With summer on the way, more of us will be shifting our downtime outside. Making your backyard feel like an extension of your home’s interior ensures you’ll have a relaxing and pleasant summer enjoying your personal great outdoors. Just add elements from the following categories to make it a space you WANT to be in … or that you’ll never want to leave this summer.
Low maintenance, that is. To really enjoy your oasis, you need to relax in it, not constantly look around at chores that need to be done! Forget the topiary, the squared-off shrubs, the high-maintenance flora. Choose a variety of native plants, and consider reducing the amount of actual grassy expanse, freeing up the time you would have spent mowing and watering. Consider adding graveled areas and walkways.
If you’ve got a deck or patio, consider putting up a roof over part of the area. The protection from sun and weather will let you use the outdoor space more often. If you don’t want to feel closed in, try a vine-covered arbor or pergola. Looking for something less permanent? A couple of large, sturdy umbrellas or a tie-up sun shade sail will provide a shady spot to relax.
Set a mood with lighting. Mix it up so you can create an atmosphere for every occasion. Scatter candles about — you may want to choose citronella if your area is particularly buggy — and invest in a couple of inexpensive fluorescent lights, which seem softer out of doors. Be sure to include some directional lights as well, so you can see what you’re cooking and eating. Solar lights are a great choice and come in many styles and price ranges.
Treat your outdoor areas as an extension of your home’s indoor areas. Add a bright outdoor rug, planters of different colors, materials, and sizes, and throw pillows in different patterns and textures. Hang up some wind chimes that are pretty and pleasant-sounding. And be sure to turn a critical eye on your outdoor furnishings so you know when it’s time for new cushions or a whole new patio set.
Build your own backyard getaway and feel like you’re on vacation whenever you step outside. Enjoy your summer!