Creating Rooms for Functional, Stylish Outdoor Living Spaces

Salisbury Greenhouse outdoor rooms _ patio furniture

Want to know the secret to transforming a big, empty yard into an extension of your living space? Create outdoor rooms! With a few strategic design hacks, decorative accents, and structural elements, you can create the illusion of outdoor rooms without the confinement of being indoors. After all, the point of being outdoors is to take in the fresh air, nature, and open space!


Creating Outdoor Garden Rooms That Function As Living Spaces

So, how exactly do you create “rooms” for outdoor living spaces? We recommend designing different areas for different activities””like how the kitchen is for cooking, the dining room is for eating, and the basement bathroom is for karaoke practice.  

Now the question is, how do you divide and establish these separate spaces? Here are some creative ways to transform your outdoor areas into functional living spaces with simple, strategic designs.  


Salisbury Greenhouse - outdoor rooms - lattice used for privacy screensUse Alternative Walls

Instead of constructing actual walls””which totally defeats the purpose of being outdoors””use alternative structures to establish separation from other areas. Walls can help create a sense of privacy and intimacy, which is especially nice for outdoor dining areas. Here are some materials you can use as alternative walls in the yard:

  • Lattice walls, which you can fill with beautiful flowering vines
  • Privacy hedges
  • Potted columnar conifers with a tall, narrow shape, lined up in a row

You can also add structures like gazebos, with a roof, floor, and pillars but no walls; this creates a perfect space for enjoying the outdoors, even on rainy days!


Shade from the Sun

Speaking of gazebos, a space in the yard that provides shelter from the sun will be so helpful if you want it to function as a living space. Gazebos are one option, but you can also use sun shades that attach to the side of your house, or you can build a pergola. Pergolas are nice because they don’t entirely obstruct the view of the sky, but you can fill out the gaps between beams with vining plants and twinkle lights. They’re so gorgeous at night””ideal for summer entertaining!  


Salisbury Greenhouse - outdoor rooms - dining area sectioned offOutdoor Flooring

Hardscapes like brick and stone instantly create separation in the yard. These are ideal for dining areas or outdoor cooking areas””especially if you’ve got kids who are messy eaters! If your patio dining furniture looks awkwardly placed in the middle of your lawn, paving that area is a fantastic solution for making your backyard design look sleek and streamlined.  

If you don’t want to opt for a full-on landscape redesign with hardscaping, then outdoor carpets are a much simpler solution. They’re weatherproof, easy to clean and create a rectangular room-shaped area where you can set up your patio furniture. You’ll be amazed at how homey it looks, just like any other living room.  


Salisbury Greenhouse - outdoor rooms - lattice used for privacy screensStylish Storage for Kid’s Stuff

Nothing kills the vibe at your backyard barbecue like tripping over a Tonka truck. Establish a play area for your kids, and add a bench that doubles as a storage unit for all those toys once they’ve finished playing! That way, all their summertime toys and activities are right where they need them but can be tucked away when it’s time for the grown-ups to have some fun.    


Fence Off a Separate Area for Dogs  

Okay, tripping over a Tonka truck is not fun, but stepping in a pile of doggy-doo is even worse. Plus, patchy grass doesn’t make an attractive design for your outdoor living space. The solution? Fence off a section of your yard, and cover that area with smooth river rock instead of grass. It’s durable and easy to clean; you can train your dogs to do their business over there instead of all over the yard.  


For more inspiration for designing outdoor living spaces in Alberta, visit us at Salisbury Greenhouse in Sherwood Park and St. Albert, and explore all the gorgeous backyard décor and landscape plants to complete your perfect design. From patio lighting to water features, garden art, and furniture, there are so many ways you can transform an empty yard into a comfortable, inviting living space. Visit us soon to get everything set up in time for summer! For those of you who prefer to sit back and relax, give our landscaping team a call to get the job done for you!



Read through our Growing Guides for tips to enrich your garden! 

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