Create the Ultimate Family-Friendly Outdoor Space

Create outdoor rooms that your whole family will love living in with our tips for incorporating color, durable materials, lighting and more. 

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

An Outdoor Room You'll Love Living In

Vibrant colors, fun patterns, playful additions and durable materials are all keys to creating a pet- and kid-friendly outdoor space that's also stylish enough for an adults-only soiree.  

Make It Nap-Worthy

Adding a hammock is a foolproof way to easily turn a shady backyard spot into a cozy lounge for afternoon naps. Choose a hammock that coordinates with the other colors in the space and be sure to install it with the bottom slope of the hammock sitting no higher than 12 to 14 inches above the ground. This low height will ensure that kids can take a seat without safety concerns.

Choose Pieces That Do Double Duty

Bring multipurpose use to your outdoor space by adding versatile, comfortable seating options like poufs, ottomans and occasional tables. Upholstered poufs like these can be grouped together for impromptu seating that's ideal for pint-sized guests or for use as extra serving space.

Get Kids Crafting

Get the entire family in on the decorating with easy DIY projects. These colorful shibori napkins were made from basic white cotton napkins that were bound with a rubber band, then dunked into a pot of dye for a sophisticated tie-dye effect. Craft your own with our step-by-step instructions

Soften the Space

One of the most important elements to incorporate when creating a family-friendly outdoor space is softness. Minimize hard edges and make the space more livable with lots of soft elements like drapery panels, plush upholstery and cushy area rugs.

Choose Low-Maintenance Materials

For outdoor spaces that are frequently used by kids and pets, steer away from high-mainternance wicker furniture and instead opt for woven resin pieces that resemble wicker but without the worries. Resin furniture brings the timeless texture and pattern of woven grass outdoors but in a material which can withstand the elements and be rinsed off with a hose. 

Pillows: Go Big

When choosing weather-resistant pillows for your outdoor space, stick with oversized options that can serve double duty as floor cushions for your littlest guests. Here, 24x24 pillows in coral tones soften up the paver stone patio. 

Incorporate a Sense of Play

Keep the entire family engaged during outdoor gatherings with playful elements. This tic-tac-toe table is a clever DIY project that turns an unused fire pit into a coffee table that, with the addition of a painted grid and a few wood blocks, is ready for game time. Learn how to make your own.  

Illuminate for Safety

Safely (and colorfully!) illuminate your outdoor spaces with LED, battery-operated candles inside brightly painted lanterns. For a budget-frienldy option, go with solar-powered batteries to harness the power of the sun to light up the night. 

Make Your Tableware Accident Proof

You aren't limited to serving snacks and meals out of paper plates just because kids are on the guest list. Add style and substance with melamine tableware in fun colors and fashion-forward patterns that coordinate with your overall decor. These unbreakable pieces will allow you to dine in style without worries of a serveware slip-up.

Go Boho-Chic on the Cheap

Add a trendy look to your outdoor dining space without the typical high price tag with a DIY tablecloth made from fabric scraps. Choose 5 to 7 different fabrics in similar colors but with varying patterns. Prevent the look from becoming too busy by selecting a mix of small, medium and large patterns. Cut fabric into assorted sizes, place on a plain white tablecloth, then bond them in place with fabric glue. Get more tips plus step-by-step instructions for making your own patchwork tablecloth

Opt for Easy to Clean

Save yourself a headache by choosing lightweight outdoor furniture with a slick surface that's easy to clean. Though they may look high-maintenance, these fiberglass lattice chairs from the 1960s only weigh about 4 pounds each and any dust and grime can be quickly rinsed off with a hose.

Add Softness Underfoot

Protect little knees from scuffs by softening your deck or patio's hardscape with weather-resistant area rugs. Choose a rug in colors that complement your overall palette and with a fairly detailed pattern so dirt and stains will be less noticeable. 

Plan for Success

Indoors or out — space planning is key when laying out any room. Rather than push furniture up against walls or fences, float the pieces in the center, being sure to leave 18 to 24 inches of open area between your coffee table and its surrounding seating. This will allow for better flow in and around the area and keep the space feeling more open and accessible.

Consider Form and Function

If you're setting up a bar-height snack area, be sure to choose sturdy stools with a wide base to prevent toppling. Safe doesn't have to be bland; to pop bold color into this outdoor serving space, powder-coated stools in shades of mint green and white were added for a touch of fun.

Go Crazy for Color

An outdoor space is one area where the more color, the merrier. Pull together your favorite colors from flowers, the ocean, or even a sunset to make your outdoor room a truly cheery space where you and your guests will love lounging.