I love having a yard that also works as an extension of my home. Now that it is warmer, I jump at the chance to move dinner parties or get-togethers outside.
Whether you live in a warm, mild, or cold climate or want to have more pool parties, dinner parties, or kid-friendly playdates, there are always ways to incorporate more of the outside into your life.
Get ready for your backyard to take front and center stage with these top 5 exterior design tips!
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Even if you’re one of the lucky ones with a fabulous pool in your backyard, you may still find yourself wanting to spruce it up. There are plenty of directions you can go in when adding personality and style to your pool area, however, what’s important for you to decide early on in the exterior design phase, is how the pool will be used most.
Is your pool primarily used when friends and family come over? If you enjoy your pool most when sharing that time with big groups, I’d suggest focusing on the seating arrangements.
When throwing a pool party or family gathering, you can guarantee yourself that there will be a few people who will opt out of swimming or only go in for a quick dip. For this reason, one of the biggest design mistakes I see in is having the seating area too far from the pool, isolating the non-swimmers.
No one wants to feel left out at a party, so by incorporating a comfortable lounge area within the pool’s proximity, you’ll be accommodating for all your guests.
If you aren’t so concerned with entertaining but want to enhance your pool’s aesthetics, think about adorning this space with trees and large plants. Integrating plants into your design is not only the perfect excuse to add in a bit (or an abundance) of nature’s beauty but it will also offer up calm vibes and provide a ridiculously stunning and exotic look.
If you aren’t living in a particularly warm climate, don’t be upset if you can’t surround your pool with palm trees. Every region has beautiful greenery, perfect for the poolside. Any professional gardener or landscaper in your area will be able to provide you with plenty of options, and I’m sure you’ll find a combination of plants and trees that you’ll love.
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If you live in the woodlands, and depending on the type of land you’re on, that may mean forgoing luscious, green grass - but don’t fret! Some of the most comforting backyards are in forest areas, as the vastness of nature creates a whimsical atmosphere.
Keeping the look unified with your surroundings is quite important, so choosing natural materials, such as wood and stone, will help keep your design cohesive. Your lifestyle as well as the landscaping structure should be the dictating factors of the layout; for example, decks are extremely common for woodland homes, especially ones on a mountainous terrain. If you are on a hill or mountainside, you may want to implement decks in layers, offering multiple levels and places to sit and relax.
For leveled outdoor spaces, patios are ideal. Patios are most popularly made from stone, tile, and brick, offering a natural - even cabin - feel to your space. Depending on how you spend your time outdoors, fire pits, comfortable seating, barbecues, and outdoor dining tables, are all patio features that will work to complement your woodland surroundings. If you really want to enhance the forest-nature of your home, look for wooden furnishings to go with the stone patio and fire pit, this will create a gorgeous rustic design which will look superb all year round.
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If you have children, you most likely understand the need for them to (safely) entertain themselves. Creating the perfect outdoor play area doesn’t need to require a lot of space nor does it need to hinder your stylish exterior.
If you don’t want a play area taking up too much space, a swing set with a playhouse attached can easily be tucked into a neat area. If your children are young, make sure that a comfortable seating area for adults is relatively near so that you and your friends can have your fun while the children have theirs, without the need to worry or constantly check-up on them.
Another concern families have, no matter the size of the property, is wanting to provide an area for their kids but also avoiding an abundance of obnoxious colors. Most playware comes in bright oranges, yellows, reds, and blues, making it difficult to keep a polished look in a garden. Although it might be hard to avoid all colorful elements, using organic-colored structures will diminish any unnecessary or unwanted colors from creeping up while also adding beauty and sophistication to the space.
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Entertaining can be loads of fun and, if you’re an organized type, fairly stress-free. Outdoor entertaining is one of my favorites because there tends to be much more space to walk about and mingle. And, although it might be ideal to have everyone hang out together, in reality, most of the time, groups form. So, to ensure all guests are comfortable and can talk (or gossip) amongst themselves, it’s recommended to have plenty of seating areas.
For smaller, more intimate gatherings, it makes sense to have the cook and guests together. If you have an outdoor barbecue that you plan on doing most of your cooking with, set up a seating arrangement close by. If most of your cooking is taking place inside the home, try to prep all the food before-hand so you can spend most of your time outside with your guests. You can also create an outdoor bar, so drinks and appetizers are served outside while the main meal cooks inside.
LOUNGING & RELAXING
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If lounging is more your thing then there are countless ways to add this type of comfort to your backyard. First and foremost, no matter your location’s climate, adding soft outdoor textiles and a comfortable outdoor sofa or sofa bed(s) will automatically work wonders in setting up a picturesque lounge spot. Seriously, don’t be afraid to pile on the throw pillows, they’ll add a luxurious feel and will boost any outdoor reading times or snoozes.
Aside from soft (outdoor) throw pillows and fabrics, making sure there is an even sun to shade ratio is also key. Some people love the comfort of tanning in their own backyard, and others prefer to stay out of the sun’s rays. Making sure there is both sun and shade will make sure your backyard or garden satisfies yourself as well as your friends’ preferences. Small cabanas, large trees, and hanging shade canopies all offer a unique look and adequate shade. And, depending on the layout of your outdoor space, these options come in a variety of shapes, sizes, as well as materials.