Too often, our backyards are underutilized. Transform your backyard into a retreat that appeals to you and your family’s personal needs.
Whether you want to entertain guests with cocktail parties or host family board game nights with your kids, here are tips on how to transform your backyard.
Explore the Possibilities
Design a Sitting Area
To make your sitting area comfortable, consider what you and your family want out of a backyard experience. Do you want your children to get a little sunshine while playing video games? The perfect place to host a barbecue? Patio design has endless possibilities.
Watch the big game while grilling or Keeping Up with the Kardashians while working on your tan. When you have an outdoor TV, it plays a central role in your patio decorating. Follow these tips to create the perfect design:
- Place your outdoor TV in a protected overhang where it is shaded so it will not receive a glare.
- Arrange your furniture in an “L” so it faces the TV (a sectional sofa is a great option).
- Add couches, chairs, coffee tables, and end tables to create a comfortable outdoor living space.
- Make sure to protect your TV with a full, half, or flip-top TV cover.
Family Game Center
If it’s not too windy, bring the cards and board games outside. For this arrangement, surround a coffee table with sofas and chairs.
Keep a storage chest or box outside to store games. You can easily build an over-sized Jenga set with blocks of wood. You can find many tutorials online for doing this, such as this one from Seeded at the Table.
If grilling is an integral part of your outdoor lifestyle, set up a grill station near your barbecue. This can be as simple as a table to hold your grilling supplies or as complex as an outdoor kitchen.
Add an outdoor cart for food and beverage services to easily transport food and drinks inside and outside the house.
Invest in a mini-fridge to keep outdoors for drinks and snacks.
Camping in Your Own Backyard
You don’t need to go camping to enjoy a roaring fire. A fire pit brings everyone together on chilly evenings. Gather around the fire for roasting s'mores and cooking up ghost stories.
Mix It Up
You don’t have to settle on just one theme for your backyard. Customize your backyard so it meets your needs. Consider having several different patio spaces such as ones for sitting, dining, and entertainment. Use paths or paving stones to lead to these different areas. Make the most of your space by adding grass and flower beds between your patios.
The first thing you need to consider when deciding on entertainment is who will be using this space—children, adults, or both. Make different spaces for different age groups. Adults may want dining and sitting areas to talk over drinks. Children want to be entertained with games and other fun activities.
An outdoor game area promotes bonding for family and friends of all ages. Set out cornhole and ring toss on the lawn. On your patio, add games such as ping pong, air hockey, pool, and Foosball. Keep your games in top condition with game table covers.
If you have kids, add games, pool noodles, and floats to the pool for hours of fun. Make sure an adult is always monitoring the pool when children are around it. Set out chaise lounges to make the pool a relaxation oasis. Put side tables next to lounge chairs to hold drinks and sunscreen.
Investing in a patio umbrella is a great way to stay cool in the summer and avoid sunburns. Consider investing in a patio table with a built-in umbrella, or choosing a standalone umbrella to place by the pool.
Decorating and Garden Tips
When decorating your patio and garden, think of the atmosphere you would like to create. Do you want it to be relaxing and laid back? Or fun and activity-based? Remember to choose decorations that are weatherproof so they will last year-round.
Decorating and Choosing Outdoor Furniture
Consider colors when choosing patio furniture and throw pillows. Use vibrant colors that pop or select neutral colors that blend into nature. One good option is to choose neutral colors for your patio furniture and bright colors for throw pillows and accessories.
How to Select Plants
Select plants that fit your climate and lifestyle. If you want low maintenance gardening that preserves water, invest in succulents and xeriscaping. Wanting to invest more time in your garden? Choose flowers that add a splash of color to your backyard.
How to Take Care of Your New Backyard
Once you create your perfect backyard, you need to maintain it.
Patio Furniture Care
Don’t let damaged furniture dampen your fun. At least once a week, clean dirt and debris from your patio furniture. Use furniture covers as often as possible to keep your furniture from getting dirty. Make sure you cover your furniture when you do not plan on using it for a long period of time. Depending on your climate, you may need to store patio furniture in your garage, shed, or basement. Learn more about cleaning and storing patio furniture.
Keeping up with your outdoor chores allows you to easily use your space. Keep your landscaping manageable with a chart of outdoor chores such as weeding, lawn care, and trimming overgrown plants. Allot time for when you will complete these chores and how often you must complete them.