How to Plan an Outdoor Living Space: Features for Every Season

Colby Coward Lifestyle and Entertaining

Many homeowners maximize their outdoor living space for summer without giving it much thought in the colder months. While it’s great to enjoy the beautiful summer evenings in the comfort of your own backyard, knowing how to plan an outdoor living space that can be enjoyed every season can greatly expand its capacity and usage. Learn more about what components we recommend to create a year-round outdoor oasis.

Good Lighting

Lighting makes any outdoor living space safer and more enjoyable. But it also creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. Choose lighting features that are aesthetically pleasing and match the style of your yard. Low-voltage LED lights are a popular, energy-efficient option. Uplights can be installed along with structures and walls, and downlights along walkways. Lights can even be installed by patios and along pathways, under capstones, and within retaining walls. Add a decorative touch by finishing off your space with a string or two of cafe lights.


patio cover features - outdoor living space with bench swing and stone fireplace under wood patio cover

Whether you’re cozying up under your patio cover or gathering around a fire pit, outdoor furniture provides a place for you and your guests to sit and relax in the great outdoors. There are many options that are affordable. But you want to make sure they’re appropriate for long-term use in a wide range of weather conditions.

It’s often worth investing a few extra dollars to get durable pieces that will last longer and hold up in potentially harsh winter weather. Consider recycled HDPE (high-density polyethylene) furniture which offers minimal maintenance and a high level of durability. If you’ll be using it year-round, add removable cushions for extra comfortability and warmth during the fall and winter months.

Patio Covers and Pergolas

Without a patio cover or pergola, the amount of time that you can spend on your patio becomes much more limited. Don’t let unexpected weather send your guests running inside. Patio covers and pergolas are outdoor living features that can transform how you spend your time outside. Having shelter offers shade and allows you to continue enjoying the natural elements of the great outdoors.

Fire Features

An outdoor fireplace or fire pit adds a cozy element to any outdoor living space that is both functional and visually appealing. Select a stand-alone fire pit in steel, bronze, or copper, or install a custom-built fireplace made from brick or stone. Fire features create a space for family and friends to gather and socialize while staying warm in the cooler temperatures. From romantic nights under the stars to roasting s’mores with the kids, a fire feature is sure to bring warmth to your winter.

custom outdoor living area

Learn More: Why Your Outdoor Space Needs a Fire Feature

Outdoor Kitchen

Do you frequently entertain outdoors? Making endless trips back and forth between the kitchen and the patio can get tiring and messy. Building an outdoor kitchen lets you take your entertaining to a whole new level. Most people choose to cover their outdoor kitchens to maximize the cooking season. Depending on your budget, space, and personal preferences, your outdoor kitchen can be as simple or complex as you like. Consider including a mini or full-size refrigerator, grill, food prep areas, sink, mini-bar, and storage.

Learn More: Outdoor Features With a Big ROI


Spending cool evenings outdoors can be made even cozier with some warm textiles. Be sure to have a variety of blankets available for you and your guests to use. Drape curtains from your patio cover beams to block the breeze. Add some decorative pillows to your furniture. And throw down a rug to help keep your feet warm. Cozy textiles are an outdoor living feature that can help bring the indoors outdoors, taking your outdoor living space to the next level.

Greenery and Foliage

outdoor living space - outdoor living space with stone fireplace, seating and wood patio cover

Despite what you may think, there are many types of plants that grow well in the colder, winter months. Adding foliage can breathe new life into your outdoor space, adding interest, depth, and color. Start by cleaning out the remnants from your summer and fall plants. Then, look up your gardening zone and find out which plants will do well in the colder months.


If you plan on using your outdoor living space to entertain and host this season, consider installing a television and sound system. Whether you’re throwing a holiday party, hosting a game night, or throwing a Superbowl party, outdoor entertainment options are a great way to liven things up and make sure your guests have fun all night long!

Don’t let your outdoor space be restricted to just a few short summer months. Planning features that support year-round usage of your beautiful backyard can not only improve the moments and flexibility spent out there, but the value of your investment into the space.

Time to Entertain!

Don't let your outdoor space go to waste this season. Call us to get an estimate on your next outdoor project!