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Transform traditional decks and patios to warm and engaging outdoor living areas.

Outdoor living is all about bringing functionality, comfort, and style to typically overlooked areas of your home. Properly transforming the slab of concrete off your backdoor feels like adding significant square footage to your home. In this article, we’ll give you some quick tips on how bring warmth to your outdoor spaces.

Start With A Pergola

Pergolas, or California awnings, set the stage for your outdoor living area. Whether covering a patio or adjoining to a deck, these simple structures act as the skeleton for your outdoor living space. Not only do they provide some protections from the elements, but they allow you to easily run electricity, water, and lighting throughout the outdoor space.

A pergola defines the outdoor living space and provides a cozy atmosphere for all your guests.

Implement Levels

It’s okay to terrace your backyard or have decks that step down to patios. Through the use of retaining walls, slopes off of the back of your house can now be leveled into sitting areas with a firepit. Raised accented spaces can make for a fun dedicated bar or become a designated outdoor kitchen.

Follow the natural topography of your land but manipulate it with multiple livable levels. Don’t let this space go to waste.


Capping one of your pergola with a fireplace serves several functions. First, if built large enough, the fireplace can act as wall and will add further protection from wind and the elements. Second, fireplaces provide warmth and are a significant step in controlling the temperature outside. Finally, fireplaces serve as a focal point. They’re a key element that brings a group together and mimics the comfort of indoors.

Fireplaces demand admiration and attention, while extending outdoor living area use by providing warmth during cool evenings.

Privacy Walls

Gaining increasing popularity in tightly packed subdivisions, privacy walls are the perfect way to cap your outdoor living area adjacent to a fireplace wall. These privacy walls functionally keep close neighbors from peering over into your outdoor living room while intrinsically providing warmth and a cozy feel for your guests. These walls can easily carry water and electricity, usually making them a great choice for outdoor kitchens and bars.

Privacy walls are also a popular choice for those with hot tubs.

Spots to Sit

Often, we equate patio furniture with our outdoor sitting spaces. However, benches can easily be built into fireplace and privacy walls. The handrail of decking can also double as seating. A flower garden isn’t complete without a gazebo and a couple seats. Building seating directly into these spaces is a wise use of material, provides guests with many seating options, and requires less maintenance when preparing for changing seasons or big storms.

Outdoor living is about being comfortable, and seating is key.

Be Bold

Outdoor living is all about breaking away from traditional living structures. It okay to incorporate wild colors and unusual decor. With a few cans of spray paint, refresh your patio furniture with yellows or blues. Hang sconces from your pergola. Weave LED lighting through walkways.

Be adventuresome while imagining and designing your outdoor living space.


Fountains serve as a focal point, similar to a fireplace, and also create ambiance and atmosphere. Many find the sound of tickling water to be soothing and relaxing, and the addition of subtle lighting makes sure it doesn’t go unnoticed in the evenings.

Fountains blend perfectly into flower gardens and backyards with multiple levels / terraces mentioned above.


Separating multiple outdoor living spaces, or outdoor “rooms”, with a trellis is the perfect way to create definition. Usually, a trellis serves as a walkway and announcement that you’re entering a new environment. A trellis also goes well with outdoor living spaces adjoining a driveway or street.

These little structures are an outdoor gateway into your living area.


Outdoor living is really the space where creative minds shine. Most of us are stuck with the conventions of a production home, however, designing outdoor living is a completely blank canvas that can be added to, adjusted, and developed each year. For further inspiration and help with logistically planning your space, contact one of our Project Managers. We love the enthusiasm that comes with homeowners exploring outdoor living, and we’ll help you get it done right.

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