The cooler fall temperatures are rolling in, making it the perfect time of year to spruce up your outdoor space and create an environment that you can enjoy year-round. One wonderful feature of having a landscaped yard is that it provides a means for extending your living and entertainment space. Whether you enjoy hosting large parties or prefer intimate outdoor gatherings with family, a well-planned outdoor living area makes entertaining easier. Here are some tips on how to make your space enjoyable, even on cold winter days and nights.
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Begin your design planning by considering how you will use your outdoor living space and the traffic that will create. Regardless of whether your yard is big or small in size, the outdoor space will flow and work well if the traffic patterns have been established around it. This may be accomplished in a variety of manners such as laying down formal walkways and planting trees or shrubs. Introducing hardscape, creating corners and borders, into the landscape design is also a fantastic way to do this. How you plan to utilize it will help in designing the perfect space for you and your family.
Learn More: Outdoor Living Design Ideas
Create Focal Points
Whеn you think of outdoor lаndѕсарing and creating an іnсrеdіblе living area in your bасkуаrd, mаin features like pools, pergolas and stone decks for barbecue parties may quickly come to mind. When planning your outdoor living space, design and create a central аrеа that bесоmеѕ the focal point of your backyard.
Pооlѕ аnd оthеr water fеаturеѕ аrе incredibly рорulаr. But if you want to be able to use your space year-round, consider adding a covered patio and соnсrеtе area for entertaining. Fire рitѕ or fireplaces, barbecues and еvеn outdoor spaces that feature sound ѕуѕtеmѕ, televisions, and ѕеаting are also great additions.
Take a Seat
A great addition to your outdoor living space is the introduction of several different seating options. There is a wide range of styles and prices to fit all of your needs. Pint-sized chairs, tables, and benches for kids and dining tables, lounge chairs, and sofas are all created and available for outdoor use. The more options you can include, the more at home and comfortable your friends and family will feel there. Great seating gives you the perfect place to sit down and relax at the end of the day or entertain guests late into the night.
Cook al Fresco
If you think cooking and dining outdoors is just for spring and summer, think again. An outdoor kitchen provides year-round opportunities for outdoor dinner parties and entertainment. When you have an outdoor kitchen, there is no need to leave your outdoor living space on a gorgeous fall evening to cook indoors. Cooking alfresco not only enhances the overall dining experience but keeps the chef in the center of the party as well.
Just like your indoor kitchen, functionality is key. When designing your space, select materials, and appliances that are durable and can withstand weather elements that are common in your climate. Your outdoor kitchen will be most user-friendly if it’s covered to protect it from a rain or snow shower.
Consider the architecture and landscape of your outdoor living space to help your kitchen flow in the best and most efficient way possible. Make sure it’s equipped with a built-in BBQ grill, a cooking station for sauces and sides, a sink, and a small table or island for food preparation. Use a small side table or bar cart as a drink station. This gives you a place for carafes of hot cocoa, coffee, or mulled cider. You can also use it for bottles of wine and appetizers for an intimate evening by the fire.
Learn More: Outdoor Kitchen Must-Haves
Whether you are entertaining a crowd on your patio or are simply relaxing outdoors on a crisp evening with a glass of wine, you can enhance the ambiance of your outdoor living space by adding a warm and inviting fire feature.
A heat source is essential for an outdoor living area during the winter months. Consider installing an outdoor fireplace, a fire pit, or a freestanding gas or electric heater designed for outdoor use. Adding a fire feature with a gas log starter can make your time outdoors much more enjoyable, eliminating the mess and cleanup that a wood fire leaves.
Provide warm blankets and pillows throughout your outdoor living area. Thick fleece throws are ideal because they offer a lot of warmth and handle the elements well. Wool and flannel are great options as well. Serve hot beverages like cider, hot cocoa, and hot coffee to keep yourself or your guests as cozy as possible.
Most adults enjoy sitting around a warm fire and conversing, but every now and then it might be fun to spice things up a little. Hang a TV and install a sound system under your patio to view sporting events or listen to music. Keep a box or basket nearby with board and lawn games. Give the kids various items from the house to create obstacle courses or forts around the yard. With a little planning and creativity, the possibilities are endless.
Light It Right
Winter days are short, which means that you will need to have good lighting in the evenings to enjoy your outdoor living space. Lighting your landscaping and outdoor space not only extends the time you can be outside but also increases safety and security for you and your guests. Use professionally installed landscape lighting to highlight trip and fall hazards such as outdoor stairways and walkways. Hang outdoor string lighting for a fun and bright option on your deck or patio. Utilize candles and table lanterns to help intimately illuminate your space. Other fire features like fireplaces and fire pits can also not only add an element of warmth but can provide dim lighting to set the ambiance throughout the evening.
Protect Your Space
Building a roomy covered patio provides more space to work, play, and live. It allows you to enjoy your outdoor space in any type of weather at any time of the year. Consider planning and building your outdoor kitchen under a patio cover to protect your appliances from harsh weather conditions. Using greenery such as potted evergreens serves as a wall to block the wind and adds some great color to your space. Use outdoor furniture that is comfortable, waterproof, and can easily be cleaned. You will be more likely to utilize your outdoor living space if you don’t have to bring furniture out to the patio each time you want to use it.
Covered patios can also add to your home value. Even if you don’t intend to sell just yet, adding it now will give you an opportunity to enjoy it yourself. It is a great investment in one of your most important possessions – your home.
Your outdoor living space can either amp up the quality and atmosphere of your home’s design plan or do the complete opposite. All it takes is some planning and imaginative, creative designs for your outdoor space to go from dream to reality. Whether it’s a balcony or a full-blown outdoor living and dining area, our landscape services team can offer great tips for adding that dash of beauty and charm to your outdoor living space.