! This unique yet functional idea for outdoor living room furniture is perfect for summer entertaining. Learn how to make this simple DIY cooler table for your backyard!
Set the Mood with String Lighting
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!
Put Lights in Deck Steps
Not only will having deck lights in steps give your backyard space a more finished look, but it also makes it safer to walk up and down steps when it’s dark out.
Hang Outdoor Lanterns
An easy way to add lighting is to use hanging lanterns in gazebos or covered areas or even smaller lanterns you can set on coffee tables and end tables throughout your backyard space.
Opt for Paper Lanterns
Inexpensive and easy to set up in your outdoor living room, colorful paper lanterns work well for outdoor spaces of all sizes!
Use Torches to Designate Areas
If you don’t have landscaping or a fence around your backyard entertaining space, replicate one by placing decorative torches around your seating area. Even better if they are bug-fighting citronella candles! Follow these guidelines from The Spruce on how to safely arrange your backyard torches!
Place Candles Throughout Your Space
In addition to your landscape lighting, you can add candles on tables and in lanterns to give your outdoor living space a cozy feel.
Looking for other ideas for your outdoor living space? Check out this guide to designing an outdoor living room, kitchen, or entertaining space for any budgets!