Pretty Outdoor Living Spaces

Detail of white picket fence and pink flowers
A suburban family relishes a backyard retreat that pairs an outdoor kitchen with terraces for dining and relaxation.

Flowers and Terraces

Soft-hued flowers such as roses, peonies, and irises soften the landscaping of this beautiful Ohio backyard. See the terraces, container plantings, outdoor kitchen, and stonework that make this a special garden.

Welcoming Walk

An inviting dramatic entry took shape when 'Patriot' hostas and boxwood shrubs, framed by cobblestone edging, were used to line the existing stamped-concrete walkway.

Whether crafted of concrete slabs or paving stones, noteworthy walkways signal arrival. Use these tips to fashion a walkway that makes a fine first impression.

Get a Better Walkway

Boost your home's overall appeal with a new walkway design. Watch and learn how to choose a layout, materials that complement your home, and more.

Porch Perfect

Inviting vignettes on the spacious front porch accessed by the home's three front-entry doors, provide the perfect setting for coffee or cocktails.

Stone and Greenery

Hardscape materials and plants, such as hostas and stone columns, appear in the home's front landscape and repeat on the back patio, unifying the property.

Dining Terrace

A dining room terrace is one of three distinct but connected patio spaces used for cooking, eating, and relaxing.

Floral Profusion

Garden borders -- romantic roses, soothing hosta foliage, and cheerful container combinations -- lend charm to the intimate setting of the dining room terrace.

Colorful Container Gardens

Flowers play a vital role in the garden, softening the extensive hardscaping with pretty hues from container combinations.

Rocks and Roses

Mixing in light floral hues, like this pale pink rose, goes a long way in softening the fieldstone and tumbled-stone pavers.

Living Area

The living room terrace is dedicated to relaxing and socializing, with comfortable furniture that creates a relaxed environment. This is also the central space of the patio, with an entrance to the home through French doors, as well as step-down access to the other terraces.

Light and Dark

Dark green outdoor furniture, repeated in the barstools and dining set on the other terraces, avoids stealing the show from the colorful flora, instead playing a supporting role.

Nice and Neutral

The homeowner opted for neutral tones. "We didn't want the furniture and accessories to be the focal point of the terraces," she said. "We wanted to keep it neutral and have the emphasis on the flowers and plants."

A Theme of Pinks

Bluestone-topped columns add substance to the landscape, while flowers soften the look.

Outdoor Kitchen Area

A built-in grill sits next to a raised dining bar with several barstools. It also doubles as a buffet and allows the cook to chat with guests before the meal.

Outdoor Sink & Storage

A large sink, wide counters, and abundant undercounter storage are thoughtful design elements of the outdoor kitchen.

The Kitchen Terrace

The kitchen terrace is adjacent to the dining room terrace for easy transport of food to the table, but it's removed from the main flow of traffic in and out of the house.

White Fencing

In this small backyard, scalloped radius fencing defines each outdoor room.

Consistent Color

The white fencing that separates the terraces from the backyard ties into the white railings found on the front porch.

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