Planning an Outdoor Space: Design Elements and Structural Features

Planning an outdoor space with any of these design elements or structural features will greatly enhance your 'stay-cation' experience. According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, 2014 is the year of gardens, pools, pergolas and decks. You don't need a big space or big budget. With proper planning and design you can create a space that reflects your personal desires and needs.


A garden can awaken the senses with bright foliage and fragrant blossoms. Homeowners can plant flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs, even plants to attract butterflies. The newest trend in gardening is a welcome site to those in urban areas. Vertical gardens, also known as green walls and living walls allow anyone to grow a garden. For those not skilled at growing, rock gardens and water garden can create an impressive feature in your outdoor space.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools provide hours of fun and entertainment for the family, enhancing the backyard experience. They can be used for exercise and activity or to cool off and lounge around on a warm day. This affordable luxury can make a dramatic focal point with waterfalls, customized shapes and sizes, lighting and tile mosaics.

Decks and Patios

Decks and patios are the cornerstone for outdoor potential. They are the starting point for creating a customized outdoor space. They can be made from wood, synthetic materials, concrete, tile, brick, stone and transformed into outdoor dining areas, kitchens, bars and more. Decks can be elevated to create multiple levels to accommodate different sizes and space.


Pergolas offer coverage, privacy and versatility. These structures can be left open at the top, constructed with beams for partial exposure or covered with plant life. A retractable canopy can be placed over the top for sun, partial sun or complete shade. Pergolas come in many styles such as rustic or modern to fit any design aesthetic.

Dining Area and Outdoor Kitchen

Bring the inside out by creating an dining area outdoors. Fireplaces and fire pits, cozy seating, outdoor televisions and audio systems will not leave homeowners longing for creature comforts. Stunning outdoor décor will keep the space updated and functional while sitting outside with family and friends enjoying the views

Outdoor kitchens are as individual as the homeowner is, they can be modest or extravagant. There is plenty of outdoor kitchen equipment to choose from such as grills, a pizza oven, countertops, sink, wine bar and storage bins.  Having a second kitchen provides homeowners with the opportunity to build the dream kitchen they have always wanted for a fraction of the cost.

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