Some homeowners look out their window only to see a boring deck or patio or an empty lawn full of bare patches and scraggly shrubs. The good news is that they no longer need to live with such an uninspiring outdoor space. Here are some tips for decorating the outdoor areas to make them places to linger in:
Pull Up the Ugly Concrete Patio Floor
Replace an ugly concrete patio floor with one made of flagstones. Flagstones are merely flat stones that can be made out of rocks such as granite, slate or sandstone. They come in a variety of colors and can be strictly geometric or free form. If a homeowner is really attached to concrete, they’ll be happy to know that concrete can be made to look like the more expensive stone, brick or even wood and can be polished to a matte or high gloss sheen.
Seating can be everything from a dining set with a long table and proper, formal chairs to built-in seats on the deck to a casual arrangement of teak armchairs around a matching round table. Indoor-outdoor upholstery now comes in bright colors and patterns to match the seasons, the woods around the house or the house itself. Other types of seating include gliders, swings that hang from outdoor ceilings and old-fashioned rocking chairs.
Add an Outdoor Kitchen
Some of the latest outdoor space designs bring the kitchen out of the house. An outdoor kitchen has all the accouterments of an indoor kitchen, including a mini fridge, storage space, counters for food preparation, a sink and of course, a range. Because it is outdoors, there’s room for a full-on barbecue grill. Some outdoor kitchens come with pizza ovens which get much hotter than regular ovens. Some kitchens are clad in fieldstone or reclaimed wood for a rustic look.
Add a Firepit
Fire pits have become wildly popular for backyard entertaining. A DIY-er with moderate skills can build their own, especially if it uses wood or charcoal for fuel and does not have to be hooked up to a gas line. A fire pit is just an excuse for getting together and melting marshmallows and some-mores as the sun goes down.
Beautify the Space with Plants and Flowers
Plants and flowers can be put in the ground or grown in pots or planters. Pots have the advantage of being able to be moved around and taken indoors during the winter. The homeowner needs to make sure that the plants are suitable for their hardiness zone. If they’re going into the ground, the homeowner needs to know not only the hardiness zone but the pH and texture of the soil, whether it drains well, how much sun the area gets and if it’s subject to harsh wind.
Add a Water Feature
A water feature does not need to be large and spectacular. Even a little bubbler tucked among impatiens in the corner of the garden delights both the eye and the ear. Many water features are DIY tasks that can be done over a weekend. Other water features include koi ponds or ponds stocked with different kinds of fish and aquatic animals and plants; water walls which can be made merely from perforated pipes; rocky waterfalls and playful water features made of buckets and pails.
Build a Garden Structure
Aside from just having some greens in your home, try brightening the outside of your home with a garden. A gazebo is simply a wall-less house placed in a part of the yard that gets a fantastic view. A pergola juts out from the house or can stand alone in several spots in the yard as outdoor “room” markers. Vines and climbers can be trained up their posts and along their roof slats. Some pergolas come with shades that open or close depending on the amount of sunlight the homeowner wants.
An arbor can be a gateway to another part of the garden or yard, and a trellis attached to a side of the house can be home to plants such as rambling roses or clematis.
Add a Play Area
Jungle gyms, sandboxes and sliding ponds on areas of soft sand are excellent for a household that has little children. Colorful forts and clubhouses for indoor play can also be part of the play area. If there’s a big, sturdy tree nearby, a treehouse may be the ne plus ultra of a play area. It’s even more so if the treehouse has more than one level and is electrified for slumber parties.
Even a small yard can be transformed into a place to entertain guests or for quiet enjoyment. It’s time to banish that drab-looking yard for good!