How To Create The Ultimate Outdoor Space



The sun is shining and the temperatures are warming! This is by far my favorite time of year. I love watching everything come to life and the promise of what’s to come. Being outdoors is one of the joys of living in a temperate climate, but enjoying our outdoor space requires some preparation.

There are two types of people when it comes to outdoor living. Those who spend as much time as possible outside and those who enjoy their outdoor spaces through a window. The difference, I find, is that the first group has put time and thought into how they want to use the space and what they need to do to make it functional. The second group just doesn’t know where to start.

Let’s begin by saying that perfection is not the goal here, usability and enjoyment are. Having a functional outdoor space can double your available square footage and extend your living area. If you live in a smaller home, this can be a game-changer.

Before you run out and purchase anything, I highly recommend taking inventory of what you have and the current layout of your space. If you removed everything from your designated area, what is left? Do you have pavers, decomposed granite, dirt, grass? How about a patio cover? Try to visualize your outdoor space in terms of rooms and determine what material you want underneath your furniture.


Lulu and Georgia


C Magazine

Once you have decided the material you would like underfoot, begin to think about which “rooms” you want and how you want the layout. Keep in mind variables such as smoke from the grill, splashing from a pool, and direct sunlight. If you already have a cover, think about which room would benefit most from being covered from the elements. Always be sure barbeques or grills are located in open, ventilated areas. Once you have decided on the rooms you want, it’s time to start layering in furnishings.


An outdoor rug can be a great way to accentuate an outdoor seating area. Most are extremely durable and can be hosed down when dirty. They are also easy to roll up and store during colder months.


Mcgee and Co.


Serena and Lily


When looking for seating options consider how and when you will most use the space. Do you like to entertain outdoors or curl up on a sofa with a good book? Or maybe you just need a place to escape from a busy day. The type of seating you choose will depend on how you see yourself using the space. My one recommendation is to choose the best quality outdoor furniture that you can afford. Depending on your climate, outdoor furniture can take a beating from the weather. Also, think about how you will protect your furniture in the  “off-season”. Will you cover it or will you need to move it into a garage or storage? If you will be moving it, you may want to stick with lighter-weight furnishings.




Outdoor dining tables come in all shapes and sizes. The material you choose should depend on the type of exposure your table will receive.  Here in Arizona, we shy away from metal options for obvious heat reasons.  If you will leave your table outside year round, consider purchasing a cover to protect it from harsh weather and direct sunlight.  

France and Son

Clique Inc.


Setting The Mood

Lighting is more than just pretty, it makes your space functional.  You don’t have to go to the expense of hardwiring lights onto the exterior of your house or putting in landscape lighting.  There are DIY options that can just be plugged in when needed.  Try combining light sources such as string lights, flameless candles and fairy lights.  If you are lighting an area exposed to the elements be sure your lights are rated for exterior use.  

Lights 4 Fun

Jenna Sue Design Co.

Fountains, Firepits and Pots

Water features, fire pits and container gardens will take your outdoor living space to the next level.  Many of the options are great DIY projects or can be installed easily by a professional.  

Patina Farm

Ann Cox

Casa Tres Chic

Debby Tenquist

Mountainside Luxury is a full-service Residential Real Estate and Interior Design Team with over 15 years of experience. 

Please contact us to learn more about our process and how we can help with your home buying and interior design experience.  

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