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Designing Your Yard as Outdoor Rooms

By Alexis August 28, 2020


Tilly has seen an increase in homeowners desiring more privacy in their yard, constructing vegetable gardens, and including unique play spaces for kids while staying home more during Covid. We’ve also seen homeowner’s wanting to design by creating “Outdoor Rooms,” which is not a new trend, but a focus on organizing your outdoors as you would your indoors, into functional spaces for different activities. We look at it as a way for homeowners to reclaim their outdoor spaces and maximize each inch for the whole family!

We chatted with Tilly designer, Catherine, to hear more about the value of outdoor rooms and how to create them in your yard.

We’ve commonly seen indoor outdoor living in warm environments, but Catherine said she’s seeing homeowners all across the country who want their exterior spaces to become an extension of their interior living space. It’s not just a trend for large yards, but Catherine mentioned “I think small yards are the best candidates for really defining the different desired spaces and oftentimes, the garden feels bigger with this type of organization.”

Your yard can be looked at as a puzzle - figure out how your family uses the space, what’s the best way to use it and then fit it together with connectors for a cohesive design.

How can you create Outdoor Rooms in your yard?

  1. Define your outdoor spaces by use. For example, a fire pit pavilion, dining area, food crop gardening, play area. Many homeowners we have worked with recently have wanted pool gardens, art features, and more!
  2. Establish a meaningful pattern of movement based on how you use the spaces so you can figure out a way to connect them and maximize the potential of your lot.
  3. Determine the best way to provide a sense of space delineation. This will depend on resources, budget and time. One easy option is an overhead feature such as an arbor or simply draping string lights between posts. This can be added to an existing patio or to a patio extension that allows for an additional entertaining area. Other options include a row of hedges, small stone walls, planters, or pavers to create definition as well.

Take a look at your yard to see if there is anything you can do to maximize an Outdoor Room layout, you can browse our Pinterest for some fun ideas!

Here are a few Tilly design examples:

Ideas to create a natural room:

Read more about: Landscape Design Tips, Tips