Our 20 Favorite Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces

One area of the home to come the furthest in terms of design over the years is the outdoor living space. These were once just spaces to place a patio furniture set and maybe a grill. But these days, people are including televisions, entire kitchens (including the kitchen sink) and dining areas fit for a restaurant. Many outdoor living spaces have fire pits that are works of art, and sometimes even full fireplaces. So if you’re ready to update your outdoor living space in a big way, take a look at the inspiring photos below. You might just find an idea for your next backyard remodel.

Outdoor living spaces with a TV

One of the key ways in which outdoor living spaces have evolved is the inclusion of technology right in the backyard. Thanks to the modern convenience of flat screens, it’s easier than ever to hang a television anywhere. There are several different ways to make a television work in an outdoor space, though it’s important to install them in enclosed spaces to guard them from the weather. Take a look below for some of the best ways to make use of a television in an outdoor space.

Outdoor TVs fit well over fireplaces. Image: MDD Homes

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Walls and roofing protect outdoor TVs from the elements. Image: McLaughlin Landscape Construction

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Design elements like silver frames add style to outdoor TVs. Image: Hi Frame Design

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Some outdoor TVs go in a TV cabinet to keep them protected from the elements. Image: Colorworks Studio

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It’s also possible to hang the TV right from the ceiling of a patio space. Image: Designs by Dawn

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Outdoor kitchen spaces

Nowadays, outdoor spaces feature entire kitchens. This means there are spaces for small refrigerators, a variety of cooktops and sinks outdoors.

Modern outdoor kitchen appliances also tend to come in stainless steel, since that makes the appliances more resistant to the weather and other wear and tear. A common design aesthetic is to put stainless steel in stone or brick. The rustic stone and modern stainless steel combination creates interesting contrast. The stone also helps anchor the appliances in place and gives them a more outdoorsy look.

Stainless steel and stone create an attractive contrast. Image: Frankel Building Group

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Appliances can be intergrated into stone. Image: DFW Improved

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Even sinks may be worked into a stone counter. Image: Ettore Masonry

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Some spaces achieve the outdoor kitchen feel by simply being placed behind a partition that can be opened and closed depending on the weather. Image: Architect Your Home

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Outdoor cooktops are perfect for large gatherings. Image: FireMagic

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Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits

A classic mainstay of an outdoor space is the fire pit. Many of us have spent fond evenings relaxing around the fire as the heat of the day dissipates. However, fire pits have adopted an artistic bent over the years, looking more like “fire features” than traditional fire pits.

Another development is taking the traditional fireplace from inside the home and placing it outside. These usually provide seating areas and a backdrop for TVs.

Fireplaces with bench seating work well outdoors. Image: DRM Design Group

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Some fire pits have a more sleek, modern design. Image: Harrell Remodeling

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Other fire pits keep it rustic with natural stone surroundings. Image: Alex Custom Homes

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This modern fire pit uses unique decorative paneling. Image: Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

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Some fire pits make use of walls for an interesting design. Image: California Home Design

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Outdoor dining spaces

Perhaps it wouldn’t be a full outdoor living space without bringing the dining room outside, too. Outdoor dining spaces these days are so detailed that they look like they belong indoors — that is, until you look closer and realize that everything is designed to stand up to the elements.

Some outdoor living spaces boast long, full tables similar to what you would see in a dining room. Others make use of bar areas. Still others resemble kitchen islands. With so many options surrounding space and materials, the outdoor dining space is truly customizable.

Whole dining spaces with upscale furniture are now outside. Image: Shapiro/Didway

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Some outdoor dining spaces take the bar approach. Image: Ken Linsteadt Architects

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Outdoor dining can also keep it natural with wooden furniture; in addition, the string lights are a fun touch. Image: Chelsea Construction Corporation

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Wicker is also becoming more stylish and intricate in its designs. Image: Thompson Custom Homes

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Some outdoor dining spaces keep it chic, yet rustic. Image: Villa + Villa

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If you’re looking to remodel your backyard, options for outdoor living spaces are nearly endless. Did you find inspiration in any of the outdoor living spaces above? Tell us about it in the comments!