Design Matters | Moving Outdoors

Indoor Comfort, Outdoors

It goes without saying that the deck or patio is often the statement piece of the backyard. Modern outdoor spaces bring the comfort of indoor living outdoors, making it a true extension of the home. Whether you’re looking for an amazing place to entertain or a space to relax and unwind, let us help you on where and how to start!

Sun and Shade

Shaded options for outdoor spaces are great to have, but they may not be necessary at every hour or at every time of the year. To make the space more versatile, mix and match shaded areas with more sunny spots. A great piece to bring into your outdoor space is a structure with a roof, but no walls. You gain the benefit of the breeze without getting hitting by the sun’s rays.


As you begin to consider how to break up the space of your patio or deck, your main focus should be on how you plan to use the space. It’s likely that you’ll want to use the space in at least two or three different ways - having an eating area, cooking area, play and/or relaxing area. Using furniture is a great way to visually separate the space into a few clearly defined functional areas. Imagine you are having a BBQ with friends, you’ll want to not only have a cooking area, but also a food prep station, as well as a dining area.

Flow of Movement

Whether you have people carrying trays of food out to the grill, walking on the stairs, or young children running around and playing games, as you’re designing the space it’s important to consider the flow of movement. Make sure there will be plenty of room for you and your guests to get by that outdoor table. Start by making sure that there is a clear and distinct pathway between each of the different functional areas within the space. Consider the size of your furniture you plan to use in the space as well. When in doubt, more room is always better.

Multiple Levels

If you worry about having enough room, you could always consider a few outdoor deck ideas that incorporate multiple levels. Building a deck or patio with different levels will add architectural interest to your space while also giving you more control over how the space is used. With having multiple levels, you may want to consider having each level be for one specific function. Just be sure to tie them all together with aesthetic details like similar landscaping and decor. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that they all connect by an easily-accessed stairway or path.

Designed by Brillhart

By Better Homes and Gardens

Designed by Jamie Bush & Co, in collaboration with Osborn Architects