Ideas for Outdoor Design

Ideas for Outdoor Design


Creative outdoor design can enhance property values as well as increase the enjoyment one receives spending time outside on their property.  There are many elements that can be incorporated into your outdoor space that please the eye, provide entertainment, produce food, and engender an overall sense of contentment with the outdoors.  This article will examine some popular outdoor design elements, such as outdoor living features, outdoor recreational amenities, landscape/garden elements, sustainable design elements, and outdoor structures.

Outdoor Living Features:

 outdoor lighting outdoor living space  outdoor fire pit outdoor seating outdoor living space 

  • Lighting: Outdoor lighting can create an aesthetic appeal to your outdoor areas by letting you enjoy your beautifully designed landscape even as night falls.  It highlights the best features of your property by directing attention to the areas you want to display.


  • Seating/Dining Areas: Kitchens, dining areas, and living rooms can be adapted for outdoors and can make spending time outside more enjoyable.


  • Fire Pits: These can be nice to gather around for warmth and open fire cooking.  They can also be a visually pleasing aspect.


  • Grills: Most people enjoy cooking outdoors, and grills seem to be the preferred method to do so.


  • Installed Seating: This includes things like benches, seatwalls, ledges, and boulders, and other built-in seating outside.


  • Outdoor Furniture: This can be incorporated into outdoor kitchens, living rooms, and dining areas, or can just stand alone on their own on your deck, porch, or patio.


Check out this link for more on outdoor living design ideas.


Outdoor Recreation Amenities:

 backyard pond hot tub swimming pool 

  • Decorative water features: This can include things like backyard ponds, waterfalls, water gardens, rain chains, water basins, and fountains. 


  • Spa Features: Hot tubs, Jacuzzi, whirlpool, and outdoor saunas.


  • Swimming pools: It’s nice to cool of in the water and take in some sun poolside.  It’s nice for entertaining guests as well.


Garden/Landscape Elements:

  low maintenance landscape low maintenance landscape vegetable garden 

  • Low Maintenance Landscapes: This landscaping design is meant to reduce maintenance and watering by utilizing drought resistant plants and rock beds in place of large grass lawns and water-intensive plants.


  • Native Plants: These contribute to the low maintenance landscape design by being the best suited for the regional climate you live in. 


  • Food/Vegetable Gardens: With all the time and hard work spent maintaining a garden, its nice to get something back with some edible food.  It helps mitigate the cost of your grocery bills too.


Sustainable Design Elements:

  drought tolerant plants drip irrigation system upcycling in the garden rainwater harvesting compost bin 

  • Native/Adapted Drought-Tolerant Plants: These plants fit in nicely with the low maintenance landscape design by reducing your need for water and promoting conservation.


  • Drip/Water-Efficient Irrigation: This is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer by distributing water through a slow drip directly to the roots of plants via the surface of the soil or directly to the root zone.  


  • Recycled Materials: This practiced has increased in popularity recently.  It involves repurposing materials like pallets, old doors, found materials, tires and many other items into garden design for planters, outdoor structures, trellises and many other uses.


  • Rainwater Harvesting: With much of the Southwest experiencing drought conditions, rainwater harvesting has become more popular.  It cuts down on the water bill and is great to use for any outdoor watering needs. 


  • Composting: Composting is probably the most beneficial thing you can add to your garden.  It’s better than conventional fertilizers, and it’s a great way to get rid of kitchen scraps and lawn refuse. 


Check out this link for more on outdoor sustainable design ideas.


Outdoor Structures:

 outdoor deck outdoor fence pergola 

  • Terraces/Patios/Decks: These things provide a great platform for entertaining and building outdoor living areas.  They can be the base for your grill, outdoor furniture, hot tubs, and any appliances kept outdoors.


  • Fencing: This can give you some added privacy or be an aesthetic enhancement for your yard.  They can be used to segment your garden or other outdoor features on your property.


  • Pergolas: These are outdoor structures or garden features providing a shaded walkway or seating area outside.  They support crossbeams that have open space in between that is typically used to harbor a canopy growth of vines or other climbing plants.