Creating a Multi-Use Outdoor Room

Originally Published on November 20, 2019. Last Updated on February 27, 2023.

When you move into a home with a small backyard or patio the limited space demands creativity and clarity. When you must stick to one use for a space, the task of designing your outdoor area is straightforward.

But if you’ve relocated to a home with a sprawling back deck or a sizeable outdoor room the freedom to choose more than one furniture set can be overwhelming. How do you decide on a distinct vision?

The best solution is to furnish your outdoor room or patio with complementary zones that combine to form one coherent space. However, avoid the temptation to fill out the yard and decking with any furniture you can find. Check out our favorite outdoor furniture combinations below to breathe life into a multi-use outdoor room your family will enjoy for years to come!

Space Requirements

Before you decide the primary functions of your outdoor area you should assess the space and take accurate measurements.

If you are dealing with a large circular or square expanse, whether it be a yard or a structure like a patio, map it out on paper and
brainstorm where you would like walkways to go. These could be actual pathways make of cobblestone or granite, or they could simply be narrow areas left unfurnished to allow for easy movement between zones.

Accounting for space is the most important step in planning your multi-use outdoor room — take the time to measure your outdoor living space. This process will help you get an idea of how much square footage you have to work with for each “zone” so you look at furniture measurements and know in a moment if they are compatible with your outdoor area.

Now that you have the parameters on paper, get inspired with these furniture combinations for your outdoor room:

Combo #1 — Traditional Twosome

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” goes the classic adage. When it comes to multi-purpose outdoor spaces the most popular combination is likely a family dining set next to a large deep seating set for relaxing before or after a meal. Transplant your dining and living rooms into the splendor of the great outdoors with staple outdoor furniture sets that will withstand rain, beating sun, and other environmental aggravations.

Vineyard 4-Piece Deep Seating Set

Depending on your preferred style — casual or formal, rustic or modern, spacious or streamlined — there are dozens of styles to choose from. If you want plenty of room for family and guests go with the Vineyard 9-Piece Dining Set and complementary the Vineyard 4-Piece Deep Seating Set.

Vineyard 9-Piece Dining Set

Need more options for your patio dining furniture? Scroll through our outdoor dining furniture selection.

Combo #2 — Food-Centric Fiesta

A large outdoor deck behind your home is ideal for a full outdoor kitchen, especially if you plan on hosting several outdoor events or simply look for any excuse to fire up the grill. With a generous space you can plan a food-centric multi-use space for cooking, eating, and relaxing.

When you are choosing materials for the functional aspects of your kitchen stick with weatherproof options: stainless steel for grills and appliances, and granite, stone, or marble for counters. Sinks, cooking appliances, and functional items should be installed along the back wall of your home. Learn more by reading our complete guide to planning an outdoor kitchen.

BLOG: Planning an Outdoor Kitchen

The second zone, of course, should be populated with a full dining set where you and your family can feast on your latest recipes. Options like the Nautical Adirondack 7-Piece Trestle Dining Set deliver ample legroom and seating for a laidback meal, while sets like the Traditional Garden 9-Piece Farmhouse Dining Set deliver a slightly more formal design with contoured comfort.

Traditional Garden 9-Piece Farmhouse Dining Set

Combo #3 — Evening Entertainment

Is your outdoor room a place where you like to retire after dinner is cleaned up? Make it a cozy nighttime retreat for fun and games by planning an outdoor home theater. Go with a projector or choose a specialized outdoor flat screen and install it at one end of the outdoor room.

BLOG: Planning an Outdoor Home Theater

Furnish your theater area with a EDGE 6-Piece Modular Deep Seating Set arranged in a semi-circle so every member of the family has the best seat in the house. On the other end of the outdoor room the plush cushions of a Braxton 5-Piece Deep Seating Set allow the children to stay comfy through the night as they snack on sweets and get creative with their newest coloring book.

Braxton 5-Piece Deep Seating Set

These two sets don’t align with your decor or outdoor aesthetic? Consider other outdoor living room furniture options to complete your entertaining area. 

Combo #4 — Poolside Party

An outdoor structure next to a pool calls for waterproof furniture designed to emulate the local country club or your kid’s favorite waterpark. There are two different combinations we recommend, and both include a chaise set next to the pool. One option is to buy all of your furniture for your poolside area from the same collection — start with a few chaise lounges to get your tan on when summer arrives.

Nautical Chaise with Arms & Wheels in White

If your family loves eating by the pool or playing games in between bouts of swimming, pair the chaise set with a casual Palm Coast 5-Piece Bar Set. However, if this is more of a “hangout” area away from the grub, opt for an Adirondack set with a connecting table where friends can relax when they’re taking a break from the pool. Browse our Get Inspired page for more ideas for decorating your pool area. 

South Beach 4-Piece Adirondack Set in Pacific Blue

Combo #5 — Sun & Stars

You’re an outdoor junkie. You love laying in the sun, you love watching the sunset, you love feeling the warmth of a fresh fire on your face long after the stars have peaked out of the night sky. When your large outdoor deck or patio is in prime sunlight you can choose a furniture combination that makes the most of the elements year-round.

Coastal 3-Piece Wheeled Chaise Set

A chaise set like the Coastal 3-Piece Wheeled Chaise Set feature all-weather fabric slings for comfort and wheels to conveniently reorient yourself toward the sun with ease. Keep your sunscreen, magazines, and favorite drink by your side so you can soak up the sun all afternoon.

On the other side of your deck or yard set up a Nautical Curveback Adirondack 5-Piece Conversation Set with Fire Table so you can smell the crisp autumn leaves, munch on freshly seared s’mores, and swap stories late into the evening. A POLYWOOD fire pit table gives you complete control over the flame height, making your outdoor space safe for children and pets.

Nautical Curveback Adirondack 5-Piece Conversation Set with Fire Pit Table

Haven’t found the layout that works for you? Research even more potential uses for your outdoor space.

No matter what combination you choose you can purchase with confidence knowing that POLYWOOD® lumber will stand up to the harshest weather conditions without cracking, splitting, rotting, peeling, or fading. Your multi-use outdoor room should last a generation — when you shop POLYWOOD outdoor furniture you’re investing in hassle-free fun in the sun. Or snow. Or rain.

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