Tips for Creating an Outdoor Oasis

spring is in the air

Last night we were enjoying drinks on our deck with the neighbours and we got to talking about our outdoor spaces.  We all agreed that having an outdoor summer living space is a great way to add extra square footage to your home.

When the weather turns nice, we all want to be hanging outside. The prettier and more functional the space, the more we want to be out there.

We’ve learned that creating an outdoor space is much like creating an indoor room. There’s some basic fundamentals that need to be followed.

We’re sharing these 6 tips to enliven the backyard and make a lounging and entertaining space that works from Spring to Autumn.

1. Create a Focal Point

Every space needs a focal point and the outdoors is no exception. Adding a fire source is one of the easiest ways, and it functions for both heat and cooking.

This great entertaining space was featured in my blog here, and still remains one of my favourite outdoor spaces because it functions so beautifully.

stone outdoor fireplace is focal point at end of rustic dining table

outdoor fireplace is focal point of outdoor living room

2. Boost Visual Appeal

Adding pops of colour with pretty accent pieces will really take a space to the next level. We love using unexpected touches because they add the element of surprise and bring in a level of sophistication.


outdoor living space with mix of fabric patterns and cozy hide rug

3. Zone your space

To get the most function of a space, it’s important to divide it into zones. Areas for eating, conversation and lounging make a space not only attractive, but functional as well.

For a quick design-how-to, check out my post, Design Lesson – Outdoor Living Space.


Outdoor deck area divided into zones

4. Use Outdoor Furniture that Looks Like it came from Inside

For a space to really feel like an extension of the home, use some furnishings that look like they came from inside. Teak is a great wood that can handle both indoors and outdoors.

5. Load up on Cushions

If you’ve read this blog before, then you know we LOVE LOVE LOVE cushions. They are the ultimate eye candy for any room and will bring a space together like nothing else. Having a variety of textiles outside makes the statement that this is a living space.

cushions add the finishing touch to any outdoor living space

bright summer cushions dress up an outdoor wicker set

6. Plants add the Finishing Touch

The final touch to any outdoor space are the plants and gardens. Containers filled with greens and florals look so attractive. If you want more then just pretty, do some vegetables. Herbs, lettuce and green onions can make a beautiful planter box that is not only nice to look at, but useful as well.

potted plants in tall white planters

outdoor planters filled with herbs and lettuce

outdoor plants and driftwood in a planter box


When it all comes together, an outside room can be every bit as cozy and comfortable as the inside. Summer is short in Canada, use the outside as much as you can.

rocks and old nests make for a nice outdoor patio decoration

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It's not about how much you have, it's about using what you have to create beauty.

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