Patio envy. We’ve all experienced it.

From design magazines to Pinterest pictures to our neighbors new state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen, outdoor living spaces inspire serious appeal for homeowners.

Nearly 70% of households have an outdoor living area, yet most are still looking to further enhance these spaces. They want greater ambiance, comfort, and functionality for themselves and their guests.

Whether you plan to host an outdoor cocktail party or an intimate al fresco dinner, it’s time to get your backyard ready for entertaining. So here are the top 7 outdoor living space plans to set your summer off in style.

1. Cozy Up with Functional Seating

Seating is often the main focal point when designing an outdoor space. It should be ample, comfortable and well-organized. Sofas and lounge chairs are staple pieces, but use cozy ottomans and plush pillows to offer additional seating for guests.

While wrought-iron and wicker are still very in, built-in benches (made of wood, stone or brick) blend well with a home’s natural design elements. Multi-level or sunken seating can also add depth to your backyard.

Dining seating should be separate, with an inviting yet intimate feel. Think a large, farmhouse style table with benches that guests can gather around.

2. Wow with Texture and Color

Leave formality for your indoor living spaces. Your backyard living space is meant to be cozy, creative and colorful.

Play around with different textiles and patterns for throw cushions, drum side tables, and outdoor rugs. Add dimension with hanging decor or a custom designed patio ceiling. Pick pavers or tiles with intricate patterns and colors that complement the design of your patio.

3. Provide Shade with a Pergola

Not just for throwing shade, pergolas add character and style to an outdoor space. Homeowners consider them to be the “most wished for” outdoor living feature.

They create a bit of privacy while enhancing your design. Pergolas are most commonly structured from wood, metal or stone. Adorn it in greenery and twinkle lights for a natural feel, or hang fabrics for a dreamy vibe.

A pergola is also a great place for an outdoor office. Enjoy a shaded workspace, natural lighting, and fresh air.

4. Serve Food and Drinks Al Fresco

An outdoor kitchen and bar area lets you whip up cocktails and canapes without having to leave the patio or your guests.

A full bar, frozen drink station, and fridge are a few perks, and you also get extra seating with bar stools. A grill is a staple of outdoor entertaining, but many homeowners are also opting for bbq pits and pizza ovens.

From added home value to energy conservation, adding a kitchen to your outdoor living space is a smart investment.

5. Set the Mood with Lighting

The right light creates ambiance by being well-illuminated, yet soft. Set the mood further with string lighting, candles, and lanterns.

A fireplace or pit not only provides light but warms guests on cooler evenings. Depending on your outdoor designs, you can go rustic with a firepit, traditional with a stone fireplace, or sleek with a gas-powered flame.

6. Entertain with Music and Movies

Background music should be present yet subtle, as not to drown out conversation among guests. Utilize a high-quality outdoor speaker system, such as Bose, and connect your favorite Spotify playlist via Bluetooth.

An outdoor movie night is a favorite summer activity and can be achieved with a simple sheet and projector. But if you’re looking to create an unforgettable experience, follow these professional outdoor home theater tips.

7. Impress with a Touch of Whimsy

It doesn’t get more idyllic than sipping a glass of freshly-squeezed lemonade next to a lemon tree. Or enjoying views of your garden while dining on a salad of freshly picked veggies.

Incorporate a bit of green whimsy with new plants, flower beds, and artistic terra cotta pots. Enhance patio designs with fruit trees, hanging planters, and bird feeders. Add character with an herb garden, and serve fresh mint and rosemary in your hand-crafted cocktails.

Outdoor Living Space Plans for Comfort and Convenience

More homeowners are taking the comforts of indoors, outside. Outdoor living space plans are an extension of your home’s style while providing a place to relax and entertain.

From kitchens to theaters to yoga terraces, options for outdoor living spaces are endless. If you’re looking to design or update an outdoor area, learn more about features, costs and project scopes.

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