Summertime and the outdoor living is easy

Deb Manzari
Deb Manzari
Published on July 8, 2019

If you’ve ever watched home and garden TV shows you may be dreaming of your own backyard makeover.

With a truckload of dirt, the outdoor designer transforms backyards into cozy relaxation areas, resort-like pool areas or elaborate outdoor kitchens.

Backyard design techniques are similar to those used when designing interior spaces, with the emphasis on function, comfort and style.

So, toss out the dinky, grease-stained charcoal barbecue and plastic lawn furniture and bring those backyard transformation dreams to life.

Dreaming of an outdoor kitchen?

Outdoor kitchens became popular a couple of years ago and the trend sees no end in sight. Sure, we’re still barbecuing, but now we’re an arm’s reach away from smaller versions of our kitchen appliances.

Along with those appliances, many homeowners are demanding a sink with running water, food prep areas and, quite often, a large stone oven.

Where will we eat?

Remember outdoor furniture from when we were kids? Picnic tables or plastic chairs to match a cheap plastic table were the norm.

What a difference a couple of decades makes! Today’s backyard might feature a dedicated dining area complete with gorgeous furniture. Perhaps you long for a weatherproof gazebo to top it off?

Outdoor dining areas are the star of the show when it comes to dinner al fresco. Twinkly lights in the trees, crackling fires in the outdoor fireplace and candles scattered strategically are just some of the lighting options we’ve seen.

Water features

A water feature in the garden can transform even the smallest space into a serene oasis. Fountains, waterfalls and ponds are just a few of the features homeowners are adding to their backyard retreats.

Find inspiration for your backyard water feature at Pinterest.com, BHG.com and CountryLiving.com.

Landscaping

Some elements of gardens have always lent themselves to outdoor living. Large shade trees can be a focal point in a garden, providing cool shade during the summer and interesting silhouettes during the winter months.

A carefully positioned shade tree also helps cool the home’s interior during the summer, saving you money on your power bills. The experts at Colorado State University claim that shade trees planted on the east side of the house prevent morning heat and, when planted on the west and southwest side of the house, they prevent heat buildup from afternoon sun.

While gardens and yards have always played an important role in American homes, more folks today see them as much more than play areas for the kids and dogs.

Yards are becoming an extension of the house – and furnished as if they were another room. What better way to lure you into relaxing while you’re at home?

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