Get fast and easy ideas for turning any area of your yard into an outdoor living room.

There are so many ways to create a living room that you can enjoy in an array of weather. We’re going to show you all our favorite projects and inspiration to create the outdoor living room of your dreams!

A white screened porch completed with a DIY screen porch kit.
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Sometimes you don’t need a big makeover, just little tweaks to make your home feel more inviting. I love that the same decorating ideas that apply indoors can create incredible outdoor living design inspiration, too! 

Today I’m sharing some outdoor living room ideas that take very little time, but add a lot of ambience to your outdoor spaces.

It’s possible to take any outdoor space and turn it into a charming retreat that will add significant value to your home. We are lucky to have several outdoor living room spaces that we love, between our St. Louis home and our modern lake house getaway, just a couple hours down the road.

A white screened in porch with a basket pendant light and white furniture.

I love bringing you ideas for upgrading all the spaces in your home – it’s one of my favorite subjects to chat about!

A couple years ago, we invested in a new vinyl deck at the lake, which gave us the opportunity to create an outdoor living room below. Thanks to our underdecking, this space stays completely dry – it’s such a great way to spend an afternoon enjoying the water.

We recently added a new screen porch kit for an update that gave us a fabulous new outdoor living room in St. Louis.

A white living room with white furniture and a white coffee table, adorned with soft outdoor pillows.

Creating an Outdoor Living Room

I like to think of the exterior spaces of our home as living areas, so the decorating techniques you’ll see here are very similar to what we’d do indoors.

We are lucky enough to have a screened in porch that we now use as an outdoor living room where we can cozy up and watch movies together.

A wicker swing hanging from a porch, perfect for relaxing with outdoor pillows.

Whether it’s in your front yard or your backyard, or even a tiny space you carve off to the side somewhere, outdoor rooms can truly add square footage to your house. 

I love perusing the outdoor spaces in magazines and even real estate listings, because it’s just as much fun as looking at the interior of homes! There are incredible ways to upgrade your spaces – gorgeous landscape design, outdoor kitchens and more. 

However, those options aren’t always feasible and they’re certainly not fast, even if your budget eventually allows. These outdoor living room ideas are easy to implement, many of them in 10 minutes or less! 

A white porch with wicker furniture and a mirror adorned with outdoor pillows.

These ideas are not only easy to accomplish, they are often inexpensive, too! Learn how to create a cozy outdoor living room one step at a time.

A white screened-in porch with white furniture, perfect for outdoor living design.

Comfortable Furniture

Choose patio furniture that is comfortable. This is very important. I always consider comfort when we are contemplating a furniture purchase. 

We wanted our kitchen stools to be comfortable to encourage lingering at parties, and we wanted comfortable dining chairs so our guests would feel welcome for longer! 

The concept is the same for outside. If you want to truly linger in an outdoor living room, you need your furniture to be as comfortable as possible! Choose pieces with thick cushions and comfortable arms – you’ll never regret upgrading those key pieces.

Wicker Sofa

A classic wicker sofa can speak to a variety of different design styles. In fact, the Pacifica sofa from Serena and Lily can actually be used as an outdoor wicker sofa, or use it indoors – that’s for you to decide!

 

 

Use a Screened Porch Kit

It’s easier than you might think to convert an outdoor porch into a screened in space. When you’re dealing with summer humidity and bugs, screens can be a lifesaver!

Screen Porch Kits

Learn all about the different styles, options and brands of screen porch kits! This is a simple, yet comprehensive guide to walk you through the most popular types of porch enclosure systems.

 

 

Accent with Garden Stools

Add a side table if you’d like, but we love the size of these charming garden stools as they are perfect for holding a cup of coffee or a book.

Offer plenty of places to set books and drinks with side tables. These provide versatility and bring in another element to an otherwise matched set of furniture.

Ceramic Garden Stools

Learn how to incorporate beautiful ceramic garden stools into your home – both indoors and out! Ceramic stools can add a touch of garden charm to many areas of your home, and they make the perfect accent on patios, too.

 

 

Lighting

String lights, candle light and fixed lighting all add to a space. Lighting is just as important on the exterior of your home as it is on the inside.

It will truly add the ambiance that your home deserves.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas

Learn how to enhance your home with our outdoor lighting tips and tricks. From inexpensive string lights to higher end copper lanterns, there’s an idea to work for every home and every budget!

 

 

Define Space with a Rug

Define the living room area with a rug. Just like inside your house in a living room or dining room, a rug can define your living space and ground the elements in a furniture grouping.

This creates a cozy feeling and connects all your furniture (and people!)  when you’re sharing the space.

Indoor Outdoor Rugs

Learn why an indoor outdoor rug might be the best fit for high traffic rooms in your home! You’ll get the secrets for where to buy a quality indoor outdoor rug, maintaining and cleaning, and so much more!

 

 

Hang a Mirror

While artwork on the walls of your outdoor living room might not make sense, hanging a mirror certainly does! They reflect light and greenery and add a cozy, warm style to your space.

Rattan Mirrors

Rattan is having such a big moment in interior design right now! Learn all about rattan mirrors, including what styles they work with and where to buy them.

 

 

Outdoor Pillow Covers

Pillows are a beautiful way to add comfort, color and patterns. They can be easily updated as your taste and trends change.

Similarly, add a throw! Is there anything more cozy? It makes you want to curl up on a chilly night, extending the use of your patio or deck. It’s also a great way to add a pop of color.

Outdoor Pillows

Learn the easiest way to give your spaces a new look with outdoor pillows!

 

 

Add Plants

Incorporate plants! They’re my favorite decorative element! Use them to add various heights, textures and colors. They’re also great to fill awkward corners.

How to Arrange Garden Containers

Learn how to arrange garden containers with tips, tricks and TRIED and TRUE techniques. You’ll learn design and planting methods that will create a beautiful show you’ll enjoy all summer long!

 

 

Add a Fire Element

Consider an outdoor fireplace for a true focal point in your outdoor areas. You can even add a more permanent pea gravel fire pit for a cozy gathering spot to make s’mores and enjoy family time! 

Solo Stove Review

The Solo Stove is a highly efficient wood burning fire without the smoke or cleanup. It’s perfect for backyard gatherings, camping and more! Get all the details from three years of personal experience.

 

 

Serve from a Bar Cart

For parties on your patio, there’s nothing cuter or more practical than a bar cart. When you’re not using it for serving, they are so charming to hold plants and garden elements.

Rattan Bar Carts

Add a charming rattan bar cart to any space in your home for entertaining in style! These vintage inspired rattan carts instantly transport you to the tropical side of summer.

 

 

A white screened porch completed with a screened porch kit.

More Inspiration for Outdoor Living

Gardening + Outdoors

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23 Comments

  1. Hi, thank you for confirming the now discontinued 😢 deck furniture. Do you recommend spray painting my black set to a soft white shade? I love the graciousness of your blog and your home,

    Thank you

    1. Unfortunately I’m not sure it would paint well – I believe it would be nearly impossible to get between all the woven nooks and crannies. I’m so sorry!

  2. Love your blog! I have a question concerning your deck furniture. I have the very same set but in black. I really like your white. Did your set come in white? Can the black be painted?
    Also I need to replace my cushions on the settee and want to go with the same taupe color. Do you know if the manufacturer still offers replacement cushions? If so can you share the manufacturer’s name?

    Thank you!

    1. Unfortunately I believe it has been discontinued. It’s Martha Stewart from the Home Decorator’s Collection.

  3. I love following your blog! Several years now.
    Your outdoor space is beautiful! I have been looking at outdoor furniture two years now for my uncovered patio.
    May I ask where you purchased yours? Looks comfortable and durable! Thank you!

  4. I love your blog Julie and this back deck is just gorgeous! I have a deck that has a gazebo covering it but nothing on the sides. I’ve never had trouble with this before but last year I had squirrels start chewing on my couch and chair cushions. These are obviously not cheap so I don’t want to replace them. (I’m able to flip them over to cover the chewing for now) My question: do you take your cushions in every night or do you leave them out? And do you know of something I can do to keep the pesky squirrels from doing that? I live in Michigan where we treasure our Spring, Summer and Fall weather as it’s warm enough to get outside and enjoy.

    1. Hi Laurie!
      Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing your message. I hate that you’re dealing with that, that is horrible! Squirrels and chipmunks can do so much damage.
      I wish I had advice for you! We are lucky that we haven’t had that problem – we do leave our cushions out in STL all the time, but we like to cover our teak seat on the deck at the lake. Not sure if that has kept them at bay or not, but so far so good!
      I have heard of people using apple cider vinegar and soap as deterrents, so maybe look into that?
      Good luck and thanks for reading!
      Julie