How to Create an Outdoor Living Room for a Suburban Attached Home?

If you are among the millions of homeowners who are looking to maximize every inch of their property, then you may have considered transforming your outdoor area into a practical and comfortable living space. This article provides practical advice on how to design and implement an outdoor living room in a suburban attached home. We’ll discuss ideas for outdoor furniture, landscaping, and building structures like pergolas, as well as how to create functional areas such as an outdoor kitchen, dining space, and fire pit.

How to Design your Outdoor Living Space

Designing an outdoor living space involves much more than merely selecting furniture and decor. You need to consider the layout and functionality of your space, the landscape, and the style of your home.

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Start by visualizing how you want the space to be used. Do you envision a cozy outdoor reading area, a bustling kitchen, or a relaxed poolside lounge? Your design should facilitate these activities. Ensure there is a balance between open and occupied spaces to avoid a cluttered patio.

Your landscape can greatly influence the design. If you have a flat, spacious backyard, consider implementing a pergola to provide shade. Conversely, a steep or uneven landscape may require a multi-tiered design.

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Lastly, the style of your home should be reflected in your outdoor living room. A modern home might employ clean lines and minimalist furniture, while a rustic house may favor a natural, earthy design.

Choosing Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture is not merely for decoration; it’s a functional part of your home. It should be comfortable, durable, and fit into your outdoor living space seamlessly.

Consider the material of your furniture. Wood adds a rustic charm, but requires regular maintenance to prevent decay. Metal is durable and stylish, but it can heat up in the sun. Synthetic materials like resin and plastic are affordable and lightweight, but may lack the aesthetic appeal of natural materials.

Incorporating a mix of seating options can make your outdoor living area more versatile. A large dining table can cater to outdoor meals, while a hammock or swing can provide a relaxed lounging spot.

Don’t forget about storage. Outdoor benches with built-in storage or a weatherproof cabinet can store cushions, blankets, and outdoor kitchen utensils.

Installing a Pergola

A pergola is a versatile and stylish addition to any outdoor living area. It provides shade, defines your outdoor room, and can act as a support for climbing plants.

When installing a pergola, think about its size, location, and material. The size depends on your available space, and it should not overwhelm your backyard. Place it strategically to provide shade for your outdoor dining or sitting area.

You can build a pergola using different materials, like wood, vinyl, or metal. Wood gives a natural look, but it requires regular maintenance. Vinyl is low-maintenance, but it might not be as durable. Metal, particularly aluminum, is sturdy and modern, but it might not blend well with a traditional house.

Creating an Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen extends your house’s functionality and allows you to savor the pleasure of cooking and dining al fresco. It could be as simple as a grill and a prep table, or as elaborate as a full kitchen with a sink, refrigerator, and pizza oven.

Plan your kitchen around your cooking habits. If you’re a barbecue enthusiast, invest in a quality grill. If you enjoy casual, laid-back meals, a pizza oven could be a great addition.

Ensure your outdoor kitchen has ample prep and storage space. Keep your cooking area close to the house to easily transport food and utensils.

Adding a Fire Pit

A fire pit is a wonderful centerpiece for an outdoor living area. It adds warmth and ambiance, making your backyard a perfect spot for gathering, even on chilly nights.

When choosing a fire pit, consider the fuel type. Wood-burning pits offer a traditional campfire experience but require a constant supply of firewood. Gas fire pits are easy to operate and maintain, but they might lack the authentic feel.

Ensure your fire pit is set on a non-combustible surface and keep it away from any flammable materials. Always prioritize safety when using a fire pit.

Transforming your outdoor space into a living room is a rewarding project that expands your home’s living area. It requires thoughtful design, careful selection of furniture, and the right structures and amenities. But, with careful planning and creativity, you can create an outdoor living area that is functional, stylish, and a perfect extension of your home.

Integrating Outdoor Lighting and Decor

To make your outdoor living space functional in all seasons, it’s essential to incorporate outdoor lighting and decor. Lighting in an outdoor living room not only enhances safety and visibility but also contributes to the overall aesthetics and ambiance.

Decide on the areas that need illumination – walkways for safe movement, seating area for leisure activities, outdoor kitchen, and dining area for food preparation and eating. Install task lighting in these areas. For added appeal and a cozy feel, use accent lighting on features like plants, water features, or pergolas.

Solar-powered lights can be an eco-friendly and cost-effective option. Meanwhile, string lights or lanterns can create a warm, festive atmosphere. Always opt for weather-resistant lighting fixtures designed for outdoor use.

When it comes to outdoor decor, consider durable and easy-to-clean materials. Outdoor rugs can add color and style while also defining your living space. Decorative pillows can provide extra comfort on seating areas. And, don’t forget about nature – integrating plants and flowers can bring a lively touch to your outdoor space, adding to the overall landscape design.

Designing a Dining Area

A crucial part of your outdoor living room is the dining area. An outdoor dining room provides a perfect spot for family meals, entertaining guests, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee on a sunny morning.

A crucial factor to consider is the size of your dining area. Be sure it can comfortably accommodate your family and guests without cramping the space. The dining table should be proportionate to the size of the patio.

Select outdoor furniture that suits the style of your outdoor space and offers comfort and durability. Teak, aluminum, and wrought iron are popular materials for outdoor dining furniture. For a more informal setting, you might consider a picnic table or a pizza oven for fun family gatherings.

In terms of placement, position your dining area close to the outdoor kitchen to make serving meals easier. A patio cover or umbrella can provide shade on sunny days, making the dining experience more comfortable.


Creating an outdoor living room in a suburban home requires a thoughtful approach to maximize comfort and functionality. It involves careful planning, from designing the landscape to selecting the right furniture, installing structures like pergolas, setting up an outdoor kitchen, and creating a cozy fire pit. Additionally, incorporating elements like outdoor lighting and a well-designed dining area can significantly enhance your outdoor space.

Achieving the perfect outdoor living space may require time and effort, but the result is a versatile extension of your home that offers enjoyment and relaxation for many years to come. Remember, the goal is to create a space that reflects your lifestyle and preferences. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can transform your outdoor space into your very own suburban oasis.