I’ve just redone the patio in my backyard and the rest is mostly grass with some bushes at the fence line. Now with all the summer sales on outdoor furniture, what do you suggest I look for?
This is a great time for bargain hunting for seating but hurry because merchandise is limited and often disappears until Spring. When shopping, think of your back yard as an extension of your home for entertaining and relaxing and not only in the summer. The early fall is often a wonderful time. So while you’re looking for comfortable sofas and chairs in outdoor wicker or light weight metals with all-weather fabrics like Sunbrella, (I would still keep cushions in an outdoor storage bench in the winter for longevity) think about a fire pit as well. It’s a great seasonal social magnet. Make sure you find a large enough dining table for your patio. Look for pull up chairs that are sturdy and can double as seating in the grass.
Many people are adding T.V.’s to their patios and there are speakers you can place in the garden that blend in and look like rocks so you can enjoy music outdoors. Seasonal plants in pots can add color if your garden is mostly grass but you can make use of the grassy area for badminton, croquet or bocce ball- or even a putting green! Perhaps later on you might like to add a small gazebo for additional shady seating. If your backyard is large enough, you might consider adding a water feature later or perhaps a swimming pool, hot tub or waterfall. These always add to a relaxing fun atmosphere.
Now that we’ve explored seating, along with other ideas- what are we eating? The trend today is to add an outdoor kitchen to your backyard plan. That can be as simple as a bar-b-que or as elaborate as a built in total kitchen with bar area for people to gather ‘round the cook.
Lighting is also very important and can take many shapes -anterns on the back of your building, overhead fans with lights, and lamp posts near the patio or in the garden. I also light flower beds and paths with low lights and feature lights on some specimen trees. Solar lighting can be used if you don’t chose to go for underground wiring.
So Susan, if you thought- after the patio and some seating- “I’m done”- you’re not quite there. Your backyard can be a great add- on to your living space and it has infinite possibilities for enjoyment. Consider contacting a good landscape design firm for a plan and layout based on your wants and needs (just like interior designers). Even if you can’t implement the plan all at once, you can do it in phases- and don’t worry about spending money on large trees and bushes. The good thing is with plants, unlike sofas, they grow!