Backyard Design Tips For Creating The Ideal Outdoor Living Space In 2021

Outdoor living space has never been more in style, which is why many homeowners are opting to go big when it comes to building their dream backyard. Being able to rewind is especially important these days, and to help you create a relaxed outdoor living space, we’ve put together these expert design tips.

A bridge crosses over a waterfall-fed stream in the backyard of an Aspen trophy estate at 711 Willoughby Way.

Combining natural elements in outdoor living spaces

The beautiful thing about spending more time outdoors is the connection we make with nature. To get the most out of this experience, designers suggest playing with the natural elements: fire, water, earth and air. Any combination will create a soothing natural atmosphere, perfect for relaxed outdoor living.

  • Luxury pools, fountains and koi ponds to highlight the water element
  • Kinetic sculptures and cooling fans for air
  • Fire pits, tiki torches, and candles for fire
  • Ceramic, wood or stone features to make the earth element stand out.

This updated Hollywood Hills home at 7846 Granito Drive incorporates an infinity-edge swimming pool, accent lighting and a pop-up television screen in the backyard.

Study the seasons and nature

Everyone wants to enjoy their time outside; however, sometimes nature disrupts a lovely evening, whether with a strong wind or unexpected rainfall. To improve comfort and insulate yourselves from nature, consider these tips:

  • Sun exposure: Sunbathing elevates the outdoor living experience but not when there’s too much sun. To shield yourself from harming UV lights, add shades in your backyard with pergolas, patio covers, or trees.
  • Wind patterns: When designing your outdoor space, you must consider the area’s wind patterns. This way, you’ll know how and where to place proper windbreakers like fences, décor, trees, and shrubs.
  • Rain and snow: True luxury outdoor living is all year round. Why should snow or rain stop you from relaxing in your backyard? Think of adding glazed patios so you can enjoy the view even when winter comes along.

Understanding how the sun rises and sets over your property is important. This beachfront La Jolla home incorporates a covered patio with an outdoor kitchen.

Prioritize privacy for your outdoor space

Depending on your house’s location, you might need to invest more in your privacy. Nobody wants to take a dip in a hot tub while worrying about neighbors and curious passersby. For a comfortable outdoor living area, install fences, screens, and overhead roofs. You can also use large plants and curtained pergolas to seclude an area for sunbathing, meditating, painting, or any other activity of choice.

In addition to mature trees and fencing, this Toronto home’s pool area is further concealed by a wide pavilion with an outdoor kitchen.

Choose the right furniture for your backyard

From squeaky sofas to heavy steel chairs, picking the wrong furniture will prevent you from relaxing even if everything else is perfectly designed. To create a fully relaxed atmosphere, choose cozy, lightweight seating. Something you can fall asleep on and carry around with ease. You can also use unique furniture pieces such as hanging chairs, fuzzy seating or wood-carved tables to improve the aesthetic and make the space unique.

Stone planters and benches further the Old World vibe at this Spanish estate with a producing winery.

Adjust for lifestyle choices and self-care

The outdoor living area has the most potential for creating a relaxed and comfortable environment, but it’s only relaxing if you use it. Often, it’s wise to consider what makes you interested or happy, whether it’s exercising, playing tennis, creating art or doing yoga. Adjusting the space to fit your lifestyle makes it easy to prioritize self-care.


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