5 Ways to Elevate Your Home’s Outdoor Experience
Summer is the time for outdoor living. Whether it’s a full-scale party or a family cookout, backyard entertaining has never been more luxurious — even on a budget.
Today’s wide variety of products designed specifically for outdoor use can transform your backyard, deck, patio, or porch into a gourmet chef kitchen and a spacious living room with all the amenities. Before you roll out the old grill and those aluminum lawn chairs, here are some things to consider to enhance your outdoor entertaining this summer.
1. Dine beneath the stars
Outdoor chefs now have the tools to create masterful meals.
- Grills. When it comes to creating your outdoor kitchen, there’s a grill available for just about every price point. Consider building a permanent grill as a centerpiece.
- Storage. Add an island or table with cupboards for storage and a mini fridge to keep the main course and condiments cold.
- Tables. For two, four, or more —replace that old picnic table with a weatherproof dining set. Decorate with comfortable cushions and elevate your barbecue to fine dining status.
- Refreshments. Keep your cocktails and soft drinks cold and add a bit of class with a convenient bar cart or a full tiki bar with torches.
2. Enjoy creature comforts
There’s no reason why you can’t be as comfortable in your backyard as you are in your living room.
- Furniture. Swing sofas, padded chairs, and wicker ottomans are just a few of the many outdoor furniture options available. Create a quiet nook to hang a hammock or open up your space with a full comfy couch and coffee table.
- Fire. Stay out late on those cool summer nights by installing a fire pit. Don’t have a built-in one? Construct your own using stones or bricks or purchase one of the many available stylish designs.
- Clubhouse. Protect your outdoor furniture from the elements by enclosing it an open concept clubhouse/gazebo.
- Bug light. Nothing ruins an outside party like mosquitoes. Use citronella or lavender candles to keep pesky bugs away. A few well placed fans can also keep bugs at bay. Keep the DEET handy just in case.
- Summer showers. If you live near the beach or have a swimming pool, an outdoor shower is a convenient addition to your backyard.
3. Experience sound and vision
Add magic and mystique with lighting and music — and control it all from your smartphone.
- Lighting. Set the mood with candles, string lights, or colorful Japanese lanterns. Use strip lights along walkways and control the timing and color with Alexa, Siri, or Hey Google.
- Music. Sumptuous music outdoors is no longer out of reach for the average Joe or Josephine. Get your party started with portable bluetooth speakers or built-in Wi-Fi enabled weatherproof speakers.
- Movies. Enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies in your own backyard theater by purchasing a portable projector and an outdoor screen. Don’t forget the popcorn.
4. Decorative elements
There are so many different ways to enhance your backyard space.
- Walkways. Use stones, slate, or pavers to build a path to your backyard oasis.
- Welcome. Nothing says “come on in” like a trellis or pergola covered in flowered vines. Plant wisteria or morning glory and watch it climb.
- Fountain. Add a small fountain. The soothing sound of running water is meditative and can actually mask louder sounds such as nearby traffic or next door neighbors.
- Trees. Plant trees to make a green border along the perimeter of your property.
- Plants. Potted, and otherwise, placed strategically can define and separate different areas of your yard and provide additional privacy.
- Flowers. Add color by planting flowers along your garden path.
- Garden shed. Spruce up your garden shed with a little paint and some shelving to highlight seasonal flowers or watch your fall vegetable harvest grow.
5. Add amusements
Backyards are for more than just relaxing — particularly with young children around.
- Cool down. Make your backyard kid-friendly with a wading pool for the little ones or add an in or above ground pool that everyone can enjoy.
- Child’s play. Add a jungle gym, swing set, treehouse or an old fashioned tire swing to keep the kids occupied
- Adult games. Lawn games like croquet, putter ball, bocce ball, and other adult outdoor games are a great way to pass a summer’s day.
The Bottom Line
A well-designed outdoor living space provides the ideal getaway for your next staycation. Whether you’re planning a party or just need a quiet place to shake off the work day, the only limitation is your imagination. Enjoy!