A beautiful outdoor living area is one of the most in-demand features for a modern Queensland home. A well-designed outdoor living space suggests an effortless, laidback lifestyle that many Australian home buyers would love to have.

If you’re looking for a way to make your home stand out on the real estate market, our guide will take you through the steps of designing a beautiful yet practical outdoor area that adds value to your home. We offer creative tips and ideas to make the aesthetics of your outdoor living space come to life.

How To Plan Outdoor Living Spaces

#1 Decide On Your Goals

The first crucial step is to decide on the purpose and location of your outdoor living space.

Consider your style and features of home. Do you have a Queenslander or a contemporary, modern style home? What are the stand-out features of your backyard, patio, balcony or verandah? How can you use your outdoor living space to make the most of your home’s unique features?

For example, if you have a beautiful deck you’d like to showcase, consider making your outdoor space an alfresco dining area for entertaining, complete with an outdoor kitchen. If you have a pool, pergola or an amazing garden that you’re proud of, your outdoor living space might take the form of a comfortable and relaxing outdoor living room.

Outdoor living space designs - Wall creepers

#2 Plan Distinct Zones

Decide whether your outdoor living space should take up your whole yard, a section of your yard, or just your deck, patio or verandah.

The easiest way to do this is to think of the space you have available in terms of zones. Use flow, space and furniture to visually make each zone distinct. For example, there should be ample space between the space designed for lounging and relaxing, and the areas for alfresco dining and your outdoor kitchen.

#3 Decide On Flooring

Choose a style of flooring that offers a high anti-slip rating and keep in mind that textured designs will help disguise dirt. A timber deck is an astute, timeless choice, which can be styled to look rustic, contemporary or sophisticated, depending on your tastes. Dark grey or warm-toned sandstone pavers or tiles are ideal if you have a pool, while herringbone, circular and basket-weave brick flooring look beautiful in a space surrounded by abundant outdoor greenery.

Outdoor living space designs - deck

#4 Blend Your Outdoor & Indoor Living Spaces

The best outdoor living designs are the ones that seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living. Treating the outdoor living space as an extension of your indoor living space is a wonderful way to create a cohesive-feeling design in your home.

How can you achieve this?

  • Maximise indoor-outdoor flow by choosing wide, folding doors
  • For a harmonious feel, bring the tones, colours and textures of your indoor colour palette outside
  • Decorate in a style that complements or echoes your interior (for example, by borrowing a similar theme or aesthetic, materials or textures)
  • For best results, keep your outdoor living space consistent with the overarching architectural style of your home

Outdoor living spaces - garden pool

#5 Create A Cohesive Aesthetic

Decide on a theme to guide your choice of colours and textures.

Carefully select outdoor patio furniture will complement the aesthetic you want to achieve. For example, if your theme is Moroccan, opt for rustic outdoor furniture, and decorate with colourful throw pillows and antique rugs. If your theme is ‘luxury resort’, consider installing a plunge pool or spa on your deck.

#6 Embrace Alfresco Dining

Most home buyers love homes that are equipped with kitchen and alfresco dining for entertaining guests. The key here is to make it as practical and inviting as possible.

For an impressive outdoor kitchen, equip your outdoor kitchen area with a quality barbeque and stainless steel workspace. For ambience and practicality, illuminate the space with outdoor-grade lamps, such as fairy lights or dramatic pendant light. Each zone, including the food prep zone, the barbeque zone and the alfresco dining zone, should be well-lit.

If you’d prefer to create a more laid-back vibe or don’t have enough space for a large outdoor kitchen, consider installing a stylish breakfast bar with stacking kitchen windows. To ensure your alfresco space can be enjoyed year-round, invest in stylish outdoor shade blinds to block out the heat, wind and rain.

#7 Create An Outdoor Living Room

The key to designing an inviting outdoor living room is to make the space feel both cozy and serene. Transform your deck and pergola into a cozy oasis with a comfy outdoor lounge chair, weather-proof rug, coffee table, colourful throw pillows, and touches of lush outdoor greenery in terracotta pots. For extra wow, install a beautiful stone fireplace or outdoor television.

Final Thoughts: Outdoor Living Space Designs

Renovating your outdoor living area is a smart investment if you’re looking to put your home on the market.

If you’d like to refresh your outdoor living space, here are our top suggestions:

  • Set clear goals – Decide what the purpose of your outdoor living space will be.
  • Choose an aesthetic or theme – Consider your outdoor living space as an extension of your indoor living space, and plan accordingly.
  • Plan distinct zones – Would you like your outdoor kitchen to include an alfresco dining area, outdoor living room, or simply a space to relax and enjoy the view? If you’re planning a combination of all the above, think about flow and keep each zone distinct with ample space.
  • Outdoor living furniture – Choose your outdoor living furniture carefully. Your choice of furniture can make or break the aesthetic.