The Outdoor Living Room

outdoor furniture for seating, entertaining and dining under a custom pergola with an outdoor kitchen and bar

May 1, 2024

Whether it be a cozy urban oasis, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city with iconic Toronto skyline views, or a retreat in Muskoka surrounded by trees and a view of the sparkling lake at sunset, designing an outdoor room for our clients to enjoy with their family and friends is at the heart of our craft.

From the first steps in the design process, our landscape design team fosters a relationship with our clients based on finding solutions.  Many come to us with the hope of creating an outdoor space to enjoy with their family and friends, and to strengthen their connection with nature, in comfort.

So what makes an outdoor living space truly liveable? There are a few key factors that our design team always takes into consideration when creating a functional space for outdoor living. Read on to learn more.

Outdoor fireplace and outdoor patio seating in Muskoka

Spatial Planning and Furniture Layout

When it comes to choosing the right layout for your design, our landscape design team has a lot to consider.  First and foremost, we reflect on the purpose for the outdoor area.  Spatial planning is key to designing an outdoor space for families and guests to move freely and gather comfortably.

From large garden parties, to peaceful sanctuaries, our goal is to create an outdoor living space that reflects the needs and desires of our clients. Our designers and project managers work with our list of trusted vendors to expertly curate furniture and decor that seamlessly blends functionality with style to elevate your outdoor living experience.

3D Rendered Design of Backyard pool, dining area and living space

Landscape lighting for safe circulation and ambiance, smooth pavers for graceful steps between spaces, and elegant, well furnished seating thoughtfully arranged to encourage memorable conversations, are a few key factors for designing an outdoor space intended for entertainment.

Urban Backyard with pool, covered porch seating area and patio dining table and chairs

In crafting personalized outdoor retreats, our designers put an emphasis on creating inviting seating nooks for intimate gatherings. From striking a balance between water and fire features for tranquility, to thoughtful placement of privacy screens and lush trees for seclusion, each aspect is carefully designed to elevate comfort and provide a space for reflection and relaxation.

Lounge seating by the pool in a backyard surrounded by mature trees

Thoughtful arrangement of furniture and decor helps define areas suitable for outdoor dining, lounging, cooking and other activities, while promoting ease of movement, and interaction with friends and family throughout the space. Our talented landscape designers and project management team can source the right materials, such as stone and plants, and furniture and decor to bring your design to life.  To learn more about our furniture, decor, and garden design packages, give us a call at 416-994-2317, or reach out by email at


Honouring the “Genus Loci” (Spirit of Place)

You don’t want to go so far in planning an outdoor living space that you forget the ‘outdoor’ aspect.  The goal here is to complement your home’s natural surroundings with a thoughtfully designed space that allows you to enjoy the outdoors for what it is.

3D render landscape design of an outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and bbq in cottage country

Genus loci invites us to listen to the land and immerse ourselves in its essence.  Our designers tune into the distinctive features of a property, and in doing so, gain valuable insight into the property’s potential.  Whether a home is nestled within a lush forest, or atop a hill overlooking the lake, each setting possesses its own unique characteristics, waiting to be expressed through a personalized landscape design.

backyard oasis restoration with pool and cedar deck in suburban etobicoke surrounded by park views

Strategic placement of native plants, integrating natural materials, or preserving existing landscape features, are all ways that our designers pay homage to the inherent beauty and biodiversity of our client’s land, and a crucial element of JHDG’s design strategy and style.

3D Design of front yard and flagstoned porch area with bench seating and stone steps up to parking

When it comes to project execution, our designers are there every step of the way, from proposals to planting days.  We put an emphasis on the importance of stylistic placement that will never compromise your natural surroundings and will always respect the genius-loci (the spirit of place) of your property. For more information on what our team can do for you, please visit our services page, or you can contact us directly by filling out our online form here and a member of our team will reach out to you promptly, or give us a call at 416-994-2317.

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