Transform Your Backyard: A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Design in Iowa


In the hustle and bustle of life these days, finding ways to get outside and connect with nature has never been more vital to the human experience. Whether your outdoor space includes a small balcony, a cozy patio, or a sprawling backyard, creating outdoor spaces that reflect who you are and the activities you want to enjoy is the primary goal of a properly designed outdoor space. Reaching these goals requires thoughtful planning, creativity, and a touch of inspiration.



Understanding Your Space


Before getting started on your outdoor design journey, it is important to understand your existing space. How big is your space? Is there anything you can reuse in your new space? Understand the natural elements your space has to offer. How much sunlight does your space receive? Is there natural shade? Are there any natural elements you want to use as a focal point? Consider how you intend to use the space – whether it’s for dining, lounging, gardening, or a combination of activities.


Define Zones


Just like when designing indoor spaces, outdoor areas benefit from clear definitions of different zones. Designate areas for dining, seating, cooking, and any other activities you envision for your outdoor space. Using elements like rugs, furniture, and planters is an easy way to define boundaries between zones while maintaining your desired aesthetic.


Selecting Furniture and Accessories


Choosing the right furniture and accessories is essential in creating comfortable and inviting outdoor spaces. When shopping, look for durable materials like weather-resistant wicker, outdoor-friendly fabrics, metal, or teak that can withstand the elements. Select comfortable pieces that are, great quality, and of course, match your aesthetic.


Accessorizing outdoor spaces is another way to add your personality to the result of your space. Incorporating textiles like cushions, throws, and outdoor rugs is a great way to add warmth and color. One other element we love to include as the “jewelry” to the space is lighting! String lights, lanterns, or even solar-powered fixtures can create a magical ambiance when enjoying your space at night!



Greenery and Landscaping


Another way to add to the overall feel of your outdoor space is to add planters and landscaping. While these both are a great way to assist in defining space, they also are a great way to add freshness, color, and texture to your design. When deciding what plants to include, it is best to consider the local climate and if you have a green thumb or not!


See our Tips in Action


Here is a recent transformation of a once-empty grass backyard we designed into a stunning oasis! When the homeowners acquired this property, their vision encompassed a pool and an inviting space for entertainment. Drawing inspiration from the home’s black and white features, we seamlessly integrated them into the patio furniture. Adding a touch of warmth, we opted for grey and warm stone pavers. The pool’s base boasts a Pebble Tec product with a lifetime guarantee, complemented by vibrant pop-off blue tiles. In addition to the blue theme, we introduced almost iridescent teal pots, harmonizing with the landscaping. Pops of pink foliage were strategically placed, creating a dynamic interplay of colors. This transformation is a testament to our commitment to crafting outdoor spaces that captivate and delight!



Designing outdoor spaces is a creative and rewarding experience that allows you to reconnect with the outdoors and create another living space for you and your loved ones to enjoy. By understanding what your space has to offer, defining zones, and selecting the right furniture and accessories, you can transform any outdoor area into a welcoming oasis that reflects your style and enhances your quality of life.


If you need help designing your backyard or any outdoor area, don’t hesitate to contact us. For more inspiration and to see examples of our outdoor designs, visit our Meredith Drive New Builds page. You can also follow us on Instagram to stay updated with our latest projects and ideas.