Create an ideal outdoor living space with a rustic fire pit and stone patio. Discover the best designs and inspiration for your backyard living today.

8 Outdoor Living Ideas

Outdoor living refers to the concept of extending your living space to the outdoors and creating functional and comfortable areas for relaxation, entertainment, and recreation. It involves designing and furnishing outdoor spaces such as patios, fire pits, gardens, or porches to create an inviting and enjoyable environment.

  • Outdoor seating: Invest in comfortable outdoor furniture such as sofas, chairs, and loungers. Choose weather-resistant materials that can withstand outdoor conditions.
  • Dining area: Set up a dining area with a table and chairs where you can enjoy meals outdoors. Consider adding a grill or outdoor kitchen for cooking and entertaining.
  • Shade and shelter: Install a pergola, canopy, or umbrella to provide shade and protection from the sun. For more substantial shelter, consider adding a gazebo or a covered patio.
  • Outdoor kitchen: Create a fully functional outdoor kitchen with a grill, sink, refrigerator, and storage. This allows you to cook and entertain outdoors without constantly going inside.
  • Outdoor fireplace or fire pit: Install a fireplace or fire pit to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. This is perfect for chilly evenings or gathering around with friends and family.
  • Lighting: Incorporate outdoor lighting to enhance the ambiance and functionality of your outdoor living space. Use a combination of overhead, task, and accent lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • Outdoor entertainment: Consider adding features such as a TV, sound system, or outdoor games to keep yourself and your guests entertained outdoors.
  • Greenery and landscaping: Incorporate plants, flowers, and landscaping elements to add beauty and tranquility to your outdoor space. Consider using potted plants, vertical gardens, or a well-maintained lawn.

Outdoor living is about creating a space that suits your needs and preferences. Whether you want a peaceful oasis or a vibrant entertainment area, design your outdoor living space to reflect your lifestyle and make the most of your outdoor environment.

Outdoor Living Near Me

Our home is in the valley of the Green Mountains of Vermont. We are blessed to have grand mountain views just outside our windows. Our goal was to create a beautiful and enjoyable outdoor living space that we could enjoy three seasons out of the year—and maybe even on a warm winter day, too.

However, the front yard was filled with recently diseased pine trees, which, unfortunately, were common and spreading throughout Vermont. We believe it to have been a form of blight. It was then that we decided to have it all removed and create our own personalized outdoor living landscape and design—one we could share with friends, family, and neighbors.

We were looking to incorporate a low-maintenance outdoor living space that would include an easy on-and-off smokeless fire pit with comfortable outdoor seating.

*This is the first post in a two-part series. For the final outdoor living reveal, be sure to check out the Backyard Living: From Design to Reality post next.

Landscaping Removal

Backyard Tree Removal

It all began with removing the current landscape. The pine trees had become diseased and overgrown, blocking the view of the mountains.

Outdoor living with natural fire pit and mountain views
Outdoor Living Before

The original apple trees were beautiful when they bloomed in the spring, but eventually, the fallen apples made a mess of the lawn, and our Bernese Mountain Dog, Ella, would eat the apple cores, which can be toxic for dogs. So, it all came down during the pandemic.

Tree Stump Removal

Next, we needed to remove all the remaining tree stumps to make way for a clear space to install our patio. This wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be. Each remaining tree stump needed to be grounded up and removed. We hired a local tree company to complete this work.

You can remove tree stumps on your own by renting a wood chipper, but if you don’t know what you are doing, you can easily break the expensive blades on the machinery. Best to hire this job out.

Outdoor Living Products

Fire Pit

Here in Vermont, our front yard is wide open to the elements and is especially vulnerable to high winds. This is the main reason why our natural wood fire pit did not work well for us. It simply caused too much smoke and ash to be enjoyable.

What we were looking for:

  • A tabletop fire pit that we could use for entertaining
  • A fire pit that would fit four comfortably
  • Easy on and off without the hassles of starting a fire.
  • A natural-looking style that would match nicely with the outdoor living space.
  • High quality that would sustain the harsh Vermont weather elements.
  • A height of at least 24″.

What we chose:

The Outdoor Greatroom’s Vintage Square Faux Wood Fire Table

We were so fortunate that one was in stock and available to ship right away. It arrived on one pallet and weighed about 350 lbs. It was very simple to put together, and it will run on one propane tank for 8-10 hours. The tank is hidden inside the fire pit with an optional outside on-and-off switch. We purchased two propane tanks, so we have one as a backup in case we run out during burning time.

Outdoor Greatroom Vintage 48.25 Square Faux Wood Fire Table
Photo credit Patio Living.

*This post is not meant to be an actual tutorial but a guide as to how we designed our outdoor living space.

Fire Pit Installation

The fire pit installation was very simple. We set this fire pit up, aware that we would need to remove it again when the stone mason came to install our stone patio underneath it in a couple of months’ time. Here is how we set the fire pit up prior to the stone patio being installed.

  • Level the ground.
  • Add Stone.
  • Set the fire pit base onto the leveled stone.
  • Rest the top of the fire pit onto the base.
  • Hook up and add a propane tank. Keep a second propane tank on hand for backup.
  • Add the fire tray and crystals.
  • Add the glass fire shield (optional)

Fire Pit Patio Design

We hired a local stone worker, Rene’ from Ever Green Designs, to create a 10′ round stone patio for us. Then, we calculated the amount of materials we would need.

We chose Corinthian granite for our patio because of its natural beauty and rustic charm. We wanted something that would look natural and blend in with all of this backyard’s outdoor living elements.

  • 20 yards of 3/4 crushed stone
  • 3 yards of masonry sand
  • 350 square feet of 2″ thick Corinthian granite
  • 14 yards of topsoil to tie it together with landscaping.
  • Landscape fabric
  • Grass seed and straw to finish
Tractor with patio supplies, stone, dirt and corinthian granite.
Starting the Work

More crushed stone was needed and was delivered the following morning.

Outdoor living patio space in the mountains with pea stone.
Day Two

Designing A Circle of Granite

You may also enjoy the Refreshing Weekend Junket Home to Vermont post to see more of this fire pit today.

Rounding the Corner

Outdoor Living space in the mountains with rounded fire pit design almost finished.
Day 7

Patio Completion

This patio took about one week to be completed, and that was with endless amounts of rain…

Once the rain stopped, we added grass seed and hay to fill in the surrounding muddy areas you see here.

Outdoor Living Stone Steps

Once the patio was completed, we decided that we wanted a few stone steps leading down the hill from our home to the patio fire pit below. Once again, we hired our local stone mason, Rene, to install them for us.

I wanted steps that would look like they were part of the natural landscaping.

Outdoor living rustic stone steps with geranium arrangements.

And that is exactly what we got. I love how the steps look like they have been part of our outdoor living for generations.

Outdoor Living Furniture

Be sure to check out the next post in this two-part series to see this outdoor living space completed today with seating, landscaping, fencing, and more in the Backyard Living: From Design to Reality post.

Outdoor Living Fire Pit  in the mountains with blue cushions.

I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed your visit with us here today at our Home in Vermont.

Be sure to also check out our Home in Coastal Maine, where we spend summers and weekends craving a walk on the beach or a visit with old friends.

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Outdoor Living: Patio and Fire Pit Design

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  1. Susan Mogensen says:

    Hi Ann,
    I have been watching this entire project on my daily walks…even met the guys and their very friendly German Shepard. This project looks amazing! It’s been raining here…ugh, but the work goes on. Can’t wait to see the finished fire pit. What fun it will be to sit on your lawn and enjoy the spectacular view! Enjoy!💕

    1. We can’t wait to have you over this fall Susan!!

  2. This is such a beautiful project Ann! I’m so excited to follow along. It will be such a gorgeous space to take in your amazing views and enjoy the evenings! I love it!

  3. That view… I would spend all day everyday just taking it all in!

    1. It’s why we bought the house for sure! Thanks so much Cara🙌🏻

  4. Marlene Stephenson says:

    I could sit out there all day and enjoy this view. Your firepit will be so fun when finished and looks amazing.

  5. Wow! It is beautiful, Ann! Thanks for sharing all of your tips. I’d love to have a spot like this in my backyard someday.

    1. Thanks so much Jen. I can’t wait to add the seating next🙌🏻