There’s never been a better time to invest in the outdoor room of your dreams. Not only do these outdoor paradises provide relaxation and joy today, but they also boost value and curb appeal for resale tomorrow. HomeLight’s data shows that outdoor spaces are trending big time, with 31% of top agents citing more outdoor space as a top motivator for homebuyers today.
“Outdoor rooms with desirable features put homes at a higher price point, Lynn Childers, a top Arkansas real estate agent with 15 years of experience, says. “A gorgeous outdoor room with design elements that mirror elements of your inside design puts your house in a higher class.”
Whether you have an expanse of greenery to work with or are sandwiched between two townhouses, these 10 outdoor rooms are the inspo you need to transform your backyard into an outdoor oasis.
1. Al fresco dining nook
This sophisticated outdoor dining room by Joseph C. Fava, a South Florida Interior Designer and owner of award-winning Fava Design Group, is perfect for entertaining.
“Treat your outdoor space as an extension of the inside of your home,” Fava says. In this grand dining space, Fava styles a contemporary wire-brushed wood dining table in a Mediterranean-style villa setting.
Fava emphasizes selecting details that can withstand the elements — in his case, the bright Florida sun. “Solution-dyed fabrics that won’t fade over time and quality furniture that will last many years are key.”
“No room is complete without fabulous and unique lighting, and a loggia is no different,” Fava says. Here, contemporary pendant lighting steals the show.
Finally, incorporate potted plants and lush centerpieces to play off the surrounding landscaping. A ZZ Plant lends this space a burst of color and balances out its stone elements. “I always include elements of earth, fire, and water in any outdoor space,” Fava notes.
2. Glass skyscraper backdrop
In this outdoor room design by the award-winning Turett Collaborative, a Manhattan skyline in the busy Columbus Circle neighborhood is transformed into a backdrop for a serene getaway.
To mirror the skyline, “Think big with outdoor-indoor furniture,” Jessica Shaw, the firm’s Interior Design Director. “Select pieces that look and feel like indoor furniture. Large, comfortable, cozy pieces that encourage lounging and gathering outside.”
Pictured, the Room and Board Oasis Sofa acts as an inviting upholstered lounging area in an astonishing space. Shaw balanced the white cushions with rustic wood planters and a focal coffee table for urban garden terrace vibes.
3. Private gazebo retreat
Perla Lichi, an Interior Designer based in South Florida who has been designing luxury residential and commercial interiors around the world since 1984, created this hybrid indoor-outdoor space with visual connections to nature carved into the greenspace of a luxury home in Kenya.
A rich wood gazebo houses a private cushioned seating area ideal for solo relaxation and intimate conversations surrounded by greenery. Recreate the look for your own backyard oasis:
- Nestle an octagonal gazebo into a lush, shaded green space.
- Lead up to your gazebo with a curved wood path for a soft, inviting aesthetic.
- Connect to your home with an organic path composed of loose pebbles and paver step stones. Leave natural elements like moss and natives to flourish for a natural feel.
- Add a water element like a fountain to maximize relaxation.
4. Hampton loggia
Turret Design’s creative team designed this coastal modern outdoor room for a Bridgehampton residence surrounded by ponds. The casual entertainment area features a stone fireplace focal point and television. Flush mount lights brighten the space and a modern ceiling fan provides versatile airflow.
Shaw suggests placing your furniture adjacent to your interior wall to encourage guests to flow freely between your indoor and outdoor entertainment space. Here, she created relaxed zones with stone and casual furniture anchored by a neutral beige rug and styled with white and blue pillows. The space is decidedly airy and free of visual clutter.
5. Perfect poolside lounge
“An outdoor space should include an interesting mix of woods, metal, stone, and fabrics,” Fava advises. In this gorgeous Mediteranean poolside terrace, luxurious, expansive stone, stucco, and water elements are balanced by bright greenery and a poolside wicker patio daybed.
The end goal is a clearly defined poolside relaxation zone with a sense of privacy. “Defining the space is essential,” Fava adds.
6. Dreamy outdoor entertaining space
Shaw’s grand outdoor kitchen, situated steps away from a pool and wrapped in stone, is the perfect spot for outdoor entertainment and has it all: a fireplace, cozy chairs, and a built-in grill, which 53.9% of agents cite as a top outdoor upgrade.
“A covered outdoor kitchen has the added bonus of providing much-needed shade in hot summer months and protection from wind in the winter,” Shaw says. “To make it cozier, layer in soft blankets for you and your guests and choose outdoor pillows with varying texture, weight, and color to liven the space.”
Not ready to splurge on a full outdoor fireplace? Shaw recommends the Aura fireplace from Room & Board. “It’s perfect for keeping your guests warm and entertained with campfire stories and s’mores.” Plus, a fireplace keeps your patio warm enough for lounging through all seasons.
7. Petite stone kitchen
This fully functional outdoor kitchen shows how clearly defined zones can bring a space to life. Sable Blend Lafitt Pavers, with a natural stone texture and long-term durability, provide a base for a kitchen featuring a bar and grill island constructed from Belgrade’s Belair Wall® topped with outdoor grade quartz counters, which are easy to clean and durable enough to withstand high traffic.
“Fully functional microspaces are emerging as a dominant form in cities and neighborhoods where lot sizes are small,” Joe Raboine, Director of Residential Hardscapes with Belgard Design Studio, shares. “Creating dual usage flex spaces alongside homes or on front porches provides viable outdoor living space.”
Raboine recommends clearly defined zones to make a space feel more abundant. To get the look, utilize hardscaping for a seamless transition between indoor-outdoor areas.
The essential features of an outdoor kitchen that’ll satisfy your inner chef and seamlessly host guests? A built-in grill, food prep space, storage, and a water source. For a luxurious upgrade, add stainless steel features like a mini-fridge or pizza oven.
8. Glowing Manhattan terrace
This West Village townhouse’s elevated patio is the perfect place for getting some sun during the day and soaking in the glow at night. Shaw chose to maximize the fence height here to create a greater sense of an outdoor room that’s structured but still airy for a luxurious feel.
The most inviting touch in this space is the mood lighting, making the space feel like a vibrant outdoor oasis at night.
This patio is proof that good lighting is responsible for the magic of a good outdoor entertainment space. In our recent Top Agent Insights Report, 54.4% of real estate agents named good outdoor lighting a top outdoor upgrade.
“I like to replicate indoor comfort with outdoor mood lighting,” Shaw muses. “If possible, provide lighting from multiple angles and sides to create a more intimate outdoor space — the feeling of a ‘room’ existing outdoors.”
Don’t want to build lighting into your stonescape? No problem. To achieve the same romantic glow, Shaw suggests the Lucca light from AMEICO.
“Select ripe, beautiful hardwood ideal for outdoor use to evoke warmth and give structure to your space,” Shaw shares. “This provides dimension and carves out ‘rooms.’”
9. Modern porch
Lichi’s modern porch extends indoor luxury design elements into the outdoor space — grand marble expanses, shiny finishes, shining neutrals — to create an elevated, serene atmosphere.
“My inspiration comes from tying interior elements into the exterior. The homeowner uses many natural finishes on the interior, so they wanted to continue a consistent style outside.” Lichi shares.
To create an organic look, Lichi uses hanging chairs whose bases appear to grow out of the landscape.
10. Cozy conversation area with fire pit
According to HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Spring 2021 data, 76.8% of agents cite fire pits as the number one upgrade for outdoor entertainment.
“Fire pits or heat lamps can ensure your family can use the space into the evening or into colder months,” Raboine says. “Consider heating or cooling elements, whether that is a fire pit, fans, or heat lamps.”
For an easy fire pit, use the Belgard Flagstone Fire Pit Kit over Lafitt Pavers. A curved wall creates a cozy modular room feel, and wicker seating completes the perfect spot for hosting guests in three seasons.
Header Image Source: (sirtravelalot / Shutterstock)