Moving into that new home could be something that you have dreamed of for quite a while. It’s a space where you and your partner, or your children, can express themselves as they wish.
While the house itself may be something of a done deal in terms of design and placement, you still have a lot of room to work with. You can start to express your creativity and mould an outdoor entertaining area into a form that will suit your lifestyle.
Planning is the key to avoid future disappointment. As you stand there looking at what might be, take into account how the area will be used, who will use it and how it transitions from inside to outside as an outdoor space should be viewed as an extension of your home.
It’s not as simple as it seems so we have put together a few tips for you to consider before designing that dream outdoor area.
Get to Know Your Backyard
You might have a vision of the kind of plants you would like to have in your backyard. Or you’re envisioning the type of grass that your children and pets will be playing on. Or maybe you’re thinking of the perfect sunbathing paradise right next to a sizeable swimming pool.
All this, however, will first require you to know the specifics of your backyard. Understanding soil type is a major factor when determining the plants and grass that will call your backyard their home. Yes, plants can grow in a variety of places but whether they thrive or die in an environment is another matter altogether.
You will also have to account for the different microclimates that your area could experience as they will ultimately influence the choice of plants that you use.
There are four microclimates that you must consider:
- Full sun
- Partial shade
- Deep shade
- Full shade
Different plants do well in different microclimates so take notes over a week on what occurs in each section of your backyard where you potentially think plants will go. Using this information you can make a more informed decision and select plants that grow well in those microclimates.
Who Will Be Using the Backyard?
There are many different ways you can use your backyard so the two most important questions you have to ask yourself are “Who?” and “Why?”
Asking these two simple questions will go a long way in making your backyard the area you want it to be.
Whether it be a space for the kids and pets or an entertainer’s paradise, or anything else in between.
You have to start somewhere and these two questions will get you on the right track.
The next place to start would be to identify zones. Similar to how every room in your home has a certain purpose, you have to do the same for your backyard. For example, your kitchen and bedroom are both parts of your home but they serve completely different needs.
Zones: Just What Are They?
Your backyard has the potential to be a lot of things, a playground, bar, fire pit, or a combination of those at once.
This is why ‘zoning’ can help decide what goes where, and break things down into more manageable steps.
If you are one of those people that love to have family & friends around, an outdoor bar would be a great addition to your hosting package. There are countless design ideas out there and there is sure to be one to suit your style so you can extend those weekend parties late into the night.
Don’t worry about the cold either, infrared heating is the perfect choice to keep you and each of your guests nice and toasty all night long.
Maybe you’re the type that likes to lounge around the house when you have free time instead so creating a zone that incorporates a day bed would be a welcome addition to your outdoor area.
You could also take a different route and build yourself an outdoor kitchen. While a kitchen is one of the most integral zones of every home, cooking outside brings a different atmosphere and can create a great area for entertaining guests.
The possibilities with what you can do with your outdoor area are endless, and that is the beauty of it.