Luxury Design Ideas for Outdoor Spaces: Tips to Bring High-End Living Outside
An infinity pool. A stone grotto with a waterfall fountain. An outdoor kitchen. These are all features of opulent outdoor living, but you can enjoy a luxurious exterior without a major installation project. Creating exquisite outdoor spaces really takes only one signature piece and a handful of refined décor elements. Read on for strategies and à la carte ideas that bring beauty and elegance to your patio and backyard.
The Four Essential Elements of Luxury Outdoor Living: Fire, Water, Earth, and Shade
When designing a luxury outdoor space, it’s helpful to let fire, water, earth, air, light, and shade guide your planning. Add features that include, surround, or accentuate a few or all of these four elements to elevate your outdoor living. Here are splurge-worthy ideas for each:
Fire Patio Design Elements
Grills. Whether fueled by gas or charcoal—grills are must-haves on any patio. Go for extra features, so your grill can produce gourmet fare. Here are tips for grills that bring something extra to the barbecue:
- Choose a gas grill that includes a side burner for simmering sauces or warming a pot of mulled cider in the fall and winter.
- If you prefer charcoal grilling, choose a model that doubles as a smoker.
- Invest in a high-quality grilling set for turning and basting.
- While giving the barbecue master room to move, set up comfortable chairs nearby so they don’t miss out on the conversation while grilling.
Fire pits. On the patio or in the yard, fire pits are always popular gathering spots. Choose a steel fire pit with artful cutouts for a showstopping outdoor centerpiece. Set a covered firewood holder near the pit, so you can build a roaring fire with ease. Whichever style of fire pit you choose, surround it with comfortable seating, such as all-weather Adirondack chairs.
Firepit tables. Keep it even simpler with an elegant outdoor gas fire pit table. Look for models that come in sets with matching outdoor chairs and loveseats with plush cushions.
Outdoor fireplaces. Unlike open fire pits, these are generally smaller and fully enclosed. They are a wonderful option if you prefer real wood fires, but have a smaller patio.
Pizza ovens and smokers. Wow your guests and serve up unforgettable meals by adding a pizza oven or smoker (or both!) to your outdoor kitchen. Portable outdoor pizza ovens let you cook pizzas for your family or guests using wood, coal, or gas. You can also use these versatile outdoor ovens to roast meat and vegetables, or bake bread.
For barbecue aficionados, dedicated backyard smokers are a must. These compact outdoor appliances let you smoke a variety of meats simultaneously so you can serve a crowd finger-licking eats.
Patio heaters. With patio heaters, you and your guests can enjoy your luxurious outdoor spaces year-round.
Earth Outdoor Design Elements
Year-round gardens. Add color to your yard throughout the year, with annual and perennial flower beds and greenery. Include plantings that vary from height to hue to texture. Add yard and garden décor, such as wind chimes, stone pillars, and outdoor statues for a whimsical touch. Also, consider an outdoor arbor—with or without built-in seating.
Vegetable gardens.If you have the yard space and the time, grow your own vegetables in a garden. You can harvest ripe bell peppers and tomatoes for your summer barbecues, and tending a garden is good for your health. Add decorative garden stakes that show what crops are growing in your vegetable patch.
Patio gardens. Bring plants, flowers, herbs, and tomatoes onto the patio with a container garden. Use a single style of planters across your patio, or choose an eclectic mix of styles. You can also add flowers or herbs in window boxes along the patio wall and windows overlooking the backyard.
Shade Outdoor Design Elements
To fully enjoy your luxury patio, you need shade. The sun’s direct rays are hot, can cause sunburns, and produce an uncomfortable glare at certain times of the day. For luxurious shade, consider:
- Cantilever umbrellas. These are elegant beside the pool or on your patio. Choose an umbrella in a bright hue for a cheerful pop of color.
- Retractable awnings. Extend for shade when you need it, and retract at night or when you prefer direct sunlight.
- Side table umbrella stands. These elegant patio pieces provide shade and give people a place to set down their drinks or plates.
- Canopy pergolas. These structures typically have open sides and a decorative lattice roof. Add a removable canopy made of weather-resistant material to your pergola, and you have a versatile option for shade.
Water Outdoor Design Elements
In-ground or infinity pools. With the addition of a swimming pool, your backyard becomes a getaway and spa at home.
Decorative fountains. Add the soothing sound of trickling water beside your patio with a decorative fountain shaped like an antique farmhouse sink or a miniature waterfall cascading over stones.
Add Comfy and Luxe Lighting, Seating, and Tables
Adding a dash of glamour and sophistication to these fundamental outdoor elements immediately adds high-end polish. Look for seating that is rugged and comfortable, outdoor lighting with a wow-factor, and an assortment of sturdy and sophisticated tables.
Luxury outdoor lighting ideas:
- A starburst chandelier in your covered patio
- A rustic or Craftsman-style linear chandelier over your outdoor kitchen island
- Floodlights and downlights to highlight architectural and natural outdoor elements
Luxury outdoor seating ideas:
- A sectional outdoor daybed featuring a foldaway canopy
- Patio canopy swing chairs
- A plush outdoor sectional sofa
- Rocking chairs and swivel chairs with cushions
- Chaise lounges
Luxury outdoor table ideas:
- Grade A teak patio coffee table
- An outdoor bar table set with stools
- Ornate cast-aluminum outdoor dining table
Choose your luxury outdoor living elements as carefully as you select the décor for your home’s interiors. You want finely crafted pieces that you’ll enjoy from day one—and for years to come.