Simple Tips + Ideas For Creating An Outdoor Room

Simple Tips + Ideas For Creating An Outdoor Room

Now more than ever, it’s so important to take full advantage of our homes, and that includes our outdoor spaces! Whether you have a little porch, patio, or lush gardens and lots of room… we can all equally enjoy our space! Creating anything from a calm oasis for one, to a retreat style backyard ready to host many.  Read on for my simple tips and ideas for creating an outdoor room — fresh air & cozy spaces ahead!

How To Create Outdoor Room For Relaxing & Entertaining

Hello Foxes! It’s that time of year, when we wait-out the rain here in the Pacific Northwest, in eager anticipation of sunny days spent outdoors!

Thankfully it was shinning on this day, and I’m so excited to share our outdoor set-up for this season with you. It was wonderful to get a glimpse of what this Summer is going to hold for us.

I shared our upper deck [click here] with you a bit ago. It sits off our kitchen & sun room on the main floor. It’s where I hide all my tasty flowers from the Deer, and where I put my egg chair. Or my “garden throne” as I teasingly refer to it. 

While I’ve lamented our lack of a front porch over the years… I can not complain about the space we’eve got on the back side of our property. We are very fortunate to have a nice sized backyard. Smaller than many I’m sure, but big enough for us! 

Our cottage home looks like a tiny hobbit house from the front, but around back it reveals itself as a two story, with a lower level walk out daylight basement. The back is accessible from our stairs off the sun porch, and a few set of French doors.

We won’t be in quarantine forever… I’m choosing to look ahead, and plan for future happy gatherings and celebrations with our family & friends.

Summer is our jam and we host most of the outdoor gatherings here at our place. To better accommodate company and our large crew, I decided to better take advantage of our second deck, by deleting the Adirondack chairs and placing our 5-piece dining set there instead.

Between the dining set, and our sectional with the coordinating dining height table, we’ve now got room for everyone to eat, drink and be merry together.


Creating an outdoor room is as simple as setting up an indoor living space, with just a few tweaks to better suit them to their outdoor atmosphere. 










  • PLANTS & FLOWERS but really oh so necessary



It’s important before you design an outdoor space to first ascertain what the space will be used for — is there a pool near by, will you host outdoor game nights or family events, is it mainly for household enjoyment, or quiet time for one or two? These will help you decide what you need to fill the space with in order for it to meet your expectations. 

As I mentioned earlier, we’ve set up our space to be versatile enough for Jim & I too enjoy alone or Austin to have friends over, and it’s large enough to comfortably host family and friends for grilling & cocktails, as well as game nights and our yearly Fourth Of July bash! 


It’s important to decide exactly how you want and need your space to work for you before you select your furnishings. Will you be having morning coffee in your space, eating, lounging, reading, hosting small intimate gatherings, or entertaining large crowds? Once you know that, you can drill down on how you need your pool-side, patio or dining furniture to serve you.

  • Better Homes & Gardens has some fantastic outdoor furniture options, in all ranges of size and price point. From larger sets like mine, to dining sets and even cozy 3-piece chat sets that are perfect for patios and porches. 

  • Furnishings can include; anything from basic seating, to loungers, rocking chairs, a hammock… and flat surfaces like coffee, dining and side tables.

  • TIP: Look for versatile pieces that can do double duty, like ottomans that act as both seating and a flat surface. Many can become a quick, makeshift table with the addition of a tray for stability. 

Flat surfaces are imperative — you need them to make a space truly functional. 


Nothing completes a room like a rug. And it’s the same for the outdoors. I don’t think anything works as hard at transforming a space as a rug that ties it all together. They really marry all the floating pieces , grounding them and making them appear more cohesive. 

As much as I loved the Ibiza black & white indoor outdoor rug on the upper deck… it was totally meant to live here. With the matching umbrella and the new cushions I bought to jazz up our wrought iron set, it all just vibes perfectly!  

  • TIP: Don’t be afraid to rattle can some more time out of a tired, mismatched or second hand set, like I did! I took a few hours and made our wrought iron set look like new again with a few cans of spray paint and new, coordinating chair pads. 


  • If you don’t have the benefit of sun protection from a gazebo, patio cover or awning… an umbrella is the way to go. Be it a market umbrella, or a more substantial cantilever umbrella, your skin… and you’re more delicate friends will thank you.

psst… that would be me — I’m your more delicate friend. 

And if you live in a hot or humid climate, I hear misters are amazing and can make your outdoor space much more tolerable and enjoyable! 


  • If you want to use your space at any time of day or night… it’s important to have adequate lighting. We’ve chosen to add cafe lights, in addition to our outdoor porch and flood lights. We can adjust what we’ve got on for varying degrees of brightness. 


  • There are so many beautiful ways you can enhance and set a mood with lighting — twinkle lights, curtain lights, fairy lights, cafe lights, solar powered garden stakes, lanterns and more. 

  • Malibu and landscape lights are beautiful too. We’d love to add some at some point down the road. 


  • Basically whatever it takes! Show no mercy. lol. Mosquitoes are the worst. We try to keep any standing water at bay and it’s helped immensely to keep our mosquito problem in check. Now, we light citronella candles and use a few tiki torches filled with citronella oil for an enjoyable (bug free) outdoor experience. 

I didn’t set up our torches for this shoot, but they can stake in the ground or become tabletop, so they are super versatile! 



  • Depending on your taste, budget and set-up (like whether or not your space is covered)… there are loads of extras you can add to an outdoor space! Like outdoor speakers, TV’s, built-in kitchens, a wine fridge, outdoor bar, etc… The sky is the limit if your budget doesn’t have one either. 


  • Be it candles, tiki torches, or a fire pit… fire can add ambiance, bug control, warmth and most importantly, a place to make S’mores! Gathering around a fire is so relaxing & calming. 


  • For me these are a given. I can’t imagine having an outdoor space lacking the color, life and vibrancy of plants and flowers! Thankfully we are surrounded by evergreens so we’ve always got a green back drop. Flowers are a bit more tricky for us as have a Deer path going through our property but we manage with Deer resistant plantings, and I get my flower fix by hiding my favorites up on our sun deck.

  • Even if you lack flower beds and lots of trees, planting in pots is a great way to get color and have your favorite flowers in your outdoor spaces! 


  • This is optional, and will depend on how you want your space to look and function depending on your needs & style. Some prefer to keep relaxing and dining zones separate. And it can make it a bit easier to design your outdoor rooms if you’ve got very focused spaces. 


You know I am allll about versatility! I love my pieces to work hard for me and serve more than one purpose. I wanted to try a new set up for the sectional, and by splitting it to act as two separate sofas, I got a new look and also realized that I can gain an extra seat with this configuration. The table can also be placed in the middle for dining and removed for the fire-pit later in the evening. 

Though I love it connected too — claiming the corner and putting my feet up for maximum lounging is my favorite. 

If you are curious, you can see our sectional & table set up a few different ways [click here] and [here]. I know photos can be helpful if you are a real visual person. 

I know we are live differently — with weather, needs & budgets that are unique to each of us… but I sure hope you enjoyed today’s post, and that I may have shared an idea or two that you can take away, and that might help you create an outdoor room all your own! Now we just need sunshine… and hopefully our friends & family privileges will return soon! Be well and big hugs, Shan 

I’m thrilled to continue being a part of the Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart team! I’ve been shopping the line at Walmart in-store and online for years now, sharing my personal picks, and how I use them here in our home as well as down at The Little Cottage. I’ve had so much fun making my selections and styling them up, and sharing them, and I love that you all seem to love it too! The quality & style of Better Homes & Gardens paired with the affordability and accessibility of Walmart is so perfect! I’m always extra excited to share these sponsored projects with you. As always, I’ll link to each product at the bottom of the post for your shopping convenience. Some links may be affiliate, that means I may make a very small commission to help offset the costs of running my site if you choose to buy something, but you’ll never pay a penny more for it.



  • Our wrought iron set was updated with Rustoleum spray paint and new chair pads. While I wouldn’t mind getting a style that better coordinates with our sectional, this works for now.

  • Composite decks – DIY, with clearance decking. We are hoping to be able to reinforce & redesign the deck area with new material in the next year or so. 

  • The beds in front of the decks were just dug out and we added weed blocker, fresh Lithodora (the Deer don’t touch it) and black mulch. Unfortunately we had to take out the tree that blew in on it’s own, as it was threatening the deck and our concrete

  • I’ll try to write a tutorial soon for the planter-light-pole-pots we’ve got our cafe lights hanging from.

  • The two black urns are planted with bacopa, candy tuft and geraniums. All in white

  • The Hydrangea in the terracotta pot is an “Endless Summer” variety.

  • The two additional black wrought iron chairs were a thrifting find. 

  • My Lavender topiaries are from the Walmart garden department, last year, and are coming back wonderfully after Wintering-over on the upper deck. I’m so happy!!!!


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