Updating Your Outdoor Space: 6 Things to Take Into Account

outdoor living space with covered structure and stone kitchen and outdoor grill
Mar 08 2017

Updating Your Outdoor Space: 6 Things to Take Into Account

When planning home additions and renovations, you are also increasing the value of your home and potentially creating more space for your family to enjoy. While some aspects of planning are fairly straightforward, others easily slip through the cracks.  If you’re planning to update your space, make sure these six items are on your list of considerations.

Spatial Needs

Thinking about who will be using the space is a key consideration. Is this the backyard where your young children will grow up? Is this the home where you and your spouse will retire? Maybe entertaining large groups is at the top of your list of priorities. We encourage our clients to take into account the way they will use the spaces – and how that can grow and change with their families. This input will always help to inform design from the very beginning of the process.


To paraphrase a concept that Frank Lloyd Wright introduced, the front of the home is like the face you put on to the public, while the back of your home is more like your family … unique and full of personality.  It is important to think about how your spaces connect visually and physically – and how they flow from indoors to outdoors.  Access from your side yards so that circulation flows from front to back is also important.  Often we conceive of your backyard as a series of linked spaces that flow together – either vertically (in the case of adding a deck) or horizontally.  It is important that all connections are carefully thought out in the planning stages.


Materials should be at the top of your list of considerations when planning an update for your outdoor space. Every material has its pros and cons, so consulting a professional about which types of materials will best suit your space and environment is important.  At Urban Oasis, we strive to suggest materials that compliment your architecture and remain durable and functional for your family.

Focal Points

If your goal is to have a cozy outdoor space to enjoy in the summer, a firepit or fireplace may be a good choice as a focal point.   A beautiful Japanese maple or other specimen tree makes a nice highlight if you prefer a more natural looking setting.  Perhaps a water feature with some lovely, soft sound is the perfect element to organize your space.  Whatever the solution, it is always good to have intentional places where your eye can land.  This helps to organize the composition.


At Urban Oasis, being environmentally responsible is one of our top priorities. We can offer several low-maintenance, low water use lawn alternatives.  We are well-versed in native plants that are adapted to our climate and weather patterns.  At our initial consultation, we will offer hardscape material suggestions that are environmentally-friendly as well – including permeable pavers, composite decking and other innovative solutions that come from sustainable sources. Our team can help you create a space with sustainability and low maintenance as priorities so it will benefit you, your family, and the planet for many years to come.

Weather and climate

It’s no secret that we get a lot of rain in the Pacific Northwest, and that means your outdoor spaces will be exposed to the elements. We can’t control the weather, but we can design for shelter and heat to increase the amount of time you can enjoy your time outside. From outdoor covers that are attached to your home to stand-alone structures to water-proofed decks with outdoor rooms beneath, we can help you find a way to utilize your new spaces for outdoor living year round.

Planning home renovations can be a bit daunting, but at Urban Oasis we strive to make the process as easy and straightforward as possible. To learn more about our services or view our portfolio, visit our website today!

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