Tips for Creating an Outdoor Room

Tips for Creating an Outdoor Room

An inviting outdoor room greatly increases the appeal and value of your home and provides a comfortable, happy space for friends and family, allowing you to maximize the time you spend outdoors. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind while creating the perfect space for you.

Determine the Available Space

Determine the amount of space you want to transform, and gather ideas on how to use this space, taking into account the purpose you want it to serve: cooking, dining, relaxation and play.

Identify Spaces and Products Dedicated to Specific Areas

These elements are crucial to establishing a plan according to your needs and desires. Position an outdoor fireplace as the focal point, determine the cooking and eating spaces, and define any other area you want to include.

Create Your Wish List

Magazines, newspapers and websites are all excellent reference tools that can guide you in your quest for the perfect outdoor room. Collect, print and file your favorite photos and articles so you can refer to them as you develop your outdoor room.

Consider the Style of Your Home

It is important to understand the architectural style of your home in order to create an outdoor room that reflects the interior. There are products, furniture and objects for all tastes and styles.

Think About Foundations

A stone terrace, retaining walls, a fence and a terrace are basic elements to consider.

Use Landscaping as an Accessory

Well positioned flowers, plants and shrubs will add the finishing touch, completing your design. Select plants that change with the seasons, offering different colors, different blooms and heady smells depending on the time of year. Be sure to read our article on working with a Professional Landscaper beginning on page 4 for more information.

Draw Up a Plan

The best way to design an outdoor room that will reflect your desires is to make sketches. Don’t worry about your drawing skills; the important thing is that the general idea is well represented.

Visit a Specialty Shop

A specialized retailer is a key partner in creating your outdoor room. Bring your ideas to a retailer who sells fireplaces, barbecues and/or patio furniture. They can help you determine the products, materials and accessories available in your area and guide you in the realization of your plan, in addition to coordinating the installation. A turnkey service will save you from surprises.

Research Products You’re Interested In

After checking details with a specialized retailer, go online to review products and manufacturer information.

Add Furniture

Choose comfortable furniture that will make people want to linger. No matter the style, patio sets are designed to create atmosphere, and give beauty and character to the oasis that will reflect your personality. In addition to tables and chairs for the dining area, consider a lounge area with sofas, loveseats and side tables.

Don’t Forget The Lighting

Maximize the time you spend outdoors by lighting important areas such as sidewalks, dining and leisure areas, or around the pool. Strategically place lights to highlight your landscaping.

Details, Details, Details

Once everything is done and done right, you can add small details that will make your outdoor room stand out. Pots of flowers, rugs, a special table or a piece of art can all enhance the ambiance of your patio!

Complete Your Project One Step at a Time

It often takes a few years to achieve the perfect end result while staying on budget despite a long wish list. Start by installing an outdoor fireplace and plan a dining area. Over the years, add accessories, decorative elements and landscaping.

Build Your Space

Have fun building this space! Remember to include all the things that are important to you, such as cooking, dining, relaxation and play areas.

Professional Landscaping: Designing Your Outdoor Living Space

Professional Landscaping: Designing Your Outdoor Living Space

It’s finally time to prepare your outdoor living space! Planning remains the key to avoiding costly mistakes and ensuring all your outdoor space wishes are realized. A professional landscaper is an important part of the design process to consider. With the help of a professional, landscaping transforms your outdoor living environment. A professional landscaper knows how to create dynamic and sustainable spaces that will enhance your quality of life, increase the value of your home and provide you with great satisfaction for a long time. Before contacting a professional landscaper, we advise you to plan your project by following the following steps.
Step 1: Set your goals
  • Are you interested in developing a single area on your property or do you want to transform several spaces? If the plan concerns several areas, which are the priorities?
  • Apart from the aesthetic aspect, how important is the functionality of the space? Are you aiming for maximum use of the premises?
  • Do you want your new garden to provide more security, more privacy, or greater ease of access?
  • Which style do you prefer: natural, urban, formal, informal, etc.?
  • What elements already exist in the places you want to keep, such as trees, rocks, streams, landscaping, etc.?
  • Is there a view you would like to keep, improve or hide?
  • Do you want to develop a plan or do you already have one? What are your design preferences, such as colours, types of materials, choice of plants, etc.?
  • What are your expectations for maintenance? Do you expect to spend a lot of time there, or do you prefer a low-maintenance layout?
Step 2: Identify the elements you want to be a part of your space
  • Cooking, dining, entertainment and relaxation areas
  • Barbecues, firepits, and outdoor fireplaces and heaters
  • Pools, spas, or other water features, such as waterfalls or ponds
  • Trails and walking areas, and shaded and sunny spaces
  • Garden pavilions, gazebos, pergolas, fences or trellises
  • Patios, terraces, playgrounds and lawn areas
  • Trees, shrubbery and plants, including ground cover, vines, vegetables, etc.
  • Lighting (both aesthetic and functional)
  • Irrigation, rainwater harvesting systems
  • Storage sheds or areas
Step 3: List the factors that could influence your design
  • Location and zone of your property
  • Climate (snow, wind, temperature)
  • Topography of the site (characteristics of the land surface)
  • Areas of sun and shade already present
  • Soil condition (e.g., clay soil, wet, swamp, sand, etc.)
  • Drainage and irrigation
  • Existing landscaping and permanent elements already in place
  • Municipal regulations, such as height restrictions on structures or construction distances to be respected; please check your municipality’s website for more information
  • Underground infrastructure, such as pipes, aqueducts, cables, etc.
  • Any restrictions on the schedule of work; keep in mind that it is best to do most landscaping work between the months of April and November
Step 4: Have a plan drawn up
A professionally designed plan is an essential step in any landscaping project. Since it reflects your choices, a master plan helps you keep control of your project and avoid unpleasant surprises, because it gives you an overview of the final result. To help you visualize how the components of your plan will work with existing property aspects and structures, your plan will identify plant elements (trees, plants, flowers, grass), inert elements (stones, patios, structures), as well as water and lighting features. This overview will be an important reference tool to explore the possibilities available to you, and will allow you to develop the design according to your needs and budget, as well as according to the stages of development. A professional plan will help you achieve your goals and maximize the potential of your property. It can also save you money. Landscaping is often a significant investment – mistakes and misunderstandings can be expensive. A professional can help you avoid making costly mistakes.
Step 5: Look for a Certified Landscaper
Certified landscapers are recognized for their commitment to the highest standards of quality. Take the time to fully research the professional association in your area and find the right landscaper for you.

Source: Association of Professional Landscapers of Quebec (