How to Maximize Outdoor Space While Living in the City

How to Maximize Outdoor Space While Living in the City

The choice between moving to the city, the suburbs, or to a rural area often comes down to one thing: access to outdoor space. Many people think they either have to live in the city with nothing but concrete outside or somewhere far outside the city with a lot of land, but we believe that there’s a happy medium to be found! While it’s true that living in the city typically comes with less square footage outdoors, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the space you have and create a true oasis right in the heart of the city.


Have some extra space close to the exterior walls of your home? Rather than letting that space go to waste, create a charming courtyard out of it! These open-air spaces are an excellent way to add some life to the outside of your home. Stock your courtyard with fountains, planters, benches, plants, anything that fits your fancy to create your own little slice of heaven right outside your door.


Perhaps this is the most straightforward suggestion, but many people don’t think of the multitude of creative ways they can incorporate greenery into their outdoor space. Even something as simple as planting a big, leafy tree outside can provide extra privacy as well as the feeling of being up in the canopies when you look outside your window. You can also add greenery in smaller ways like adding planters to your front porch, planting vines on a trellis, or lining your fence with rose bushes.

Multi-level back deck

Creating next-level back decks is one of our specialties! Adding multiple levels to your deck area allows you to create several intimate-feeling spaces while still hosting large groups of people. Grill on the upper level, chill on the lower level, create whatever atmosphere you like, and facilitate great conversation with pods of seating where people can enjoy one another’s company. Another way to make your back deck even more epic is by adding high-quality lighting; use lanterns, path lighting, or quality string lights to keep a moody and magical atmosphere!

Indoor/outdoor flow

The best way to make sure you’re truly utilizing your outdoor space is by making it easily accessible! Large french doors or folding glass doors that completely open up your home to the fresh air are an excellent way to bring the outdoors in! On nice days, keep the doors open to let in a cool breeze and create indoor/outdoor flow that makes it feel like the two areas are one.

Small gardens

You don’t have to live on a sprawling ranch to have a garden! Building small gardens into every nook and cranny of your outdoor space creates a sense of vitality and helps to soften back decks or courtyards that can easily feel too cold or lifeless. Get creative and think outside of the box when it comes to planning out small gardens; see in the photo above how small gardens were built into the sides of the bench, in raised planters along the walls, and in the area between levels of the deck!

Outdoor fireplace

Outdoor fireplaces are a must-have in a chilly city like Chicago to ensure you can use your outdoor space all year long. When the weather starts to turn, light up a fire and stay cozy enjoying family time outside rather than being cooped up all winter! We like to go beyond common fire “pits” that sit on the ground of your outdoor space and rather opt for full, professionally-built outdoor fireplaces. You can even add a mantle, lighting, and other decor to dress it up even more and really make your outdoor feel like an extension of your home!

Ready to start planning your own outdoor oasis? Contact us to get started!