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With spring comes the promise of outdoor living. It's a good time to focus on updating outdoor areas to fully embrace the warmer months ahead. And if you're looking for inspiration, consider these deck and patio photos recently uploaded to Houzz. You'll find plenty of ideas for shade structures, fire features, comfortable lounge areas and more.

Indoor-Outdoor Flow

In Austin, Texas, this modern farmhouse by Younger Homes features an entertaining-friendly pass-through window that connects the kitchen to the backyard deck. A row of black stools tuck under a countertop, allowing family members and guests to pull up a seat and receive drinks and food right from the kitchen — or pass dirty dishes back inside. It also lets the cook in the kitchen feel connected with the party outside.

Statement Piece

Wood envelops this covered San Francisco-area lounge by Envision Landscape Studio — from the decking to the wall paneling to the ceiling — and creates the feeling of a cozy outdoor room. A gray sectional sofa anchors the space, surrounded on three sides by lush garden views. As with many of the other projects on this top 10 list, the yard also shows off design details and features you could expect to see indoors, including the statement pendant lamp, live-edge wood coffee table and built-in TV and fireplace combo.

Urban Contemporary Patio

This San Francisco patio uses light gray & tan tones to accentuate the foliage and pops of blooming color and lends an air of sophistication. The tight lot location allows you to forgo a canopy for cover – the surrounding structures and trees provide enough shade to soften the sun.

Beach Style Patio

Nothing evokes the spirit of the ocean more than unobstructed cliff side views of the Pacific and nautical décor. This custom home was built to entertain guests who can't help but enjoy the pleasures of sunny days and the warmth and light of the unique fire wall into the night.  This coastal backyard patio idea in San Diego, connects the kitchen to the patio & lawn for carefree entertaining all summer.  Hill Construction Company

In Town Patio

This backyard on a narrow lot allows you to create many individual outdoor rooms. The uniformity in color & texture of the concrete block pavers ties the design together. The natural wood deck and fencing softens what may become too hash & commercial in appearance.

Classic Outdoor Living Space

The classic style covered cabana sits poolside and houses an impressive, outdoor, stacked stone, wood burning fireplace with wood storage, mounted tv, a vaulted tongue and groove ceiling and an outdoor living room perfect for hosting family and friends.  This example of a classic patio/cabana is in Milan, Ga., and was constructed by Boyce Design & Contracting.


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