Easy Outdoor Room Ideas

Longing for an outdoor retreat but not sure where to start? Here are 19 simple ways to create a stylish, inviting outdoor room.

Jessica Abels


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Outdoor curtains
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Curtain Call

    Enclose a gazebo or pergola with rich fabric to achieve instant privacy. In this space, the curtains create a soft perimeter for the room, even when they're left open.

    Test Garden Tip: Check your local fabric store for a wide array of colors and textures of outdoor fabrics.

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Come On In

    Every indoor room has a doorway, so why not create one for your outdoor room? An arbor or trellis is an inviting entrance to your space, and you can add color with climbing plants such as clematis or climbing roses.

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Just Add Art

    Hang artwork on a privacy fence to give your outdoor space an indoor feel in a flash. Choose something calming, such as this lily pad canvas, or opt for something bold and modern to create visual va-va-voom.

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Plant a Room

    Grow an outdoor enclosure with tall hedges. Yew or columnar juniper work well to provide privacy and shade from the hot sun. In this room, living walls seamlessly blend a dining area and its surrounding landscape.

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It's All in the Details

    Coordinate fabric and furniture around a theme, and you can create an outdoor room almost anywhere. This dining space doesn't need four walls or even a steady floor: A tree provides a ceiling and staked sunflower vases designate a perimeter. Details such as terra-cotta plates and sunflowers on the tablecloth tie the look together.

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Add an Awning

    Protect your space from the elements with a canopy or awning. Fabrics come in a vast variety of colors and patterns, such as this lovely beige-and-cream stripe, so you can find the perfect canopy to suit your style.

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Against the Wall

    Putting up even one wall adds privacy and boundaries to your outdoor space. In just a weekend you can create a simple structure that will enhance your outdoor room for years.

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Embellish Your Umbrella

    Elevate an umbrella from drab to delightful with unexpected accents. Here, Chinese lanterns lend visual interest to an ordinary patio set. Try something similar with white lights, mobiles, or small hanging baskets.

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Hello, Hammock!

    The hammock has been around more than 2,000 years, and there's a reason it has such staying power. Paired with a lush container garden, this one turns an unassuming deck into an exotic backyard oasis.

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Private Palms

    Add seclusion to any space with containers of tall grasses or palms. Here, a front porch becomes more intimate with a row of hanging baskets and potted fronds.

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Winds of Change

    Create cool southern charm on a porch or veranda with a ceiling fan. It provides a refreshing breeze, while giving the space more of an interior feel. And it can help keep mosquitoes, flies, and other pests away.

    Test Garden Tip: You can also add a small ceiling fan to your gazebo or a pergola.

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Make Magic with a Carpet

    A colorful area rug is one of the easiest ways to add luxury and demarcation to an outdoor space. This rug is paired with sumptuous furniture to achieve an elegant, fluid look.

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Water Works

    Set the soundtrack to your outdoor room with the tranquil tune of a water feature. This trickling urn is an easy way to create a calm atmosphere in any garden retreat.

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Gimme Shelter

    Even urban rooftop patios can become gorgeous outdoor rooms with the addition of a canopy. Here, a freestanding structure paired with a container garden make a lush but shady natural haven.

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Do Double Duty

    Ensure your outdoor room is party-ready with features that do double duty. This potting bench doubles as a sideboard with space to chill and pour drinks.

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Make Scents

    Appeal to your senses by creating atmosphere with fragrant flowers. Scented geraniums, lavender, and pink roses combine for a beautiful aroma. Take advantage of fragrance by planting your favorite scented bloomers around your outdoor room -- and including containers of them in the bounds of your room.

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Fire Up

    Center your space with a cozy fire feature. If a fireplace is beyond your scope, a freestanding fire pit such as this one is an easy solution. Then there's always the possibility of some delicious s'mores!

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Pick Up an Accent (or Several)

    Decorate your outdoor room with the same little touches you would use inside the house. An ornate light fixture, candles, and bowls of kumquats give this exterior space a finished interior look.

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Put It All Together

    For this easy outdoor room, the homeowner used a tent, colorful outdoor furniture, and a container garden to create a sanctuary from scratch. An area rug anchors the space, and key details such as a chandelier and accent tables provide additional drama.

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