Your outdoor living space might be less than exciting, or, functional. You’ve wrestled with the idea of a complete makeover, but, just can’t come-up with a conducive idea that will work. Sure, you’ve seen plenty of design ideas, but these look difficult to implement, and what’s more, just too expensive. Like many homeowners, you want an impressive backyard entertaining space, but the landscaping is less than inviting. It’s just too plain, too old, and too much to transform into something new.
Like with many things in life, there are workarounds for making a boring space into something that will wow. The good news is, it doesn’t have to come at a huge price. There are plenty of ways to get the look you most want and keep costs way down. With a little creativity and some elbow grease, you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish.
Choosing the Right Outdoor Living Space Arrangement
The biggest trick you’ll have to pull off is to choose the right outdoor living space theme and arrangement. Some homeowners envision a beautiful outdoor kitchen, complete with all the bells and whistles: a small refrigerator, over-sized grill, a sink, some storage space, plenty of landing space to prepare meals, and of course, lots of seating with tables for family members and guests. While this is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, it should be done with a lot of foresight.
Before you contemplate specific backyard landscaping designs, you have to ask yourself some basic questions. What are you looking for from your yard? Are you trying to create an entertainment area where you can host friends for cookouts? Or is kicking back and relaxing in a meditation garden more your style? If you have kids and/or pets, you’ll have to take their needs into account when designing your yard. —Landscaping, About.com
A huge mistake is to build-out a place for an over-sized grill, only to discover during the first try out, the guests are smothered under a cloud of smoke. That seating arrangement might seem to flow just right, giving plenty of room to maneuver, but, it’s also exposed to the full strength of the sun, creating a sauna effect. You probably get the idea — being thoughtful about where this and that will go and how it will interact with the environment and weather is of utmost importance. This is why you need a workable plan to make a truly beautiful and functional outdoor entertaining space. Know typical wind patterns, sunlight exposure, and the like to arrange the space for maximum comfort.
Backyard Entertaining Landscape Ideas
If you’ve seen different concepts, designs, and even finished projects, these can look very overwhelming. Instead of tackling the entire project from start to finish at-once, consider an incremental approach. Over the course of a few or several weekends, you can piece the concept together, which can actually help you save money and time, if you approach it smartly. Here are some backyard entertaining landscape ideas:
- Install a fire pit. A fire pit is a multi-functional feature that can be used for gathering around to cook, roast marshmallows, or just provide ambiance. Regardless if it’s square, rectangular, or round, you can install a fire pit that also serves as a table, with seating all around it. For additional look and function, stake some citronella bamboo torches around the perimeter to fend off insects and for a bit of fragrance.
- Put-up a pergola. This is also a multi-function feature because it can be used as a gathering place where guests are shaded from the sun. Install lighting for evening use, and, go for beauty by spreading vines over the top and along the support posts. If you want to take it an extra step, put an outdoor fireplace at one end, giving it a more sophisticated look.
- Install a water feature. A waterfall is a background feature that not only looks terrific, it adds quite a bit of ambiance to an outdoor space, with its sound of flowing water. Place lighting around it to make it sparkle during the night for an even more exquisite experience.
- Create a garden dining area. If you like to grow vegetables and/or fruits, this can be expanded to do much more. Put a picnic bench right alongside your garden, or, plant a garden around a picnic table. You can treat your guests to fresh meals while dining right in the heart of the garden.
- Transform a shed into a studio. If you have an old shed on your property, you might consider refurbishing it and transforming it into a studio. Hang French doors, install a few windows, and extend a small porch from the front, complete with seating. You can also opt to wire it to accommodate a small refrigerator and lighting.
Another thing you can do is to hang a hammock or two. These are great for relaxing and can bring a bit more functionality to your outdoor living space.