Does your backyard feel like a tranquil oasis, a beautiful private sanctuary where you can shut out the noise of the outside world? Is it a place where you are excited to welcome friends and family? Do you walk out of your back door and think, “this is my favorite place?” If the answer to any of those questions are no, then you are ready for a backyard upgrade. In addition to gorgeous landscaping, here are five ideas to make your backyard a beautiful space that you can’t wait to escape to.
1. Outdoor Kitchen
Forget that tiny charcoal grill relegated to the corner of your patio — create an outdoor kitchen that makes you want to spend every warm evening cooking and dining outside. Outdoor kitchens can range from a small cabinet surround for a gas grill, with just enough counter space for a little food prep, to a full set-up with an outdoor refrigerator, sink, storage, grill and warming drawers, counter for food preparation and bar space for guests to congregate while the cook works his magic. Complement the kitchen with a beautiful outdoor dining table where your family and friends can enjoy meals al fresco.
The last thing you want, after installing your new outdoor kitchen, is to not be able to use the space because your backyard doesn’t have enough shade. A pergola will provide the sun protection you need, while adding a beautiful focal point to your yard. Choose a pergola that matches the style of your yard — a metal, free standing model with a retractable sunshade for a more modern aesthetic, or a solid wood pergola attached to the house for a classic touch.
A small pergola, tucked away in the corner of the yard with conversation seating can add visual interest and a shady escape where you can read a book or sip a cocktail.
3. Lounge Area
One of the best trends in backyard renovations is the move to bring comfort outdoors. Gone are the days of the stiff metal benches and plastic folding chairs. Create a lounge area in your backyard with a large sectional, chairs with luxurious cushions and throw pillows, end tables, fun accessories, lush outdoor plants and a striking outdoor rug to tie the space together. Your lounge area should be a defined space, which can be achieved by furniture arrangement, breezy outdoor curtains or that large pergola overtop.
4. Fire Feature
When your backyard is your sanctuary, you want to spend as much time there as possible. Stay comfortable outside, even on chilly evenings, with a fire pit or built in fireplace. The fire feature will fit in perfectly as part of your cozy lounge, or can function as its own seating area, surrounded by Adirondack chairs for a rustic look or sleek bench seating for a contemporary motif.
5. Layers of Light
Take your backyard from day to night with outdoor lighting. Like you would inside your home, create a lighting scheme outdoors with layers of light. Start with ambient lighting for areas that need general light the most, whether that is overhead lighting provided by a chandelier hung from a pergola for your lounge space, string lights across a patio or sconces to light the back deck and kitchen area. Next, add task lighting to add light to specific areas, like a pendant light in the kitchen, candles for dining, lanterns hung from trees or solar lights along a pathway. Finally, accent lighting can highlight features like gorgeous landscaping or a hot tub area.
Your backyard should be your favorite escape. Take your outdoor space from ordinary to oasis with an outdoor kitchen, pergola, lounge area, fire feature and layers of light.