How to Create an Outdoor Living Space

How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale

Outdoor living areaPhoto by

Why create an outdoor living space when you are trying to sell your home? Why go to the trouble and expense? 

According to a January 2021 survey conducted for the International Casual Furnishings Association, people are doing more relaxing, grilling, gardening, exercising, dining, playing with pets and children, and entertaining outside.

Create a cozy sitting area on your porch.

The survey also revealed that nearly six in 10 Americans (58%) plan to buy at least one new piece of outdoor furniture or accessory.

At the top of the list of Americans' planned purchases are grills, fire pits, lounge chairs, lighting, dining table and chairs, umbrellas, and sofas. 

This survey, among many others, show that outdoor living spaces are considered an essential feature for people looking for homes for sale in today's market place.

Your goal with home staging is to present a lifestyle to homebuyers. A lifestyle that includes entertaining and relaxing outdoors with friends and family.

Or create an outdoor living space for children, with fun play equipment to get kids out of the house. 

Before you plunge headlong into creating that perfect outdoor oasis, you should consider a few factors first, such as; your climate, your budget, and how much space you have to work with.

If you have soaring heat waves in summer, you may want to think about installing an inviting pergola to create a relaxing shaded area.

Pergola with canvas roofPhoto by

A lot of rain? Consider a pergola with a waterproof canvas covering like the one pictured above. This covering will protect from sun and rain.

This space has room for everyone; sun worshippers and those who prefer to sit in the shade. Photo by
Photo by

If backyard privacy is an issue, hang draperies that can be drawn around your pergola. This will also help with sun glare.

Create an outdoor living space that complements the style of your home by using fabrics, wood and textures found inside your home.

Furniture should be comfortable, accessories and lighting playful.

And don't forget lighting for evening entertaining. Strings of white lights or hanging lanterns around your deck or pergola are always classy.

For home staging purposes avoid colored lights; white lights are just more elegant.

If buyers are expected, set out plates, glasses, napkins, flowers, cozy pillows and maybe a fruit basket in your outdoor area.

This helps buyers better imagine themselves living in your home.

Create an outdoor living space with a porch swing

Cozy porch swing

Who doesn't love a porch swing? House buyers always find them charming and nine times out of ten will sit down to try it out.

Porch swings are typically placed in an enclosed porch or outside on a patio, and are often considered an extension of the inside or entryway area of your home.

A porch swing doesn't necessarily have to be on a porch, any convenient "out of the rain" location will do, as seen in this picture.

The most ideal place for a porch swing is at the front of the house.

If you are fortunate enough to have a spacious front porch, placing a swing there will add greatly to your front door curb appeal.

Covered swing offers respite from the sun.

Forego the pergola and other more extravagant backyard options by simply placing a covered swing in the yard. Who can resist that?

Dress up your swing with comfortable seat cushions and pillows. Look for affordable and attractive porch swings at

Present a lifestyle that home buyers can't resist

It's hard to beat this outdoor living space; it has it all! The outdoor fireplace, dream barbecue, comfortable seating... I bet there's even a bar with fridge that you can't see on the other side.

A space like this in your back yard will add tremendous value to your home... it may even be the biggest selling feature. If you are able to create an outdoor living space on par with this one, you should have no problem selling your home.

Backyard patioPinterest

Of course, it's not necessary to present all the bells and whistles to buyers. Here is an attractive and scaled down version of the previous backyard. These homeowners took a small section of their backyard to create this mini-oasis. Very appealing!

Outdoor living areaBackyard seating arrangement. Photo by

Who wouldn't want to sit down and put their feet up in this cozy seating area? This is all you need to create an outdoor living space that home buyers are looking for; patio furniture staged with bright pillows, a bottle of wine, and some enticing accessories. An outdoor area rug and draperies help anchor this vignette as another living space.

Create an outdoor living space on a porch, patio, or deck

Cluttered deckBefore

This back porch had great potential, it just needed a bit of polishing up. The porch faces a water view that you don't want buyers to miss. Create an outdoor living space to lure buyers outside to take note of a great view!

I removed excess patio furniture from this porch to make room for walking. I gave it a good scrub with a deck brush; some decks or porches may require a power washer.

You may find that a fresh coat paint or stain is needed for your porch or deck, as well. Oh look! I captured a dog in the picture. See if you can find.

Home staged deckAfter

As you can see, I removed some of the excess furnishings, blankets, plants, (and the dog). I kept the area rug in place to emphasize this porch as another living space, adding useable square footage to the home.

A cozy deck vignette with outdoor furnitureCreate an inviting sitting area

I kept the cozy seating vignette on the end of the porch, and a few of the potted plants to bring life to the space. Now there is plenty of room for home buyers to move around.

When buyers are expected, you might set up the table with some lemonade, glasses, napkins and a plate of cookies? It's always a good sign when buyers sit down, as they're imaging themselves living there. That is your goal.

Even a small deck will add value to your home. Pinterest

Even a small backyard can benefit from the addition of a small patio or deck, like the one pictured above. A deck like this will add a lot of seller appeal (and value) to your home.

Create an outdoor living space by adding a small barbecue and a couple deck chairs. Or skip the barbecue, add a couple chairs and a large potted plant.

 Outdoor lighting

Pretty outdoor mason jar lighting

Lighting placed to emphasize your outdoor living space can be charming for nighttime viewings.

  • Place candles in old mason jars and hang from trees or eaves. Light them for home showings to create a lovely ambience.
  • String white lights around the deck or front porch.
  • Create an outdoor living space by placing large containers of flowers or greenery around the sitting area.
  • Create a privacy screen by going vertical with hanging pots of flowers or ferns.

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