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Turn Your Backyard into an Outdoor Living Space – 27 New Ideas for your Garden

Are you spending more time outdoors this summer?

If so, then maybe you want to turn your backyard into a luxurious outdoor living space?

That way, you can easily host your next barbeque bash, a friendly game of croquet, or a family get-together in style.

Continue reading so you can transform your garden into the coolest – and most comfortable outdoor living space.


This article was originally published on September 16, 2019, and revamped on June 12, 2021.

1. Tranquility

Hanging chair in the garden

This backyard living space is super simple yet so inviting!

The hanging chair begs you to hop in and chill out. The yard itself is mainly lawn, creating a feeling of space and calm, with a few hedging plants around the outside.

I love the wooden terrace and the pot plant in the corner – it adds a homey feeling.


2. Inviting Seats

garden chair and table on terrace flowers bush

Creating a nice little corner in your backyard, like this one, is a great way to make your yard feel inviting.

They’ve assembled some simple (and cozy) items like candle holders and a small wooden table to create interest and small pot plants for color.

I’d surround this corner with scented plants for bonus points!

Don’t forget to bring a few of your favorite books so you can soak in the sun and enjoy a (hopefully) gentle summer breeze.

3. Hideaway

Wooden terrace surrounded by greenery

This terrace is breathtaking with its ‘walk-into-my-hideaway’ appearance. I love how the walkway opens up to a broader terrace – the furniture is spot-on. Consider adding some colorful cushions!

The owners used grasses and smaller ground covering plants along the walkway. You can also imagine beefier shade-creating trees around the back.

4. Dedicated Outdoor Cooking

Campfire with a cooking pot

We have something like this set up at our place, just a simple outdoor space outlined with rocks!

We purchased a camping firepit cooking set up, which is now permanently set up over the firepit. It has a plate for grilling meat and hooks for kettles etc.

We use our DIY smoker all the time, from a quick campfire at night to grilling some marshmallows – it’s become one of our favorite spaces!

Did you know?

We recently published a legendary guide that shows how to build a DIY primitive smoker – perfect if you want to smoke meat in your backyard – and on a budget. DIY smokers are also a ton of fun for your friends and family!

5. Happy Place

Spacious terrace with garden swing

This one makes you happy at first glance. Pops of color, a guitar, groovy cushions. Right to the little wooden cube storage unit with the cacti on top. The swinging bench is beautiful too!

6. Low Maintenance & Modern

Garden with large pool

This backyard space is ultra low-maintenance and has a very modern feel about it. I’m missing some little tables around the chairs and the couch under the pergola, but the exposed brick wall is cool looking, for sure.

This design would be gorgeous with some backyard hammocks!

The yard is mainly lawn, with potted topiaries lining the steps. The pool is breathtaking, of course.

7. Pergola Paradise

Blue sofa under a wooden pergola

This blue cushion is stunning!

It goes well with the lawn and the wall. The feature I love the most here is the hanging plants that come down over the back wall, which creates a natural curtain.

Hanging pots and lights are a great addition and help make the setting feel more serene.

8. Macrame and Knit

A beige string swing with a pillow on a patio. Wicker baskets, a

I’m a little bit in love with this hanging macrame chair! Something like that would make any outdoor living space inviting.

I’d add some heavier, puffier cushions, so it’s comfortable, but it looks great with the cane baskets and knitted blanket. I love the natural fibers all over!

9. Outdoor Dining

Outdoor dining room with wooden garden furniture set with table and chairs

You can’t leave this one set up without a roof, of course, in case it rains, but what a remarkable space for a backyard party or outdoor dining!

The wooden chairs blend perfectly with the plants around them, and the wooden planters rock for herbs or lovely scented plants.

10. Rugged Up

Garden furniture and rug

This rug! I wouldn’t have picked this if I saw it in the shop, but it looks elegant on this wooden terrace, with the rattan furniture. I would have loved some colorful cushions, maybe in red, for some pops of color.

I also think adding a rustic table with a deck of playing cards could potentially turn this backyard into the hottest spot on your homestead.

11. Rocking Chairs

Empty wood chair outdoor garden

This old-style seating setup is exceptional – especially with the taller grass-like plants behind it. Yucca-style plants would look great there, as would smaller palms like Chamaedorea’s, or Cordylines for color.

The little table is perfect, and it appears like it has an umbrella for shade. I could see myself sitting here, chilling with a good book. I also might need a footstool to chillax to the max!

12. Tropical Resort Style

Pillow on sofa furniture decoration outdoor patio in the garden

I’m in love with the tropical undertone!

The palm trees and super-green foliage, combined with the contrasting orange on the couch, are ideal! The little Staghorn will look amazing when it gets bigger.

You can easily imagine yourself in a tropical setting – kicking back and enjoying the sweet ambiance of the waves somewhere off in the distance.

13. Easy Does It

This day is too beautiful to spend it inside

The only thing missing here is a pergola-style roof over the seats on the terrace. I love the tree, perfectly positioned for shade.

They have an umbrella set up, so they must be using that in place of a roof, but with roofing, you could set up a permanent grill/outdoor kitchen for full functionality.

The lawn is massive and spacious, and I like the pops of topiaries for interest.

14. Nothing Beats a Hammock!

Crocheted hammock with straw hat and book

Every backyard needs a hammock or two! This hammock and its lace edges and boho look are excellent and easily fit in any backyard design. I have a couple of hammocks on the veranda and a couple in the garden under big mango trees. They’re so versatile!

You can move your hammocks elsewhere if the positioning doesn’t suit your fancy – or take them camping. See the best backyard hammocks and best sleeping pads for hammocks for plenty of inspiration!

15. Outdoor Room

Empty chair decoration outdoor patio

This small space has transformed into an outdoor room. An easy-to-maintain floor, exposed stone wall, right down to simple chairs, I love this layout. It’s ultra-private!

What a space for a relaxing chat and a coffee! I’d try and find the perfect place for a hot tub or outdoor shower here – it would make for a genius addition.

16. Mystical

Stone bench by plants against surrounding wall

This one won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s one of my favorites! And, by the way, if you do like a cup of tea – why not grow your own? It’s a work of art for your tastes, not someone else’s.

I, for one, love this. Yes, it’s dark and possibly a bit creepy (look at the feet on that bench!), but it’s a place for wonder and meditation, connecting with mythical things, maybe some fairies.

That variegated shrub is astonishing! It looks like a great place to sit in summer – you’d get all-day shade.

17. Another Viewpoint

Plants in sunny backyard

Yes, this is that same rug again, the one I’d never buy in the shop but looks flawless in this setting. I wanted to show you another perspective, especially the rocks they’ve used as much for the garden!

(Be careful with rock mulch if you’re in a hot or super cold climate though, they’re not very good at regulating soil temperature and can harm your plants.)

Also, that big tree is incredible!

18. Swim in Style

Living room of a villa with pool in the garden

The ultimate in indoor-outdoor flow. This big glass wall with giant sliding doors and instant connection with the backyard is a dream!

You could sit on that big chair indoors and enjoy the outdoors without interruptions. Any pool is a great pool, indeed, but this one is very modern and open-themed.

The Dragon Trees living in the backyard pool are fantastic no-mess trees that shall live forever! They’re also super hardy.

19. House Enhancement

Exterior of house surrounded by lush greenery

Here’s a perfect example of how a garden can complement your house and make it look even better. The dark wood and light colors of the house look beautiful with the lush garden!

I also like the garden planted right up to the house. It’d create a cool side of the house. But, the garden along you house may invite and host pests.

So, make sure your termite treatment is up-to-date if there are termites (or other crawling creatures of the night) in your area!

(Watch out for carpenter ants. They’re the thing of nightmares.)

20. Pool-Centered

Garden on two levels with large pool and lush vegetation

There’s no doubt that this is an incredible pool! My favorite features are the curved planted box that comes into the pool and the round one inside the pool – cool touch!

This garden also has character – I love the hanging-vine curtains and the Dragon Tree, and that orange-flowering shrub is beautiful for added color. 

21. Roman Style

Lush garden with table set under a gazebo and barbecue on background

This pergola is elegant perfection – those pillars! I’m missing some climbing roses growing up for color. But, all-in-all, this backyard is all style.

It’s low-maintenance with an attractive picnic-style table, and how great are the shelves along the back wall!

I think adding a barbeque or flat top grill could make this living space one of the most welcoming – especially when accompanied by friends and family.

Did you know?

If you want to add an unbeatable appeal to your Roman-style backyard, you should read about the best outdoor pizza ovens! Adding the rich aroma of freshly baked, zesty, bubbly pizza crust enhances any backyard.

22. Make the Most of It

Terrace surrounded by lush garden

Here’s how you can make the most of a small space! The Ivy-type vine does a great job of hiding the metal fence, and the dark floor and dark furniture look amazing with the bright green surrounding it.

The big glass walls of the house are stunning, and you’d have a great, private view of your backyard.

23. Picturesque

Beautiful garden in a sunny day

Behold! Oodles of traditional style here, with lots of little gadgets. The apple tree is the best thing here, along with the barn-style door. The picture frames with plants inside are quirky, and I love the little shelf underneath.

A lot is going on here, but you could create this look with things you find around the yard. An old ladder, a shovel, a watering can!

I also love the Earthy colors contrasting with the various garden gadgets.

24. Holiday Feeling

Garden Backyard Pond

Wow. Just wow! This one may not be feasible for a lot of us, but my goodness – a girl can dream, right? That pond is to die for, the round terrace, those chairs! Even the shrubs are so perfect it’s not funny.

Something seems missing, though? I know. Comfy cushions! Can’t enjoy heaven without cushion now, can we?

(If you’re lucky, your backyard pond might attract a few ducks!)

25. Log Path

Landscape design, evergreen bushes and path

Love, love this path!

It’s perfect for a quiet meander through the backyard. It’s also a wander to check up on all your plants and the critters in your garden.

Your kids will also love this! My girls would be skipping from log to log, and the same on those great stones lining the pathway. If you weren’t using your wood offcuts for firewood, this is a great purpose for them.

26. Outdoor Functionality

Dining Table set in Lush Landscaped Garden

Not just one seating area, but two. Twice the enjoyment! You get a super functional backyard. The only things missing are a grill or smoker for perfect backyard parties and entertaining.

The wooden trellises are elegant! Imagine the climbing plants you could grow up them!

27. Add a Grill or Two

Grill in garden

No backyard living space is complete without a cooking setup of some sort! Add a grill, a pizza oven, a smoker, and of course, a dining table with plenty of seating for everybody.

Invite family and friends to enjoy your new backyard with you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas for backyard outdoor living space ideas.

What was your favorite? What will you add to your backyard, or what will you change?

Please let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, Elle 

Want More Fun Outdoor Ideas?


  • Jack of all trades, master of some. Wild garden grower. Loves creating stuff. From food forests and survival gardens to soap and yoghurt. A girl on a farm with two kids and one husband (yep, just one - although another one would be handy). Weirdly enjoys fixing fences and digging holes. Qualified permaculture teacher and garden go-to.

Skargaarden outdoor furniture

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Thinking of transforming your backyard into an outdoor living oasis, there are a lot of factors to consider when designing dream outdoor living room the amount of space you have, the local climate, and how much you’re willing to spend. Thank you, Elle, for this informative and post.


Friday 4th of June 2021

Welcome, and thank you for your comment! There sure is a lot to think about, although I personally love to just "dive in" and see where it leads :) Sometimes, that can work out just as well as having the whole thing planned out before you start - and it's a whole lot of fun :D