7 Design Ideas For Greater Outdoor Living In 2023

Northfield Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor living in our Minnesota region is expecting a continued resurgence of practices many of us have long embraced. While the use of technology makes our lives easier in or outdoors, its the unique expressions of our personalities and lifestyles that will take our outdoor spaces to the next level.

You may discover one of these seven design ideas that are underrepresented in your outdoor living space. If that’s not the case, maybe it’s time to refresh one or two to refine or elevate the overall design theme.

#1. Invest In Quality Furniture And Accessories

Quality materials will last longer, look better, and increase the enjoyment of your outdoor living space.  Accessories such as throw pillows or rugs can help tie together an otherwise disparate design scheme.

Furniture pieces like sofas, chairs, and tables, and are essential for creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. However, these items can only realize their full potential when complemented with accessories that serve to tie the design scheme together.

Brightly colored umbrellas, rugs, and other accessories that complement outdoor furniture add visual appeal. Consider the tradeoffs between durability and maintenance when it comes to furniture and accessories. Teak furniture holds up well to our Minnesota winters but may require an annual power washing to freshen the surface.

#2. Use Lighting For Elegance And Drama

Lighting effects introduce different types of lighting to create depth and interest in a space. For example, adding spotlights for accent lighting or wall sconces to add a warm and inviting ambiance. Table and floor lamps are great for softening the overall look of a room while also providing extra illumination for necessary task activities.

By layering different types of lighting, you can make any space more eye-catching and functional. As the sun sets, light creeps through the windows of the newly decorated living room. Soft rays, like gentle fingers, caress the walls and furniture with a golden hue. This warm, inviting glow is further amplified by the addition of several wall sconces.

To further soften the atmosphere, floor and table lamps have been placed throughout the room. With all these lights layered together, a masterful blend of functionality and comfort has been achieved in this living space. No longer a dull room, the living room has become a warm and inviting haven that is sure to delight all who enter.

#3. Create Tranquility With Water Elements

Incorporating water elements into the landscape design of your home can be done in a variety of ways. A tranquil fountain can provide a visual focal point, and the sound of trickling water can help create a calming atmosphere.

It is also possible to bring nature into your backyard with an outdoor pond. This could include adding aquatic plants, colorful fish, and maybe even some turtles or frogs! An outdoor pond provides hours of entertainment for family and friends as they observe the life living in the pond and watch it change over time.

Bringing nature right into your backyard is an amazing experience and one that can be accomplished with a little bit of planning and research. You can create a beautiful habitat full of life that will provide hours of entertainment. It’s vital to plan for the desired habitat to achieve the right ecological balance and to secure the best filtration system to minimize care.

You’ll discover aquatic plants will do well on their own, but the more exotic varieties will benefit from the symbiotic relationship with koi or goldfish. Once everything is in place, enjoy watching your pond come alive as you observe its inhabitants thrive in their new environment.

#4. Use Contrasting And Complementary Planting Styles

Combining the right planting styles can bring a garden to life, creating a stunning visual spectacle that will captivate visitors and evoke a sense of emotion. A carefully crafted landscape design plan should balance the needs of the environment and its users while also offering a range of complementary planting styles. Using a variety of different plants can create texture, color, and depth in your garden, helping to create a space that looks and feels inviting.

Planting styles such as perennial borders and flower beds can bring in color and seasonal changes, whereas shrubs such as conifers and evergreen hedges can offer a year-round presence. If you are looking to create a focal point, consider specimen ornamental trees, such as tree-form lilacs, hydrangeas, and dogwoods. Whatever the design, careful consideration and thought should go into choosing the right combination of planting styles to ensure a garden that shows as well in winter as it does in summer.

#5. Install A Firepit Or Fireplace For Gathering

A firepit or fireplace is an exciting and rewarding outdoor living addition, offering warmth and ambiance to outdoor spaces. Fireplaces have long been the focal point of the main family living room. The styles have changed in recent years, but the fact is that families still enjoy having a fire focal feature in their homes. It stands to reason that the same is true for outdoor living spaces.

When preparing to build either of these elements, it is important to consider the location for safe and suitable use and entertainment, as well as its impact on nearby plants and hardscape features. Also, you must choose the appropriate materials for the prevailing landscape design theme. Natural and man-made material choices are plentiful, so finding what’s right will usually come down to costs and personal preference.

#6. A Living Green Wall Will Delight And Surprise

A great way to add an engaging and eye-catching design feature to any space is with a living green wall. They are constructed on a vertical structure that mounts the plants and its irrigation and fertilization system. The plant arrangements become the palette for the design, which takes on the combined qualities of a painting and sculpture.

These structures help to absorb noise to create a more peaceful environment for everyone in the space. When selecting plants for your living green wall, it’s important to choose varieties and cultivars that require minimal maintenance and that will thrive in unique conditions not experienced with traditional plantings, such as greater temperature fluctuations and microclimates due to confined spaces or reflected light.

Fortunately, there are a variety of plants that work well in these situations. Crafting creative textures and color combinations from lush ivies to sedges and cultivated ornamentals, you can create an eye-catching and vibrant feature effortlessly. While these plants may need occasional pruning to manage their growth, the care is often minimal as the artificial habitat limits vigorous growth.

#7. Get Whimsical With Garden Art Accents

Colorful and whimsical garden art accents and focal points can transform virtually any space. At the very least, they will add a touch of pizazz that gets noticed among a sea of greenery. a boring outdoor space.

Whether it’s a gnarled driftwood sculpture setting in an alpine meadow, an intricately hand-painted ceramic in a cottage garden, or an antique surrounded by vibrant foliage, these pieces add character, depth, and texture to a garden. They draw the eye, leading visitors on a journey through the landscape while providing intrigue and entertainment.

These hand-crafted works of art often carry a story that sparks welcome conversations about their source and personal meaning. Unlike traditional plantings, garden art can be easily moved around and changed to suit the needs of a particular event or group of returning visitors. They will will respect and admire your attention to tailoring your outdoor living space just for them.

Architectural Landscape Design: Helping Homeowners Enjoy Better Living

Here at ALD, our top priority is creating living spaces that are right for you. Our landscape design team will work with you from concept to construction to create the right landscape for your personal needs. Contact us today for a free consultation to explore your next outdoor living project.