12 Outdoor Room Ideas for Your MI Property

Treasured Earth Landscape Design in Ann Arbor/Saline/Northville/Plymouth/Brighton/Milford, MI

If you love entertaining outside, now’s the time to plan your new outdoor living space for summer parties. Backyard living encompasses bringing the indoors outside with outdoor kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, and poolscapes.

Before you know it, we’ll be celebrating Memorial Day in Livingston, Oakland and Washtenaw Counties. To get started, here are 12 outdoor room ideas that you can add to your property this year:

  1. Patios– Today’s patios are so much more than a 12’ x 12’ slab. You can now build your patio with natural stone, or clay pavers. At Treasured Earth Landscape Design, we can design and build your patio to fit your dining area with enough room for people to get up and mingle. You can buy an outdoor dining table to mimic the one inside your house or you can purchase one that includes a fire feature.
  2. Outdoor kitchens – Why stay inside your home’s kitchen when you can have a complete one in your backyard? Outdoor kitchens have come a long way to include storage, refrigeration, counter tops, a sink area, a grill, BBQ and pizza ovens. You can also add a bar area so everyone can talk while you prepare the meal.
  3. Outdoor living rooms – Outdoor living rooms can include a fireplace, seat walls, an outdoor TV and other features that you use inside your home. You can enjoy your outdoor living room spring, summer and into late fall. Add drapery, fabric panels, weather-resistant sofas complete with cushions, ottomans and chairs for everyone to sit comfortably and converse or watch TV.
  4. Fire features – You can now extend the outdoor season from early spring straight through late fall with a fire feature. Fireplaces offer more intimacy and quiet conversation while fire pits or bowls remind you and your guests of camping. Fight off the chill with a fire feature.
  5. Water features – Nothing says soothing like water trickling down a fountain or watching water fall into a pond. You can create a calming atmosphere with a water feature. Some examples include pondless waterfalls, koi ponds, water gardens, dry beds and fountains.
  6. Poolscapes – Host a pool party or enjoy swimming in your lap pool every night after work. Your backyard can include a pool, a private spa or a combination of a pool and spa. Add outdoor lighting, a waterfall, and a cabana to set up the perfect summer hangout.
  7. Retaining and seat walls – Retaining walls can reduce runoff and erosion if you have a slope area. And retaining walls can also add dimension, texture, and lines to your overall landscape design. You can add a staircase or a water feature with your retaining wall to make a statement. Seat walls can be added to your outdoor space to separate the dining room from the living room. Or you can add seat walls around a fire pit or within your patio to accommodate more people.
  8. Outdoor lighting – Landscape lighting is more than extending your evenings outside. It can transform your exteriors to a work of art. There are so many options when it comes to outdoor lighting—from moonscaping, spotlights, lowlights, stair lights, pathway lights, pool lights and many other lighting options you can pick to light up your MI backyard. Outdoor lighting can also help you sell your home as well as make your friends and family feel safe while enjoying the outdoor night life.
  9. Landscape plants – Many people just focus on the hardscape aspects of outdoor living. Yet, landscape plants add texture, fragrance, height and a beautiful backdrop to your outdoor rooms. Oftentimes, landscape plants are the wallpapers of outdoor living spaces. You can create privacy with evergreens, deciduous trees for drama and shade, and ornamental grasses for soft sounds and texture.
  10. Covers – If you’d like some shelter from the sun or even rain, consider adding a cover over your outdoor kitchen, dining and living rooms. Indeed, pergolas are probably the most popular outdoor space cover, but you can also have a full pavilion covering your dining and kitchen areas. Other covers include roofs, cabanas, canopies and many other options.
  11. Decks – If you prefer the look of wood, you can opt for a deck to serve as your outdoor room. Your deck can be built from cedar or composite that resembles wood. Decks don’t have to be adjacent to your home. They can be stand-alone features with a pergola or awning cover.
  12. Outdoor space amenities – Pergolas, arbors and gazebos are three popular structures that add to your outdoor living space. Your gazebo can be built separate from your home to add a private area to gather. Arbors can help shade your outdoor living space or act as a door between rooms. Add color and texture by covering your arbor with vines or climbers such as wisteria or clematis. Finally, the pergola: It provides cover over your outdoor spaces, but it can also be used as a cover near the swimming area or even in the backyard over a small patio space. Pergolas come in a variety of shapes: curved, rectangular or triangular roof shapes.

This list is certainly not exhaustive when it comes to the type of backyard room oasis you can create for your Michigan property. If you have a design in mind or you want to talk to us at Treasured Earth Landscape Design about building your perfect outdoor room, call us at 248.380.8000 or fill out our contact form.


Better Homes and Gardens.com, “Fabric Makeovers for Outdoor Rooms.”

Taylor, Lisa Hallet, “What’s the Difference between a Patio and a Deck?” About.com.

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