Stop separating the outside of your house from the inside of your house, try to think of your premises as all one place. Look at your outdoor space, look at your yard and take inventory of the you have naturally in that space. What has mother nature already provided for you? Hopefully you possess some kind of natural elements that can be the focal point of the new outdoor living area such as a large tree, a hedgerow, a good slope, or a beautiful view. There may be other qualities you can start with, such as a lovely angle of morning sun, maybe a nice brick wall on a single side creating a microclimate, or even an interesting urban view of some kind, though in urban locations, your yard may be a barren rectangle, with nothing in it but some weeds and dirt.