How to Create an Outdoor Living Space
that Buyers will Love

For a faster, more profitable home sale

Outdoor living space with a fire pit.Photo by

Why should you bother to create an outdoor living space when you are trying to sell your home? Why spend money on your house if you will be leaving?

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.

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

Create a cozy front porch sitting area.Create a cozy sitting area on your porch.

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, showed 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. 

In addition, an outdoor living space gives added value to your home, as it represents additional living space on your property.

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

If your area suffers soaring heat waves in the summer, you may want to think about installing a covered pergola to create a relaxing retreat in the shade.

Design Trends for 2022

"It used to be that outdoor living areas were one of the last topics to be discussed on our projects and by that time, clients had often run out of money and/or suffered from a serious case of decision fatigue," says interior designer, Jean Liu. "However, the pandemic has changed the priority this part of the house takes. Serious dollars are now being allocated to outdoor living at the onset of every new residential project, and we do not see this waning in 2022."

Create an outdoor living space with a cover

A pergola with canvas roof will shield from sun and rain.A pergola will shield from sun and rain. Photo by

Consider erecting a pergola with a waterproof canvas covering like the one pictured above to protect from the sun or rain.

Create an entertainment area on your deck.This space has room for everyone; sun worshippers and those who prefer to sit in the shade. Photo by

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

Make a covered outdoor dining area with elegant draperies.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 covered porch swing.Cozy covered upholstered 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 one 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 ideal place for a porch swing is at the front of the house where potential buyers driving by can see it.

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

Place a porch swing at the front of the house to increase curb appeal.Buyers will be unable to resist sitting on this cozy porch swing. Photo by

This porch swing brightens and increases curb appeal at the front of the house. Add an outdoor area rug to anchor this space as an outside living space.

Design Trends for 2022

"Clients are asking for outdoor rooms to be designed with the flexibility to function as a traditional interior space and act as a center point for family gathering and relaxation," says designer, Tammy Conner.

An outdoor covered swing will shelter from the sun and rain.This covered swing offers respite from the sun.

Or forego the pergola and other more extravagant backyard options by simply placing an attractive covered swing in the back yard. 

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!

This outdoor entertainment area has it all! A fireplace, barbecue and sitting area.

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.

Cozy and attractive backyard patio area for a small yard.Pinterest

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 that anyone can create. These homeowners took a small section of their backyard to create this mini-oasis. Very appealing!

Elegant and pretty outdoor living entertaining area.Backyard 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 anchor this vignette as a separate living space.

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

This deck is so cluttered that it's difficult to maneuver through.Before

This back porch just needs a bit of cleaning and decluttering. The porch faces a water view that you don't want buyers to miss. Create an outdoor living space that will lure buyers outside to take note of a great view.

I removed excess patio furniture, accessories, and the multitude of blankets from the porch to make room for walking and to give it a less cluttered look.

The deck received a good scrubbing with a garden hose and long handled deck brush; your deck or porch may require a power washer.

You may also 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 her.

The same deck after staging appears roomier and more functional.After

As you can see, I removed excess furnishings, blankets, baskets, 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.

Create a cozy deck vignette with outdoor furniture.Create an inviting seating area to entice buyers to sit down.

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 buyers to move around.

When home 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 backyard deck will add value to your home.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 pretty potted flowers.
  • Create a privacy screen by going vertical with draperies, or hanging pots of flowers or ferns.

 Outdoor lighting that will enhance evening viewings

Pretty outdoor mason jar lighting creates a lovely atmosphere.Lighted mason jars create a romantic ambiance.

Lighting placed to emphasize your outdoor living space can be charming and help lead the way 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 a deck railing or porch eaves.
  • Create a privacy screen by going vertical with white lights and hanging pots of flowers or ferns.

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