Stop separating the outside of your house from the inside of your house, try to think of your home as all one place. Look at your outdoor area, look at your yard and take inventory of the items you have naturally in the space. What has mother nature already provided for you? Hopefully you might have 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 fantastic slope, or a beautiful view. There could be other qualities you could 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 could be a barren rectangle, with nothing in it but a majority of dirt and weeds.