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Best Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces You Don’t Want to Miss

Are you excited about creating a new summer outdoor oasis? With summer almost here, now is the perfect time to revamp your outdoor spaces. Here are some of the best ideas for outdoor living spaces for 2023 you don’t want to miss.

Whether you have a lush green yard, a shaded patio, or an urban balcony, transforming your space into your dream outdoor oasis is easier than you might think!

On the eve of Memorial Day weekend, I’m excited to share ideas for creating your dream outdoor destination.

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With so many choices in outdoor style, we can choose different styles to fit our own aesthetic, location, or climate.

These ideas for outdoor living spaces will give you plenty of comfortable choices for your own outdoor enjoyment.

Coastal Influence 

No matter where you call home, coastal-inspired hues and patterns are sure to bring an airy, calming vibe to your outdoor space. 

For seaside style without the kitsch, incorporate breezy wicker furniture and natural tones for a more elevated take on classic coastal. For additional seating, lounge furniture like an updated Adirondack or laidback lawn chairs will have you in full relaxation mode. 

outdoor living spaces

Botanical Oasis

Emphasize the beauty of your outdoor scenery with floral motifs that are on trend in 2023. This style will remain relevant for years to come. Embrace vibrant shades and take inspiration from organic shapes and textiles to create a playful homage to nature.​ 

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Remember to have plenty of seating for guests.

Shop this Look: Wicker Patio Love Seat

outdoor living spaces

Industrial Minimalism

Look no further than the industrial style if you are looking to bring modern minimalism to your outside living spaces. 

Mixing strong metals and natural wood with modern accents like cutouts and mesh keeps this sleek, simplistic style interesting. 

outdoor living spaces

Use Color to Create Your Outdoor Oasis

Color is so important in setting our summer outdoor space. We obviously have green to provide the backdrop – grass, trees, bushes. Flowers provide a rainbow of colors.

Our outdoor furniture and accessories play a part in creating an outdoor space we enjoy being in and entertaining friends.

Where can you use color in your outdoor space?

  • furniture – chairs, lounges, sofas
  • rugs
  • planters
  • candles
  • accessories
  • pillows
  • umbrellas
  • pool floats

I have to say that I love blue and white. It’s crisp, fresh and classic. It’s a palette that never goes out of style. It’s the color scheme that I chose for our recent backyard makeover.  

Our New Outdoor Space

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We have a small backyard with a small swimming pool, which functions as a large water feature most of the time! We have two large flower beds, one in the shade behind our breakfast room picture window and a sunny raised bed on the far side of our swimming pool.

I think you should use as much space as possible for comfortable seating in the shade.

TIP: If you can’t get enough seating in one shade area, try creating two spaces to accommodate more people.

In August of 2021, we constructed a new stone patio. Most importantly, we constructed a new covered patio that includes a wood-shingled roof that is 12 X 12 feet. The supports are cedar beams and Austin stone. We chose exposed wood with a gable notch to bring in more light and architectural interest.

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It’s more of a sophisticated Texas look that is definitely meant to feel like an outside room.

This has been some of the best money we have ever spent on our home. Now we can relax even on hot days because the seating area is totally covered. In our Dallas summer heat, shade and a breeze are essential for comfort.

This new outside seating area allows for relaxing and entertaining. We included a ceiling fan (to move that hot air around!), lighting on dimmers, and a lovely seating area. It’s a lovely area to visit with friends in the shade.

At night, we have spotlights and string lights that make the outdoor space seem magical. Lanterns and battery-operated candles create a magical ambiance.

outdoor living spaces

We covered the stamped concrete with artificial turf which cuts down on heat, adds the beautiful green “grass” we were missing, and literally drops the temperature several degrees.

Our Aussie Labradoodle Nola absolutely loves it.

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Dining Outdoors

I love to dine alfresco, whether it’s at a restaurant or in our backyard.

A few years ago I found an old, decrepit teak table at an estate sale and refinished it. It sits on the shady side of our backyard. I needed some lightweight and easy chairs to go with it which I ordered from Wayfair.

However, during the daytime, we still need more shade for dining. I love our blue and white stripe umbrella from All Modern through Wayfair. It adds not only shade, but also a great pop of blue – which is my favorite design color.

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This is not our “forever” backyard dining table, but it works for now. (I actually have a repurposing plan for the table.) I’m on the lookout for a new patio table that will seat more people.

Backyard Dining Tables

  1. Table #1
  2. Table #2
  3. Table #3
  4. Table #4
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For dining outside, I love dishes and glassware that are outdoor-friendly.

One thing on my outdoor living space wish list is a set of new outdoor dishware. I think that would be a lovely addition to our outdoor entertaining. Melamine and plastic glasses, pitchers, and serving pieces remove anxiety over breaking dishes. It’s also safer, especially when you have a pool.

Here are some options that I’m considering:

Outdoor Dinnerware

  1. Option 1
  2. Option 2
  3. Option 3
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I do love to entertain outdoors (between April and July and then October – to early December).

Having a place to set outside serving pieces is essential. A couple of years ago I got a great outdoor bar cart that has come in so handy. We use it for holding drinks, pitchers, an ice bucket or appetizers. Now that we have the covered patio, it will be used even more.

I love that it’s collapsible for easy storage.

outdoor living spaces

Outdoor placemats or pretty tablecloths that are easy to wipe down is another great dining essential.

In addition to the pieces I’ve already mentioned, I think versatile tables and comfortable seating are essential. Good patio furniture that is well-made and stylish should be a smart investment.

Fortunately, we still had the patio furniture (love seat and 4 chairs) from our previous home which we loved. We did have new custom cushions made since the size and shape of the cushions aren’t standard.

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This is one of Nola’s favorite spots outside. Even she appreciates the new cooler, covered patio.

outdoor living spaces

Bright pillows that fit your style add pops of color to your outdoor space. If you like to add a special touch, try making these easy patriotic pillows.

A great outdoor coffee table and side tables are essential as places to set a drink, coasters, a plant or a favorite book.

We ordered our wood and metal coffee table from Wayfair a few years ago and four new side tables last summer. I love them all for their style and functionality. The metal of the side tables works so well with the metal frames of our existing furniture.

outdoor living spaces

I love pillows for adding style, color, and comfort to any room. Outdoor living spaces are no exception.

An outdoor rug is another practical and design essential for creating a fresh outdoor room experience. I love our blue and white stripe outdoor rug from Wayfair. It grounds the space and coordinates beautifully with the solid navy love seat cushions and the navy and white pattern on the chair cushions.

In full transparency, we first ordered the 5 X 7 patio rug in 2020 before we constructed the new patio and cover. We loved it and it held up just fine to the elements. The patio only had a partial awning at the time so the rug and cushions got wet whenever it rained. Even the fabric and the wood on the tabletop faded because of the sun.

Once we built the new patio cover, we had more room to spread out the patio furniture which made the area look even bigger. We needed a bigger rug. Since I loved the first rug so much, I ordered it again, but this time in a 6 X 9 size. It looks amazing.

With the bigger rug, we were able to spread out the furniture, which makes the entire area bigger.

outdoor living spaces

Outdoor accessories are so important to any for outdoor living space. Lighting is essential. A combination of overhead lighting, spotlighting, and accent lighting works together to create a beautiful ambiance at night.

I love the solar~operated lanterns that come on when the sun goes down. They add light and ambiance

outdoor living spaces

Here is another easy way to add lighting to your outdoor living space.

I also love the white wood lanterns that I use on our patio and by the front door. I have battery-operated white candles I use with them. Right now those are by our front door.

outdoor living spaces

Pretty planters are also essential. I absolutely love our white square planters from Wayfair. I have five spread across our back metal fence. Since we added artificial turf, the classic white style looks even better against the green grass.

We plant them with Mandevilla which will get big and full of flowers. They will last until November.

outdoor living spaces

Cooking in the Backyard

Summer is about enjoying your backyard for barbecues, grilling, and smoking meats. Entertaining in the backyard is about good food – have you ever noticed how people are hungrier in the summer?

I found a resource that offers any piece of equipment for outdoor cooking that you can think of.

outdoor living spaces

Whatever style you choose for your outdoor living space, focus first on functionality. There are so many design choices that you will find the style that matches your practical needs.

Shop for Your Outdoor Spaces

Here are some fun items to include in your new backyard outdoor spaces.

outdoor living spaces

I hope you discovered some new ideas for outdoor living spaces and love the suggestions for outdoor products I shared. Want to save these ideas? Then, PIN this post.

outdoor living spaces
outdoor living spaces
outdoor living spaces

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6 Comments

  1. Carol, you have such a beautiful yard! You really should be in one of the magazines! I really like your covered patio and the other areas — so pretty with all your decor. You and Sweet Shark have done such a lovely job of everything in your yard. Those pictures of Nola are so cute! I love her summer haircut your groomer did! Enjoy that beautiful yard of yours and have a nice weekend!

  2. Beautiful! I love what you have done. I would love to add an area rug like yours, but was always wondering how they do with getting wet from rain. I imagine they are meant to get wet and dry easily, but does it keep the stone patio (or porch) underneath wet? My husband says it might get moldy. Any advice?

  3. Your back yard looks so beautiful. Love the lights in the planters. That’s a great idea. I’m the market for some new outdoor furniture so I’m inspired. Thanks