landscape design 1970's

1970’s backyard landscape design – loads of lawn and unusable space


1980's landscape

1980’s Backyard – Great for hide-n-seek – not used for entertaining

Simple . . . Living Space . . . Outdoors! Times have changed. Backyards aren’t like your mama’s backyard anymore. Backyards are Outdoor Living Spaces that maximize Living potential. They’ve become a part of the house. Like the kitchen, family room . . . they are another room in your home . . .  the Outdoor Living Room.

Think back years ago. Backyards were looked at from the inside-out. Kids played outside. Lots of lawn, flower beds. To look at, not to live in.

“Outdoor Living” terminology began trending a decade ago and isn’t fading. It remains at top-of-the-list for landscape trends. Many homeowners are just beginning to transform exteriors into functional outdoor living and entertaining spaces. Function? Yes, function!

Outdoor living

(Above: A perfect example of an outdoor living room through the back screendoor. It boasts a grill island bar, dining area, hot tub corner with bistro table, and putting green. The super-cool 2-sided fireplace with outdoor TV shows house matching comfort. At the far end nestled against the fence, they thought of a dog run for a very important member of the family, and for extra fun, a slate stairway climbs to a second story hangout – a firepit with lounge area.)

Outdoor Living Spaces – Best Home Upgrade in 2018

Let’s think about function one more time. It’s about capitalizing on available and unusable yard space by creating a multi-functional living area. Today’s yards serve to entertain and maximize lot square footage. And, from a resale standpoint, these outdoor spaces cost much less than additions while adding buyer lifestyle value. See Outdoor Living Tops Homeowner Upgrades

outdoor living room

Landscape Styles for All Generations

We’re saying adapting to backyard trends will enhance your everyday lifestyle. Baby boomers, Gen X and Millennials need to take it outside and live a little.  Outdoor Living Spaces come in all shapes, sizes and styles – for all generations of Homeowners. No, we are not created equal. We are a jumble of personalities and styles. And that’s the fun thing about it  . . . there are so many Outdoor Living Spaces to choose from. Need ideas complete with photos?  Check out: 25 Before & After Outdoor Living Spaces. You’re never too old or too young for an Outdoor Living Space. It’s one of those things that keeps on giving back – year after year.


Many of us have a theme for the inside of our home. You could easily extend it into the outdoors. Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to try a whimsical theme or an opposite theme from your regular style. It’s your choice. However, having a theme can unify your landscape and help guide you when making material and plant selections. Our landscape designers are experts at deciphering your must-haves into a design plan theme. Let’s play, guess the theme:

blog cartoon landscape design


Once you have a theme, and a list of ideas, pass the baton to a landscape designer. They are the experts. Experts, whose love of nature was the basis for their profession choice. They listen to you first, walk through your property with you and offer suggestions. Then starts the creative process where they put it all together. Coordinating all the elements into the outdoor living space, selecting navigation through the landscape, and providing solutions where necessary. It may seem hard to let go of the baton, but you will be pleasantly surprised and glad you passed it into their capable hands.



What’s your favorite outdoor feature? Fire features, water features, outdoor kitchens, man cave, spa, putting green? Or all of these? It’s your outdoor living space. You’ll be entertaining here. Combine your lifestyle and personality into a very usable Outdoor Living Space . . . these show a few ideas (might be overkill).

Now that we’ve got you excited, we welcome your more extensive visit to our Outdoor Living Portfolio: @  And we talked about the designer walk through . . . a complimentary consultation to walk/talk through your ideas: @

There is so much more to outdoor living spaces than looking out the window at your backyard. It’s all about maximizing living potential. We hope we’ve  planted some seeds to grow on you . . .


Until next time Portland, Get Outside!

Kim Thibodeau

Exterior Design Services

Honest Landscape Blogger

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