In a world of increasing urban cities with skyscrapers, owning an outdoor space is a luxury. You might not appreciate it, but it is. If you are one of the lucky ones, here are some ideas to make the most of your little piece of land. But before that, there are some essential elements to keep in mind when designing your outdoor living space: the architectural style of the house, the morphology of the outdoor space and the natural environment.

Essential elements to consider when designing your outdoor living space

Architectural style of the house

The outdoor style must be linked to the house to which it belongs. If your home has a rational character of pure geometric forms and few colors, the outdoor space should maintain continuity with this style. You can achieve outdoor spaces of this type with few contrasting materials and projecting textures and finishes from the inside to the outside.

outdoor pool spaces

Image source: Pixabay

The best and clearest example of how to do this is spatial unification across the pavement. You can use a finish that suits the needs of outdoor areas (e.g. a finish with anti-slip properties to prevent falls) with the same format and color as the one inside the house.

In this case, the large format stone pavements are perfect for integrating areas such as the pool and terrace. You can use a pavement in flagstone for the terrace, the rim of the pool and even the inner facings.

The morphology of the outdoor space

An option is to create paved areas not gardened, such as outdoor kitchen cabanas, house perimeters or walkways, maintaining the same integrator material present in the rest of the house.

outdoor chimney design

Image Source: Texas Custom Patios on flickr

If the house has a traditional character, the selection of materials for the outdoor should match the essence of the exterior of the house.

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The natural environment

The integration achieved through these resources helps you get an area where, through the use of colors, textures, and finishes, harmony prevails. 

In an outdoor area where different elements can be found, such as the pool, the garden, the porch, and walkways, it is essential to create a link between them so that the visual harmony provides a sense of tranquility.

backyard pools

Image source: Pixabay

Outdoor living space design ideas

Landscaping design by means of Retaining Walls

A retaining wall is one that is built to avoid the earth pressure from generating the greatest horizontal efforts that tend to slide and tip over. To achieve the stability of a retaining wall, a set of forces must oppose to counteract the horizontal thrust and also the vertical forces transmitted by pillars or bearing walls.

The retaining walls are an alternative for homeowners whose homes have outdoor entertainment centers to enjoy. Installing such walls allows the owner to have more possibilities without overfilling the area.

In garden design, retaining walls are an integral part of the landscape. In addition to serving as the control of the land located on slopes, they might also have a decorative purpose. 

  • Separate zones

Installing walls to separate different environments in your garden creates an orderly setting. You can separate an area where there are flowers from an area where the lawn predominates. Depending on the material of the wall, you’ll be able to plant flowers or find other decorative methods.

  • Stone

If it is a stone wall, combine it with some plants spread around it to give your garden an elegant look.

Natural stone walls in garden design, add a great sense of continuity over time. They give the possibility to cover curves in the ground since we can place the material in a more flexible way. We cannot achieve this with wood, due to its inability to bend.

  • Wood

Pine is usually preferred when creating retaining walls. The pressure-treated pine is ideal for a relatively inexpensive wall. The natural texture of the wood compliments much better the garden, unlike concrete and other materials. But, we must also keep in mind that despite being treated, moisture and mold can damage it over time. The wood is probably the least expensive option for retaining walls, but the main factor to consider is longevity. In garden design, wood should be used for low-rise walls and in areas with good drainage; you should opt for a more resistant material if your wall is greater than two feet tall.

timber retaining wall

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

  • High walls

You can also create a wall to a remarkable height. You can divide up the zone by creating different places. The area of the wall can be dedicated to a comfort zone or to place a fire pit where you can relax after a hard day’s work while watching the rest of the garden with a total view of it.

  • Concrete

In the design of gardens, we must often deal with minor landslides and this is where the retaining wall is very useful. The mere fact of adding flowers and plants soften the texture of the wall, especially in those cases where the wall is made of concrete.

BBQs and Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor entertainment centers with barbecues and kitchens, evoke the flavors and atmosphere of the summer. For moments of fun with family and friends, outdoor kitchens are really great.

Outdoor kitchen design

Image Source: By Jillismith121 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

If your barbecue is made with high-quality materials and components, this will provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Most barbecue grills and outdoor appliances are made of stainless steel and designed to withstand harsh environments.

Each outdoor space, being large or small, can benefit from a proper outdoor kitchen, thanks to the many customization options that suit all budgets.

Outdoor kitchens are much more than a place for barbecues. You can build your entire outdoor area around the kitchen, adding outdoor furniture, patio heaters, gazebos, or even cabanas. A comfortable outdoor paradise.

Outdoor cooking eliminates persistent odors inside your home. In addition, it will add to the value of your home; kitchens in the garden have a high rate of return on investment.

If you are handy and comfortable doing home improvement projects, you can save money by building the kitchen yourself. However, for aspects such as plumbing, electricity, and gas, it is best to consult a professional.

outdoor kitchen table

Image Source: By Line Omey [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

If your outdoor kitchen includes a sink, you will need a water line that is connected to your home water supply or is fed through a hose. Normally you only need a cold water line, unless you want to wash the dishes outdoors. Do not forget to include plenty of electrical outlets; lighting systems, grills, refrigerators, etc., require electricity to operate. We recommend hiring a licensed electrician because they know the local codes and may ensure that the wiring is compatible.

While you are gathering outdoor kitchen ideas, try to think of it as an extension of your home. Why not have the functionality and comfort of your indoor kitchen? Before buying all the equipment and creating a layout, consider what you want from your outdoor kitchen. Do not forget to plan proper storage: garbage containers and paper towels holders are very useful and can help eliminate unnecessary travels indoors.

Outdoor Living Spaces Ideas and Important Things to Consider was last modified: December 6th, 2018 by Oriana Gomez-Zerpa

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