Backyard Spring Cleaning: Top 10 Tasks to Tackle


Spring is in the air. That means it’s not just the nicer weather that is finally coming – all of those home spring cleaning tasks are as well.

While spring cleaning is typically associated with organizing and sprucing up the inside of a home, there’s still plenty of essential work to be done in the backyard, too. Several months of the harsh Canadian winter does tend to take a bit of a toll on the exterior space of our homes.

The average home property presents a sizable amount of backyard spring cleaning work to be done. Everything from the lawn to the gardens to your grill will need some TLC.

8 benefits of backyard spring cleaning

The pandemic has made us reflect on how our homes are designed and how we use them. Homeowners have never appreciated being able to use their backyards more, than right now.

Enjoying your backyard doesn’t come without a lot of effort, however. Spring is a time of renewal and the best time to get a yard in shape so you can get the most out of it throughout the rest of the year.

woman doing backyard spring cleaning work

If you’re struggling to get inspired about starting that backyard spring cleaning work, consider these eight benefits of doing it:

  1. Having a nicer backyard means you’ll be more likely to be drawn outside to enjoy it. 
  2. The early spring temperatures are more comfortable to work in. You won’t be sweating buckets in May and June doing neglected yard chores.
  3. Connecting with nature by getting some fresh air and sunshine is good for your mental health. A pre-pandemic survey by Coleman Canada found that 29% of Canadians spend less than 30 minutes per week outside.
  4. Backyard spring cleaning work is great exercise.
  5. Completing the work in spring to get your backyard summer-ready means you can enjoy the space more during the best weather of the year.
  6. Yardwork provides a good opportunity for family bonding and gets kids off their numerous screens (at least for a little while).
  7. Being proactive in the spring with the maintenance and care of your lawn, gardens, and other types of foliage keeps them healthier.
  8. There are fewer bugs to be annoyed by!

Get spring off to a positive and productive start. Whether you’re doing your own yard work or hiring a pro for the job, be sure to include these ten essential tasks on your backyard spring cleaning checklist.

1. Clean up any backyard debris

The first step in refreshing a backyard’s appearance is to clean up all of the debris that has accumulated over the winter.

Rake and pick up any dog waste, broken branches, leaves, wind-blown garbage, and other types of debris that ended up on your lawn, deck or patio, and walkways. Do the same with any loose debris in your gardens (we’ll come back to them later).

The sooner that this initial cleanup step is done, the sooner you’ll be able to:

  • start restoring the various areas of your yard
  • give your lawn and gardens more direct sunlight
  • better assess what backyard areas will require some extra attention

2. Start restoring your lawn

grass in backyard

One of the top priorities on a backyard spring cleaning checklist will be getting your lawn looking not just presentable but lush and colourful.

Nothing impacts backyard curb appeal like the appearance of a lawn. A beautifully manicured lawn with a consistent green colour is an instant eye-pleaser, whereas a dried-out lawn with brown and yellow patches is just an eyesore.

Winters are rough on lawns, especially if too many leaves are left on the grass. An excess of leaves on a lawn over the winter can damage the grass by blocking the sun, matting it down, and creating mould and fungal diseases. That’s why you’ll want to remove those leaves as soon as you can come springtime.

On the other hand, leaving some mulched leaves on a lawn over the winter can be beneficial by covering up root systems, adding nutrients, and reducing weed growth.

Snow mould is another potential lawn issue you might have to deal with in the spring. It’s a fungus that leaves white, pink, or grey patches on lawns, typically in locations that get heavy snowfalls. Scotts, the leading maker of lawn care products, explains more about why snow mould occurs on lawns and how to treat it and prevent it.

FYI: dog poop is not a fertilizer

There’s a common misconception that dog poop left on lawns helps to fertilize the grass. In fact, dog poop kills grass if it sits on a lawn for too long and it also contains bacteria and parasites. Try not to wait until the spring to clean up dog waste in your yard. Cleaning up the dog poop every week or two throughout the winter will leave less of a cleaning mess in the spring. Your lawn will appreciate it, too.

Dog urine causes lawn burn over time, which can be difficult to combat since dogs like to do their business in the same area. Treating grass damaged from pet waste involves replacing sections of sod altogether or trying to grow new grass by using a combination of soil, fertilizer, and grass seed.

To help get your entire lawn looking its best, use fertilizer and grass seed, as well as aerating and dethatching your grass. Don’t mow your lawn too short, either. That impedes the root growth of the grass and can cause more weeds to appear. Scotts says to “only cut the top 1/3 of the grass blades at any one time, even if this means you have to mow again after several days”.

3. Get your gardens ready

Getting flower and vegetable gardens ready for the spring planting season is another big task for most homeowners.

Since we’ve already cleaned up any wind-blown debris that ended up in them, now it’s time to remove any dead growth in the gardens. This will not only improve the appearance of your gardens, it also creates more room for new growth and removes potentially problematic funguses and diseases.

Perennials should be pruned and trimmed back to make way for new growth. Some compost can be spread around them to aid the soil with root growth. If you’re using chemical fertilizers in the garden, don’t stray from the manufacturer’s application instructions. Overfertilizing can burn or kill plants.

Using mulch in gardens preserves the soil’s moisture and also reduces weed growth. For the best results, it needs to be replaced every spring, however. Remove the old much and put down new mulch after your planting is completed.

With the gardens now ready for the growing season, turn your attention to your pots and planter containers. Clear out any dead plants from last year, empty the old soil, and give the containers a cleaning so they’re ready for new residents when warmer temperatures allow for planting.

4. Clean your grill

There are plenty of benefits of using your grill during the winter, but some people don’t enjoy cold-weather cooking and store their grill away in the fall.

Whether you’re in the latter camp and didn’t give the grill a good cleaning before storing it or your grill was used throughout the winter, now’s the time to give it a spring cleaning. A clean, well-maintained grill will:

  • be safer to use
  • produce better cooking results
  • function more reliably
  • last longer

Disconnect the gas line (which you should also inspect) and remove parts like the rotisserie rod, grill grates, drip trays, and warming racks. Soak them in warm water with some dish detergent for a while before using a degreaser and scrubber to remove the rest of the dried grease and food remnants. Rinse the degreaser off thoroughly before putting the parts back.

Scrub the entire grill interior using warm water with a little dish detergent. Don‘t forget to clean the burners and flavourizer bars. Avoid using grill scrubbing brushes with wire bristles because the bristles can break off and end up in your food. 

Using a cleaning product for the exterior of the grill will make it look nicer and help protect its finish.  Once your grill cleanup work is all done, run the appliance at a high temperature for 15-20 minutes to burn off any residual degreaser and soap.

Another option to get your grill ready for the spring and summer is to hire a professional grill cleaner. They’ll come to your home and clean your grill and give it a tune-up. 

Why not expand your outdoor cooking space?

outdoor kitchen in backyard

Most outdoor cooking spaces take up the amount of space of a homeowner’s small grill. If your family enjoys barbecued food, why not make your outdoor cooking space bigger?

A professionally designed outdoor kitchen provides additional cooking space for your home.  You can have it fully outfitted with a built-in grill, appliances, countertops, a sink, and cabinetry for all your storage needs. Or, if you prefer, you can have a smaller outdoor kitchen space installed that will still be a major upgrade over a standalone grill.

Outdoor living space upgrades are one of the most popular types of home renovation projects over the last couple of years. You can complement an outdoor kitchen with a dining area and living room. This allows you to expand your home’s livable space and enjoy your backyard more

5. Clean your outdoor furniture

Next on our backyard spring cleaning checklist is getting your outdoor furniture ready. Even high-quality outdoor furniture needs some occasional maintenance.

After getting your furniture out of the garage or a shed (or removing their covers if the furniture stayed on a deck or patio during the winter), take stock of what shape everything is in.

Wood furniture requires the most upkeep. It can be cleaned with a wood cleaner and soft brush. If it needs more than a cleaning, restore its appearance with a treatment of oil or stain.

Soap and water and a light scrubber or rag should take care of cleaning up any dirt and grime on plastic, aluminum, and wrought iron furniture. Use touch-up paint to make plastic furniture with faded paint look new again. Rust on wrought iron furniture can be sanded off and then repaint the sanded areas.

Wicker furniture can be cleaned with a water and soap mix and brush as well. Afterwards, rinse off the furniture with a low-pressure hose. It’s a good idea to hose down your wicker furniture at least once a month between the spring and fall.

Don’t forget your outdoor cushions

Some outdoor cushion covers are machine washable. Run them through the washing machine on a low cycle with mild detergent.

For cushions that can’t be machine washed, clean them with some warm water, a mild detergent, and a cloth or sponge before rinsing them off.

If you need to replace some outdoor furniture or buy new pieces or cushions, remember that the demand for outdoor furniture goes up as the temperature goes up. If you wait too long into the summer, you’ll have fewer buying options and anything you are buying or ordering may be backordered.

6. Clean and repair your deck and fence

person staining fence

Sweep off your deck so you can give it a good wash after being pelted for the last few months with snow and rain. If you have a raised deck, check that all of the railings are sturdy.

To clean a wood deck, first, rinse it off with a hose and then use a handled deck scrub brush along with a deck cleaning product to remove dirt, stains, and any mould. Remember to scrub with the grain of the wood and then rinse the deck with a hose or pressure washer.

Replace any rotting or heavily split deck boards if needed. Wood decks typically need to be treated every 1-3 years with a stain, sealer, or stain/sealer product. Composite decking is much more low-maintenance than wood but does cost more.

Wood fences should be cleaned every spring. At the very minimum, use a hose or power washer to remove any dirt. A deeper cleaning with a scrub brush and cleaner is ideal to remove stains, mould, and mildew. Wood fences need to be stained and sealed approximately every 2-5 years, depending on the type of wood.

7. Clean your patio stones and walkways

Patios and walkways built with the most common types of stone-based products (like concrete, paver stones, flagstone, cut stone, and clay brick) are relatively low-maintenance.

A little bit of spring cleaning attention should be all the work that your backyard’s stone surfaces need until the late fall, other than an occasional quick sweep or hosing off.

See if any of the stones are damaged badly enough that they should be replaced. Remove any weeds growing around and between the stones by hand, making sure you’re pulling them out by the roots.

To clean most underfoot hardscape surfaces, using a hose or pressure washer along with dish soap and a scrubber should suffice. To remove tougher stains, mildew, and algae, a stone cleaner can be used.

For any of your backyard spring cleaning tasks, be mindful of using eco-friendly cleaning products. Cleaners are available that don’t contain chemicals that can damage anything growing in your yard and be harmful to people, pets, and local wildlife.

8. Prune your trees, shrubs, bushes, and hedges

tree being pruned

Tending to your shrubs, trees, hedges, and bushes in the spring doesn’t only help breathe new life into your backyard, it keeps them healthy and stimulates their growth.

After removing any winter protection netting and wrapping they have, remove any dead limbs. Dead branches are unsightly, a falling hazard, and make plants susceptible to diseases that can spread throughout the organism.

The amount of pruning work you’ll be doing in early spring depends on the types of vegetation you have. Some types of vegetation (like birch and maple trees) should be pruned in early spring.

With other types of plants (such as lilacs and forsythia shrubs), it’s best to wait until mid-to-late April to give them a pruning.

9. Clean your gutters and downspouts

Cleaning out your home’s gutters and downspouts is another important spring cleaning job. Sure, it may not produce the kind of eye-catching results you’ll appreciate when you’re outside. It’s still an essential task that shouldn’t be ignored, though, especially since spring is Ontario’s rainiest season.

Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water damage to the roof, siding, and foundation of a house. Attached patios and decks can get damaged as well.

Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned at least twice a year – in the spring and fall. Since they were last (hopefully) cleaned in the autumn, leaves, shingle grit, and other debris will have accumulated in them.

Leaf/gutter guards will significantly help keep your gutters from getting blocked. They’re not a catch-all solution (pun intended) to keeping gutters debris-free, however.

Downspouts should ideally be drained a minimum of five feet away from a house. If needed, use downspout extensions to ensure that rainwater is draining far enough from your h0me’s foundation.

10. Organize your garage and shed

yard tools on garage wall

The final thing to include on your backyard spring cleaning checklist is getting your garage and shed organized.

Assess which yard and gardening tools and powered yard equipment will get you through another year and which items are ready to retire. Do the same with your hoses, hose attachments, and sprinklers.

Give all of your landscaping tools a good cleaning and organize them so they each have a home, which makes it easier to find them and put them away.

If you need help getting your garage organized, Garage Living has great storage and organization solutions that you’ll find invaluable.

Get your outdoor living space project started

All of this backyard spring cleaning work will be worth it as you get to appreciate and spend time in a nicer backyard for the months to come.

Why not maximize your enjoyment outside with an outdoor living space that brings an exciting new look and level of functionality to your backyard?

From design to installation, Outeriors takes care of everything with your outdoor living space project. Schedule a free design consultation with us today to get started on your backyard’s transformation.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

7 Fall Outdoor Living Ideas To Extend Your Patio Season

Fall Outdoor Living Ideas

As the days of autumn whiz past, there is more urgency to squeeze in just a little more fall outdoor living time on our decks and patios.

It won’t be long before the snow and frigid temperatures make the backyard a recreational no-go zone until next spring.

The enjoyment of spending time in the backyard doesn’t have to come to an end so early into the fall, however.

How to improve your fall outdoor living experience

By making some forward-thinking decisions for an outdoor living space’s design, you can maximize its functionality for use virtually year-round. And by adding some simple fresh design elements, an outdoor living area can be made to feel cozier.

Backyard get-togethers with the family and friends can continue well into the autumn season. Use your outdoor living space as a spot to take a break from doing your fall chores like raking the leaves. Or just curl up beneath a blanket beside the warmth of a fire pit on a crisp fall day with a hot drink and a good book.

If you enjoy the bounty of autumn’s magnificent sights and smells and are looking for ways to extend your patio season, there are plenty of ways to revamp your outdoor living area.

Here are seven tips to improve your fall outdoor living experience.

1. Turn up the heat

An absolute essential to make your fall outdoor living experience more comfortable is a good heating source. When it’s chilly, nothing boosts the cozy feel of a space like adding some warmth to the area, especially if it’s generated by real flames.

Popular product choices to warm up an outdoor living area are fire pits (which also come in table and bowl designs), outdoor fireplaces, chimineas, propane patio heaters, and electrical heating appliances like infrared heaters.

There are numerous advantages of using propane or natural gas to fuel an outdoor fire source instead of wood:

  • propane and natural gas burn much cleaner than wood
  • there‘s no cleanup or maintenance required
  • starting and extinguishing gas-powered fires is instantaneous
  • both gases are cheaper to use than wood
  • there’s no annoying smoke to deal with

You’ll naturally want to locate any heating sources as close to your seating and dining areas as possible.

A high-quality fire pit/table/bowl becomes the centrepiece of an outdoor room. It doesn’t only have a magnet-like effect on everyone because of the heat it provides, they also add ambiance, a sophisticated touch, and visual appeal to an outdoor living space.

Before buying a heating product for your backyard, be sure to check on what your local laws allow for operating open fires. For example, the city of Toronto doesn’t allow residents to operate backyard fires that are fuelled by wood.

fire pit in outdoor living space

A heating source like a fire pit is essential for maximum comfort when using an outdoor living space in the fall.

2. Enjoy fall outdoor entertainment

An outdoor room with the right design can be used to bring the indoors outside and add another dimension to a home’s living space.

When coupled with a reliable heating source to help keep you warm and toasty, an outdoor living room can be used for longer into the year as an entertainment space.

The fall is prime time for North America’s four major professional sports. The NHL and NBA seasons get underway, the NFL is in full swing, and Major League Baseball offers up the excitement of September pennant races and October playoffs.

Why not enjoy your favourite fall sporting events or a family movie night with your friends and family in the comfort of your backyard? An exterior entertainment space with an outdoor TV, a great audio system, and high-quality furniture creates a comfortable extension of your living space.

To boost your comfort level, consider adding thermal outdoor curtains, which can usually be attached fairly easily to an outdoor living area’s overhead covering. They’ll help keep an outdoor living space’s heat in and are useful year-round for privacy, bug control, and blocking out the sun and wind. If you’re using a propane patio heater, just be sure the area has enough ventilation.

3. Keep your outdoor kitchen open longer

There’s no substitute for the unique, savoury taste of food grilled over a flame. It’s not difficult to set up an outdoor kitchen so it can be used well into the fall and beyond. A grilled meal during the winter is a welcome menu option that helps to alleviate those February blahs (use these winter grilling tips).

Any outdoor kitchen needs a good grill, so don’t cut corners when it comes to buying the most essential appliance in an outdoor cooking space.

Invest in a premium grill that provides a headache-free cooking experience. High-quality grills are more reliable and will:

  • start up every time
  • hold steady cooking temperatures
  • cook food more quickly and efficiently than cheap grills
  • allow you to grill foods at different temperatures with variable heating zones
  • offer convenient features like smart tech and under-hood grill task lighting

The damper, colder weather of fall is a good reminder that your outdoor kitchen cabinet and countertop materials need to be of the highest quality to endure through Canada’s ever-changing weather.

Outeriors offers a wide selection of distinctive outdoor kitchen countertops and cabinets in a variety of attractive materials, styles, and colours.

To feel cozier while spending time in your backyard on chillier fall days, set up a hot beverage station in your outdoor kitchen. Beverages like hot apple cider, hot chocolate, wassail, and pumpkin spice latte are perfect for autumn and will warm you up as you extend your fall outdoor living time.

outdoor kitchen and dining area

Design your outdoor kitchen so it’s available for convenient year-round use.

4. Use high-quality outdoor furniture

An outdoor living room’s furniture is another element where investing in higher-quality products will serve you better in the long run.

Winter may be the harshest season of the year, but the fall and spring’s unpredictable weather and constantly fluctuating temperatures will take a toll on outdoor furniture, too, especially cheap furniture.

Spend a little extra to buy high-quality outdoor furniture that has everything you look for when buying indoor furniture, including comfort, visual appeal, and durability. The latter characteristic is a little more important with outdoor furniture, of course.

Prioritize buying outdoor furniture made with weather-resistant materials that will reduce the likelihood of the furniture rusting, developing mould, fading, and warping. These outdoor furniture materials are considered the most durable:

  • powder-coated steel and aluminum
  • wrought iron with a weather-resistant finish
  • hardwoods such as teak, white oak, and eucalyptus
  • polyresin wicker

Weather-resistant cushions are another essential for outdoor furniture. No one likes to sit on a hard surface at any time of the year and especially not when the weather is cooler. Metal furniture materials like wrought iron can feel ice-cold on a chilly day and cushions act as a welcome buffer.

To extend the life of your outdoor furniture, keep them in a covered space to protect them from the elements and cover the furniture pieces up whenever possible.

5. Upgrade your exterior lighting

As the days get shorter, the lights come on earlier. That makes having good lighting extra important for an outdoor living space that will be used during the fall.

Lighting that is dim and harsh can singlehandedly neutralize any of your efforts to make a deck or patio area feel cozier in the autumn with heating and some decorative upgrades. The look and feel of a space is hugely impacted by lighting and simply using more bulbs to brighten an area isn’t a good strategy.

Incandescent and halogen lighting is considered outdated. Even relying solely on LEDs, today’s preferred exterior lighting choice, isn’t enough since there are a variety of bulb styles and colours that produce different results. Lighting also needs to be strategically located.

Consulting with a professional who can help with your outdoor living area’s lighting is a good idea. They’ll know how to achieve the best results so everything is well-lit for functionality and safety. A pro will also know how to effectively highlight the best parts of an outdoor living space and its surrounding landscaping.

-patio and landscape lighting for both functionality and to highlight your outdoor living space and make it feel more inviting and cozy.

6. Gimme shelter

Another of the essential fall outdoor living ideas to consider is adding an overhead covering for more comfort. A roof extension, covered pergola, gazebo, pavilion, or large awning are the most common solutions for covering an outdoor living space.

An outdoor living space should ideally have some sort of overhead covering to provide protection from the sun and rain during the summer. This is even more important in the fall when the combination of cool temperatures and rain is enough to drive everyone inside.

An overhead covering also prevents snow from covering your outdoor kitchen and living room area. That extends the life of your outdoor living products and allows you to continue using the grill year-round. When the weather won’t cooperate with your cooking plans, you won’t need to get out an umbrella or snow shovel before you fire up the grill.

outdoor living room

Lousy weather won’t limit the functionality of an outdoor living area if it’s got overhead covering.

7. Add cozy fall touches

Cool temperatures make it harder to feel cozy in a space. Along with heating your patio area, add some decorative touches that incorporate fall-themed decor elements to infuse the outdoor living space with a cozier vibe.

It doesn’t take much effort to quickly change the look and feel of a room by getting creative with the décor. This can be done several ways:

  • switching out furniture cushions
  • adding texture and softness to the space with outdoor area rugs, throw pillows, and blankets
  • using fall-inspired colours on your furnishings to set a festive mood
  • adding seasonal accents like a table centrepiece and foliage garland
  • light fall-themed candles to enhance the mood

Upgrade your fall outdoor living experience

There’s no reason any outdoor living space shouldn’t be enjoyed late into the fall, even in Canada!

All of the fall outdoor living ideas we’ve covered aren’t just practical in the autumn – they provide the same comfort benefits for the chillier days in spring when you’re itching to get outdoors after another long winter.

Outeriors provides the total package outdoor living remodel experience. Schedule a free consultation with us to get started on the design for your custom outdoor living space.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

10 Outdoor Living Room Ideas That Bring the Indoors Outside

outdoor living room and kitchen

What’s better than having one nice living room you enjoy spending time in? Two of them, of course, in the form of an outdoor living room.

When people look to increase the amount of living space their home has, it’s usually a house extension or addition that comes to mind.

Anyone who has undertaken a renovation project like this knows how daunting it can be. They’re messy, expensive, tend to drag on for longer than expected, and will inconvenience your family.

Instead of knocking down walls to expand your living area, why not make better use of the space you already have?

One very practical way to extend your home’s living space is to upgrade the backyard to include an outdoor living room.

The outdoor living boom is in full bloom

The livability of our homes has never been as front of mind as it is these days. The pandemic has reminded us that our families and our homes are everything.

Prioritizing the functionality and quality of our living spaces has made the backyard a logical area to focus on when making homes upgrades. The increased interest in backyard improvements actually started well before the pandemic and now the outdoor living boom is in full bloom.

High demand for outdoor living products means there are a wealth of buying options when you’re shopping for things like outdoor rugs, outdoor furniture, patio heating sources, and outdoor kitchen products.

Bringing the indoors outside to expand our living spaces led to an 8% surge in outdoor living product spending in 2020, according to a study from The Freedonia Group.

Experts weigh in on the hot outdoor living trends

Fixr.com, an online network that connects consumers with renovation professionals, revealed some interesting statistics in their recent annual Trends for Outdoor Living Spaces Report. A group of industry experts were surveyed about which outdoor living trends they expected to be popular with homeowners:

  • 80% of the experts believe outdoor spaces that have been upgraded would be used for gathering with friends and family.
  • 61% said outdoor kitchens were the most in-demand addition for outdoor living areas.
  • 48% of the surveyed experts expect outdoor spaces to be designed for year-round use.
  • 85% said that homeowners are more interested in outdoor living space upgrades compared to before the pandemic began.
  • 63% of the experts said that homeowners wanted bigger outdoor living areas than before the pandemic.
Trends for Outdoor Living Spaces infographic

Infographic from Fixr.com

The benefits of an outdoor living room

A well-designed outdoor living room adds practical exterior functionality to the home. There are innumerable ways to decorate the space, which gives the home’s décor an update as well.

Just like indoor living rooms, no two outdoor living rooms will look the same. Each design will be dictated by how the owner plans to use the space, as well as personal style and décor preferences.

Once your backyard lounging room is completed, here are just a few ways it can be used:

  • for outdoor dinner parties with your friends and neighbours
  • as a great setting for a kids birthday party
  • for exercising or meditating
  • as a spot to watch the sunset while enjoying a nightcap
  • to work on your tan
  • as a quiet backyard sanctuary where you can put your feet up and enjoy a good book
  • as a makeshift work-from-home space

To design the ultimate deck or patio outdoor living room with all the trimmings, here are 10 ideas you can’t go wrong with.

outdoor fire pit and seating

An outdoor living room can be used to relax, for social gatherings, or even as a private work-from-home space.

1. High-quality outdoor living room furniture

You can’t do much “living” in a living room without comfortable, high-quality furniture.

Modern outdoor furniture design has come a long since the days of those wobbly folding patio chairs in gaudy colours and hard Muskoka chairs that you could never quite get comfortable sitting on.

That also means good outdoor furniture isn’t cheap, either. If you’re going to the expense of having an outdoor living space built, make room in your budget to buy the best quality furniture you can.

Looks, comfort, and function are the main things you concern yourself with when buying indoor furniture. Since exposure to the elements is now a factor, you have to add durability and how much maintenance is required to your list of outdoor furniture considerations.

Choosing materials for outdoor furniture

Wood, wicker, plastic, and metal (commonly wrought iron and aluminum) are the materials used to make most outdoor furniture. Wood furniture is the most high-maintenance, while plastic and metal furniture require the least amount of upkeep. Invest in furniture with resilient, easy to clean fabrics.

Note that furniture made with cheap metal does rust quickly. If possible, buy metal outdoor furniture that has a powder-coated paint finish, which protects against rust.

Consider the weight of the furniture if you expect to change the arrangement of your seating from time to time. You also want it to be heavy enough to stay anchored in windy weather.

A wide array of outdoor furniture types are available to help you decorate your room exactly how you want. Outdoor tables, chairs, sofas, ottomans, umbrellas, loungers, and day beds are a few examples.

To maximize your outdoor storage space, buy furniture that has room for hidden storage where things like cushions and blankets can be stashed.

2. Cover your outdoor living room

There are few things more enjoyable than spending time in a comfy outdoor living room when the weather is perfect. But when that sun gets too hot or the skies open up, an outdoor living space isn’t much use unless it has some sort of overhead covering.

If a home’s roof is extended to cover the outdoor living area, it’s important to keep the sides of the room as open as possible to still make you feel like you’re outside. The photo below is a good example of this.

A large awning is an ideal option for anyone who wants some versatility with their outdoor living room. The room can stay uncovered when the weather is nice and then quickly covered up when you need to take refuge from the hot sun or rain.

A pergola is another popular backyard shade protection solution. The overhead slats provide just enough partial coverage from the sun to keep things comfortable. Pergolas can be custom-designed to create a beautiful backyard showpiece. This chic pergola with a lattice roof and gorgeous white drapery really caught our eye.

Locating your outdoor living room inside a pavilion or gazebo are additional ways to keep the space covered. And for a less costly way to stay dry and cooler, there’s always the reliable patio umbrella.

outdoor living area with kitchen

In an outdoor living room with a permanent roof like this one, it’s important to keep the sides of the room as open as possible to still make you feel like you’re outside.

3. Add some style underfoot

To accentuate the flooring of an outdoor living room on a deck or patio, add a stylish outdoor rug or two.

Whether it’s the flooring materials or the materials used in an outdoor kitchen, most outdoor living space colour schemes lean heavily on earthy neutral colours like brown, grey, and beige. While this looks beautiful and ultra-modern, you may want to add some pops of colour to your outdoor setting. Furniture fabrics, cushions with bold colours, and some colourful rugs are great ways to accomplish this.

To really make your outdoor living room’s décor stand out, put in some extra effort to find rugs that coordinate nicely with your outdoor furniture. And if you want to switch up the look of your room in an instant, get reversible outdoor rugs with stylish patterns on both sides.

Many types of outdoor rugs are made with 100% recycled plastic and are stain-resistant and UV-resistant. They’re low-maintenance and can be cleaned with a hose. For more stubborn stains, simply use a little laundry detergent.

Outdoor floor tiles are also worth looking at as a backyard floor décor upgrade option. They’re super-easy to install and come in a variety of styles that simulate the look of grass, stone, and wood.

4. An outdoor kitchen and dining area

The only thing better than relaxing in an outdoor living room while enjoying the weather and the company of your friends and family is to do it on a full stomach.

An outdoor living room by itself qualifies as an outdoor living space, but pair your backyard lounging area with an outdoor kitchen and dining area and now you’ve got a truly complete outdoor living space.

Clearly, more homeowners feel this way based on the results from that Fixr survey, as well as other recent surveys from Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens and the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Data from those organizations are surprisingly consistent and show that 60-65% of homeowners consider an outdoor kitchen to be an important part of an outdoor living space.

Like the living room, outdoor kitchens are another big part of the trend of adding interior functionality to the outside of our homes.

Outdoor kitchen designs can be so elaborate nowadays that they can even rival the designs of many indoor luxury kitchens!

With a high-performance grill, a range of outdoor appliances, sturdy countertops for dining and food prep, and weatherproof outdoor cabinetry for storage, cooking in the backyard has never been easier or more fun.

outdoor kitchen and counter

An outdoor kitchen paired with an exterior living room gives you the full outdoor living experience.

5. An outdoor bar

An outdoor kitchen and living room takes your backyard’s functionality to the next level, but there’s still something missing…like an outdoor bar.

Brown Jordan’s 2021 Outdoor Living Report, which was part of that trio of surveys we referenced above, found that 42% of homeowners want their backyard space to include an outdoor bar. During the pandemic, online searches for outdoor bar products skyrocketed.

To set up an outdoor bar that enhances your backyard living space even more, here are some of the essential features to include:

  • an outdoor fridge
  • a kegerator/beer dispenser
  • an ice making machine
  • an outdoor sink
  • a complete beverage centre/cocktail station that includes a sink, ice bins, and bottle storage area
  • comfortable bar stools

6. Bring the home entertainment room outside

Remember when watching TV in the backyard involved using one of those tiny, boxy portable TVs with lousy reception and a grainy picture to catch the afternoon ball game? Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from those days.

Modern outdoor televisions offer the same high-quality features available on “regular” indoor TVs, such as 4K video resolution, smart technology integration, and streaming capabilities.

You might hear outdoor TVs referred to by a few different names, including:

  • weatherproof TV
  • weather-resistant TV
  • all-season TV
  • four-season TV
  • waterproof TV
  • outdoor-rated TV

They’re all essentially the same thing and specifically built to be used outside. High-quality outdoor TVs are constructed with materials and electronic components that are durable enough to handle moisture, dust, temperature fluctuations, and humidity. Part of their weatherproof design includes exteriors that have powder-coated finishes.

Just as with a modern indoor TV, the thin flatscreen design allows for some versatility when you’re considering where to locate it. Most people choose to wall mount their TV. Although most outdoor TVs provide a brighter picture to offset the effects of glare and natural outdoor light, you still need to locate it in a good spot that is out of direct sunlight.

If you want to make your outdoor living room even more unique, you could have a pro install the TV so it folds down from the ceiling when you want to use it or raises from the floor at the touch of a button. Talk about a conversation piece!

Audio ideas for an outdoor space

When you’re enjoying summer movie night in the comfort of your backyard, you’ll want the same movie theatre-quality sound we’ve become accustomed to in our indoor entertainment rooms.

A good soundbar built for outdoor use can produce rich, dynamic sound that makes the experience of watching a movie or sporting event more immersive. You could also opt for a more traditional audio setup with low-profile speakers or hidden speakers that are incorporated into the outdoor living room design.

Wireless speakers are being used in more homes because of the cleaner look that comes without any wiring. There’s also less setup involved with them and they offer convenient smart tech functionality.

Don’t just locate your speakers anywhere outside, however! Outeriors specializes in outdoor audio solutions. Our experts can get you set up with a high-quality outdoor audio system that is configured to perform beautifully in your backyard.

outdoor speaker beside patio

With the right high-quality products, you can enjoy the same level of audio and video quality outside as you can indoors.

7. Make your outdoor living room more private

If you’re looking for a little more privacy in your outdoor living room and don’t have a few years to wait for a new hedge to fully grow, there are a few options to consider.

A fence is a natural solution to add more backyard privacy. A trellis is another way to give a backyard living area a decorative touch and more privacy, especially if you add vining plants to grow on it.

Along with giving an outdoor living space shade covering, pergolas are also useful for providing privacy and a structure to decorate with greenery. In addition to climbing plants, you can hang planters from the roof.

Waterproof outdoor curtains and patio privacy screens are other ways to maintain your privacy and they’ll also help out a little with bug control.

It’s important to avoid overdoing it with any privacy-related additions to the overhead and sides of your outdoor living space. You don’t want the space to feel too enclosed and be unable to enjoy a mild spring or summer breeze!

8. Include heating for more comfort

Outdoor Spaces Adapted for Year-Round Use infographic

Infographic from Fixr.com

As you can see from the above infographic, homeowners want to use their outdoor spaces all year round. The most practical way to make an outdoor living room a three-season or four-season room is to add some type of heating element.

Outdoor heating allows you to stay outside longer when a summer evening cools off and also during the early parts of spring and late weeks of fall.

The most popular outdoor heating products include:

  • gas or propane outdoor fire pits or fire tables
  • wood-burning fire pits
  • gas or propane outdoor fireplaces
  • wood-burning fireplaces
  • gas lamps/patio heaters
  • electric outdoor infrared heaters

Gas and propane fire pits have quickly become a favourite backyard heating solution for homeowners, mostly because of their ease of use.

59% of the experts in that Fixr survey named fire pits as a must-have for outdoor living areas.

fire pit with two chairs

Fire pits are a popular choice to heat backyard living areas.

9. Pamper yourself with a hot tub or spa

If you have the square footage in your backyard living space and really want to pamper yourself, add a hot tub or spa.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between a hot tub and a spa, it’s quite simple: a hot tub is installed above-ground, while a spa is typically installed in-ground.

A spa or hot tub provides a soothing space to relax, can be used for hydrotherapy, and are sure to become one of the most memorable features of your outdoor living space for guests.

If possible, try to strategically locate a spa or hot tub to take advantage of one of the best views your outdoor living space has to offer.

10. Light up your outdoor living area

Good lighting is essential for a backyard living area. You want your outdoor lighting to look elegant and add ambiance, while also providing enough illumination so you can function in the backyard after dark and navigate around safely.

Enhancing your backyard curb appeal with lighting can include using everything from mini lights to floor lanterns to patio lanterns to outdoor chandeliers.

There are lots of cheap outdoor lighting products out there, so do your homework before buying anything. Choose products that are built to last in Canadian weather and have a good warranty.

Unless you have experience with installing outdoor lighting, it’s best to let a trained pro handle the job. They’ll ensure everything works safely and things like wires are well-hidden.

outdoor living space at night

Boost your backyard curb appeal with functional and stylish outdoor lighting.

Make your outdoor living room something special

We hope this article has given you some ideas and inspiration to help make your planned outdoor living room and backyard living space something special and unique.

Get started on making better use of your backyard with an outdoor living project that is customized for your home. Schedule a free design consultation with Outeriors today.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also: