How to Create an Awesome Outdoor Space
Make It Cozy
Buy cushioned seating, big chairs, and extra padded lounge furniture for your outdoor space. Your outdoor space should be just as inviting as your indoor space, so don’t skimp on the throw pillows and indoor-outdoor rugs for a little extra dimension and color. Consider building a fire pit, which will enhance the coziness of your space, especially on chillier evenings.
Studies have proven that plants help relieve stress. Strategically place patio or desk plants around your seating area. This will also create a semi-private space that is distinct from the rest of the yard. If you intend to use plants for privacy, there are many fast-growing plants that are both unique and beautiful.
Light It Up
Outdoor spaces can be beautiful and relaxing at night. Make your outdoor space a household hub after dark as well by add lighting around seating areas, in gardens, and along pathways. Pay particular attention to where people gather, elaborate flower and garden arrangements, cool architectural features, and where people tend to walk. Vary the tone and atmosphere by using different styles of lighting – such as fairy lights hung over a secluded table for two, and larger pendant lights around the well-trafficked eating areas.
Welcome the Man Cave….and the She Shed
To encourage family time, incorporate the cool gizmos and man cave gear into your outdoor space. Consider investing in a nice grill, a well-lit work station, an outdoor projector for game time, or a minibar.
If your space is large enough, also consider building a She Shed. This new home improvement trend is gaining a lot of attention as a place for the woman of the house to retreat from the stresses of the home and work. She Sheds are not just great for relaxation, they also look good, and bring a trendy element to an outdoor space. Check out these She Shed ideas from Purewow.com.
Introduce Tech to the Outdoors
Technology is one of the main distractions that are keeping families indoors. TVs, desktops, and video game consoles are all “indoor” technologies that can’t easily be transported outdoors, but some technology can greatly improve an outdoor space. Consider upgrading your current router or adding outdoor antennas so that your family and guests can access Wi-Fi while outdoors. Incorporate wireless speakers into your space so that the line between indoors and outdoors is less noticeable. Or even install an outdoor projector for family movie nights, sleepovers, and game day.
Add Shade and Shelter
Giving your family a place where they can remain outdoors even in wet and hot weather will allow for more time outside. While screened-in porches, awnings, and covered decks and patios are more permanent solutions, they can also be expensive. To combat outdoor elements more economically, look into installing a pagoda, canopy, or shade sails. Or build your own covering from pallet wood, old windows, or whatever rustic, eclectic materials you can find. Make sure that any cloth or canvas covering you choose is UV protected and waterproofed. Waterproofing sprays are also available, though they will need to be reapplied often to remain effective.
Create a No Mosquito Zone
Mosquitos and biting insects can make an outdoor space miserable. There are a number of bug repelling solutions, such as citronella candles, Tiki-style torches, yard sprays, and plants that naturally repel mosquitos. Lemongrass is a resilient, mosquito-repelling plant that has a refreshing, citrusy smell. Other mosquito-repelling plants include lemon balm, catnip, rosemary, basil, marigolds, lavender, and geraniums.
Mosquitos are born in standing water, so rid your yard and outdoor areas of all standing, or stagnant water. Rain gardens, bird baths, and gutters are especially susceptible to mosquitos. Add a fountain to any ponds to keep water moving, and fill in any low-lying areas of your yard. And when bug-proofing a screened-in porch, or covered porch, be sure to seal the cracks between the planks, install outdoor carpet, or install a fine mesh on the underside of the deck.