Expand your home’s space by using outdoor areas for entertaining

Did you know your house might have an entire space you’ve never used? No, I’m not suggesting you’ve missed an addition or overlooked a hidden staircase. 

The space most people never notice is in their own backyard. In fact, it is your own backyard!

When you design outdoor living spaces for entertaining instead of just lawn mowing, you’ll expand your home in ways you never thought possible. Here are some quick suggestions to get you started.

Dining room for two…or a dozen

Outdoor living design

Restaurants with outdoor spaces for dining are in demand for romantic dinners and special events. But why head for a restaurant when you can have the same experience at home?  Creating a lovely outdoor dining area can be as simple as adding a table and chairs to your deck or patio.  Or you could make it extra special by adding a gazebo for shady, protected dining that still invites the breezes in. 

Add outdoor lighting to make it easy to linger over the table late into the evening. If your dining area is under the cover of a patio or gazebo, have an outdoor ceiling fan installed to make it more comfortable when the temperatures climb.

Relax after work in your own spa

Outdoor living design

Adding a sauna or hot tub is a wonderful way to bring the spa experience home. 

Hot tubs have come a long way from their tainted reputation in the ’70s and ’80s. Today’s hot tubs are easier to maintain and much more attractive, too. And you don’t have to keep it right by your door anymore, either. 

Wireless technology and lightweight materials make it easy to install your hot tub further out in the yard. You can even combine a classic garden accent like a gazebo and put your hot tub in it. A sauna could be constructed behind the gazebo, adjacent to the house, or in a separate building somewhere in the yard. 

You can even design outdoor living areas for meditation, exercise, yoga, or tai chi, making your yard a place you’ll love to come home to. 

Make your yard into a secret garden

Your yard can also become a space where you escape into nature. By adding paths, lighting, architectural features like statues or garden buildings, and water features like ponds and waterfalls, you can turn an empty lawn into a beautiful retreat. 

Even a small yard can work if you have areas for sitting, incorporate petite structures, and use lighting to highlight special plantings or a lovely tree. 

Make it special for your kids, too

Outdoor living design

What child wouldn’t love a playhouse or treehouse all their own? Designing a special space for them in the yard expands the house for them, too. A playroom indoors is wonderful, but having one outside amid the trees and under the stars is a whole different experience. 

Why not combine them all? 

Outdoor living design

There’s no reason you have to pick only one idea for your outdoor space. Why not combine your favorites into one grand design?  

Build that gazebo and use it as a part of your at-home spa, and the perfect spot for an afternoon cup of tea. Plant a secret garden, and put your child’s playhouse right in the heart of it. Bring your table and chairs out to the patio, and install a lovely waterfall right beside it. 

The walls of your house enclose only a part of your home. With some planning and creativity, you just be able to add a lot more living space to the place where you live.