No matter whether you live in sunny California, the Deep South or the Northeast, it’s fun to be outside when the weather is nice. If you’ve been dreaming of spending more quality time enjoying nature – or just enjoying your backyard – we put together a list of things you can do to enhance your home’s outdoor living space so you can enjoy every moment.
Keep reading to see our top ideas that will get you started on re-imagining your home’s outdoor spaces.
Create a built-in activity zone to help balance busy work schedules with much-needed family and relaxation time.
Gazebo—add a luxurious outdoor room that provides protection from the elements while you’re cooking, dining, or just relaxing. Locate it near a pool, hide it in the landscaping, or connect it to your deck.
Pergola—this open structure offers a variety of options to provide privacy, create a focal point, or use as a transition point. Pergolas can be freestanding or attached to your home with columns and support beams. Add sheer draperies for shading a luxurious spa, a dining table and chairs for family gatherings, or set up a play area where your child’s sensitive skin can be protected while their imagination runs wild.
Arbor—this decorative landscaping structure can be used to separate outdoor elements or the framework for a garden seat. Add some vines to blend with other greenery or create a unique texture.
All Decked Out
With new maintenance-free building materials available, custom backyard decks are more popular than ever. Large or small, decks can be used to create a relaxing retreat, an enjoyable entertainment venue, a way to utilize your entire property, and even increase your home’s resale value.
Choose from low-cost pressure treated lumber, elegant and durable tropical hardwoods, time-tested cedar or redwood, maintenance-free composites, or Ipe hardwood that’s designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions and keep it looking great year after year.
The possibilities are endless—layout as a single or multi-level structure; add built-in components like benches, railings, bars, planters, lighting, and cabinets; set up designated areas for cooking, dining, relaxing, or entertaining.
Pave the Way
Ground-level, custom-designed patios are trending across the country for their versatility and durability. Paver stones, flagstone, brick, fieldstone, and textured concrete come in a wide selection of colors and textures to match your unique tastes.
Don’t be afraid to let your inner architect shine by fashioning a multi-level patio that defines the outdoor kitchen from the dining area. Build up a vertical element with coordinating materials—low cobblestone dividers, seats, and planters to start.
Hard surfaces can be warmed up with upholstered patio furniture, a decorative area rug, and brightly colored pillows or umbrellas. Throw in a few potted, flowering plants and you won’t ever want to go inside.
Hot, Hot, Hot
Homeowners living in the northeast rank fire pits and backyard fireplaces among the most-desired features on their home improvement wish lists. It can be an inexpensive portable style or a permanent element in your design that brings people of all ages together during all seasons.
Keep your family safe by building your fire pit into a stone patio or add screening to stop stray sparks from escaping. Then it’s time to break out the marshmallows and get ready for a relaxing evening under the stars.
Now You’re Cooking
Don’t forget to plan a space for your BBQ grill. Fully equipped outdoor kitchens are every aspiring chef’s ultimate dream. Make sure to include zoned areas for food preparation, staging, and cooking.
Extras you might also want to consider to enhance your backyard retreat are:
- Bar area
- Rotisserie burner
- Pizza oven
- Concrete or granite countertops
- Drop-in sink with high-neck faucet
Be careful – you may never want to cook inside again!
You’ve probably spent some time planting and maintaining your front yard landscaping, and while that’s an excellent way to add curb appeal to your home, you shouldn’t ignore the backyard.
Imagine your own backyard oasis with a kaleidoscope of perennials, annuals, flowering shrubs, and water features to enhance your outdoor living space. Fountains, ponds, and water gardens are among the most popular trends for their affordability, accessibility, and environmentally friendly approach.
Don’t worry if you’ve got a small yard or urban property, you can have some fun with nature too. Consider a green roof garden, decorative pots with tall ornamental grasses as a room separator, or a pergola covered in lush vines and hanging planters to offer an intimate sanctuary in your city setting.
Do you love fresh fruits and vegetables but don’t think you have the time or space to grow your own? Think again. Plenty of weekend gardeners are creating blended gardens that include edible and ornamental plants. This unique concept lets you enjoy the convenience of city living while your taste buds savor flavors only nature can provide.
Hide in Plain Sight
Every backyard living space seems to accumulate an endless amount of equipment and accessories that need to be organized and hidden away. A garden or storage shed can provide the perfect home for all that patio furniture, pool toys, landscape equipment, tools, and every other outdoor gadget.
Pre-built sheds come in all sizes, shapes, styles, and price ranges. Look for something that has double doors and a window or two to let in some natural light. If you want something specially designed, you can opt for a custom-built shed that will incorporate every feature you’ll need.
By adding even a few of these outdoor upgrades to your home, you’ll create the perfect destination for family fun and entertaining. You don’t need a giant yard or budget to make your space amazing. You only need a little inspiration and imagination to be on your way to creating the best outdoor retreat ever.
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