JJ Team Editor

One of the best parts of living in Northern California is enjoying the outdoors. Especially after the winter we just experienced! No matter the size of your budget, adding an outdoor living space can add real value to your home. And even if you aren’t planning on selling any time soon, you get to enjoy your outdoor space with the great weather the Peninsula has to offer.  

How to Create an Outdoor Living Space

Establish a focal point and zones

Find or create a focal point and build your outdoor living space around that. Whether it’s a fireplace, sliding doors, water feature, or whatever you have. Before you buy any furniture or decor, map out the zones you want to create around the focal point. Think conversation and dining areas.

Create outdoor living space

Create comfortable seating

Nothing is more inviting than a cozy chair or couch. There are plenty of outdoor furniture options in a variety of styles and budgets for you to create plenty of room to sit and relax outside. We suggest sticking to neutrals and washable, performance fabrics. Use the same color palettes as your interiors to help flow seamlessly from inside to out. 

If you have a smaller yard, creating multiple seating arrangements can break up the space and help your yard seem bigger. 

Comfortable seating to create outdoor living space

Add an outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchen areas can yield a 71% return on investment when you sell your home. Building in basics like a grill and outdoor fridge help not only define the outdoor living space, but help future buyers see themselves in the home. While a fancy pizza oven may be tempting, only add one if you cook pizza every week AND plan on staying in your home long term. Can’t invest in a full kitchen? Add a bar cart to prevent you from running back inside whenever you need to make your drink (or your guests’ drinks). With a few simple tweaks, you can enjoy your outdoor kitchen throughout every season.

Outdoor Kitchen in Menlo Park
Photographed by Blu Skye Media

Keep it covered

While not everyone has the space or the budget to expand their roof to keep their outdoor living room covered, why not try adding a pergola? Pergolas offer shade, allowing for lighting to be hung, and provide opportunities to add greenery. While some material costs have increased, prefabricated pergolas are an option for those looking to create an outdoor living space on a budget. We suggest looking at Costco and Wayfair for options. Give pergolas or arbors a high-design update by painting them in the same color as your exterior trim. This will create a cohesive look that makes the exterior structures look more like an extension of the home. 

Need a Pergola for your outdoor living space
Photographed by Blu Skye Media

Light it Up

Whether you hang a chandelier, string lights, or solar power LED lanterns, adding lights helps make your outdoor living area cozy and charming. And you will use the area around the clock if it’s lit up. It’s like an outdoor living room in the your backyard.

Photographed by Blu Skye Media

Don’t just stick to the backyard

An outdoor living space can be anywhere you choose. If you have a flat area in your front yard, make that space inviting. Add a porch swing or extra chairs and a garden table. If your side yard has the most space, scale down your ideas for that area. 

Side yard landscaping and seating - it's an outdoor living room!
Photographed by Blu Skye Media

Our Favorite Local Vendors for Outdoor Living Spaces


The folks at Wegman’s Nursery in Redwood City are terrific. Not only do they have a good variety of flowers, trees, and shrubs, but their website is also full of information. Every month it’s updated with to-dos to keep your garden looking beautiful. They also host some really cool events – including special parties to teach the kiddos about gardening too (let’s get them started young!)

Hardscape and Natural Stone

Peninsula Building Materials has all the natural stone, brick, bluestone and hardscape materials you can choose from to create your dream patio, outdoor kitchen and/or fireplace. They have a gorgeous masonry showroom in Mountain View and four local yards, including a yard in Redwood City, to pick your building materials from. 

Outdoor Furniture

If you want to shop locally for outdoor furniture, we recommend Terra Outdoors as they have two showrooms on the Peninsula and more in the North and East Bay. Of course, you can’t go wrong with West Elm in Palo Alto either. Both will help you create the outdoor living room of your dreams.

Thank you for reading J+J Team Homes Blog

Whether you’re remodeling your backyard or just adding a new table and chairs – we hope this blog on outdoor living spaces helped you out! Keep checking back in with us.  If you have any questions or a topic you’d be interested in learning more about – leave us a comment below, on our social media, or reach out. Even if you aren’t in the market, we’d love it if you’d pass along our information to those who are on the lookout.

J+J Team Homes Properties

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