Having a backyard means having a huge potential. This also means that you have a chance to spend some quality time on your own property, relaxing, reading or tanning. It also means that you have a place where you can entertain friends, other than your living room. Still, for any and all of this to work to its true potential, you need to find a way to create a relaxing atmosphere in your backyard. How do you go about achieving this? Here are several ideas that you should seriously consider.
1. Provide some privacy
Backyard privacy is incredibly important for a relaxing atmosphere in your backyard, however, not a lot of people see this as a proper layout issue. This is due to the fact that the position of their backyard makes it so that they already have enough privacy. For instance, if both your neighbours erect their fences, you won’t feel the need to do the same. However, what if you are the first one in the neighbourhood with this trouble? Here are some ideas you should use!
First, you could make a classic fence, thus keeping away the prying eye, larger pests and unwanted guests away. For those who want to create the impression of wild growth, you might want to go with a living fence instead. Keep in mind that this option might take quite a bit of time, seeing as how the hedge or the shrubbery line that you plant might take quite a while to grow. Of course, some shrubs are renowned for their fast-growing rate, which is also something you should look out for. Constructing a pergola is another creative idea to consider.
2. Pave a road
One of the simplest ways to add functionality to your backyard, make it more aesthetically pleasing and easier to maintain at the same time is to make a garden path. This will benefit your backyard in so many different ways. First, it will provide you with a scenario in which you have increased traffic options through your backyard even when the muddier season arrives. Second, it gives you less surface to mow and water. Lastly, it allows you to section your backyard in a simpler, more efficient manner.
The choice of the material for this garden path should depend on your budget. For starters, you need to choose the type of material that you want to use. Depending on your budget, you have options like pea pebbles which are $6 per square foot. You have also some of the more expensive options like concrete pavers or brick pavers that you can find anywhere between $10 and $14. Lastly, you have the most expensive, yet, also the most luxurious option of going for natural stone pavers, which can cost you up to $20 per square foot. All in all, this is a matter of budget and personal taste at the same time.
3. Building a patio
There’s nothing quite like building a patio in order to provide yourself with a decent area where you can spend some time outdoors. This area can become a corner where you greet your friends and family. In other words, this could turn into a kind of alternate living room for your household. This will be pivotal when the summer arrives. Still, building a patio can be quite a complex project.
Constructing the patio is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you’re done you need to decorate it properly. Imagine this as if you had one more room. However, you need some specialized and specific furniture for this function. You need some outdoor furniture. Just because you’re outdoors and have the privilege of being surrounded by wild growth, this doesn’t mean that you can’t decorate the patio with planters and hanging planters. Finally, outdoor rugs are all the rage in recent years. Take this into consideration when planning your patio.
4. Add all four elements
Another idea that you want to consider is one of adding all four elements to the mix. Earth and air are present in abundance in any backyard, so, where do you get your fire and water? The matter of water can be easily resolved with an efficient irrigation system; however, you can also go with something more stylistic. We’re talking about miniature fountains or backyard ponds. These projects can be frugal or expensive, depending on the approach that you decide to take to this situation. Also, make sure that you find a way to make this fit the general theme of the area.
As for the fire, this is where your options are quite numerous. First, you can settle for a grill or an outdoor kitchen. Still, like the irrigation system, this is primarily a functional upgrade and you might want to go with something a tad more exotic. For those with heftier backyard budgets, aiming for a backyard outdoor fireplace sounds like the best idea. This will definitely add a hint of luxury that you might have been going for, all along. Other than this, you could also install a fire pit. This is a simpler idea and a project that will cost you substantially less.
5. Maintenance methods and options
The next thing you should focus on is the maintenance of your backyard. You see, the question of maintenance is pivotal for keeping your backyard beautiful. Even the most aesthetic of gardens will soon be overwhelmed by wild growth if you’re not extra careful. So, you need to make a choice – do you commit your own time and effort to gardening or do you find someone else to do this for you? If the latter is the case you have to make sure that you find the right person for the job, as well as that you can sustain this additional financial obligation in the long run.
If you decide to handle the issue on your own, you need to get informed on the subject matter, learn as much as you can about backyard maintenance and buy proper equipment. Suppliers like Hoselink can help you set up an ideal watering solution and you can look locally for items like mowers and pruning tools. The thing is that you might also want to look for a shed in order to have space to safely store all this gardening equipment. In this day and age, you can even order a shed online and be done with it.
6. Shade options
In order to further enhance the ambience in your backyard, you need to create some shade. This way, you will make various areas of your backyard accessible even during the sunniest of days. Making a pleasant, shady spot in your backyard is also quite important from the perspective of your home’s general upkeep. Think about it, every human body produces, on average, the amount of heat that is the equivalent of the 100W incandescent light bulb. By making it possible to spend time outside, you will eliminate this problem in a simple and elegant manner.
So, what are your options? First, you can go for something low-budget like a common parasol. You could also pick something a tad more interesting like a shade sail. The latter is somewhat more expensive but it’s more unique, more functional and even visually superior. Planting a tree so that you get natural shade sounds like a good idea but it has numerous flaws. It gives you more to clean and it can take a full decade until you get a semi-decent shade. Those who aren’t afraid to commit time, effort and resources should definitely go for a gazebo or a screen to cover the patio.
7. Work on the lighting scheme
Previously, we’ve talked a lot about finding ways to use the most out of your backyard. Well, during the evening hours, the lighting scheme of your backyard may determine your ability to enjoy outdoors. This is extremely important because summer nights outdoors with your friends might just be a privilege like no other. That’s why it’s so important that you figure out a way to ensure a high level of outdoor visibility in the evening hours.
For starters, you need to go with LED lights. This is important because of the fact that some of these lighting fixtures might be on during the entire evening. Since LED uses 4-8 times less energy to produce the same intensity of light, the advantage clearly lies in its favour. Also, these bulbs are replaced 25 to 50 times less frequently. This is exactly what you need for outdoor fixtures in order to reduce the required amount of maintenance. Most important of all, you want to consider sensor lights.
8. Accommodating the rest of your family
The last piece of advice that you need to hear is the fact that you’re not just building a space for your own enjoyment but for your entire family. This means that if you have children, you might want to think about adding the playground. If you have a family pet, you might want to consider building a dog house or a cat playground (despite the fact that they’re indoor pets). All in all, you have the freedom of adjusting this to your own needs.
The last thing worth taking into consideration is the fact that you don’t have to wrap up with these projects at the same time. You can start by organizing separate areas of your backyard and then add more and more features. Also, it’s important to mention that you should first evaluate the amount of space that you have available.
At the end of the day, it’s important to understand just how many variables there are in this field. First of all, you need to adjust to your own layout and your intentions with space. Is this supposed to be the place where you’ll spend most of your evenings, a place where you’ll greet guests or do you even plan to add an outdoor barbecue? It’s all up to you.
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Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.
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