The wet April brought us spring in May (finally!) but Memorial Day, graduations, and Father’s Day signal oncoming summer. Did we blink away spring? The trend this year is to add living space to your home by moving out – out on the patio, that is. It’s not a new idea to add an outdoor kitchen to that old barbecue, but folks are doing more – much more for their summer entertaining (and possibly year round) space.
- Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are great for those chilly nights. They also extend the outdoor season into the fall.
- Pergolas define spaces and can be covered with foliage to set a destination in an area not on your deck or patio.
- If you use weatherproof fabric on furniture for your patio and deck that reminds you of your comfortable indoor seating, and use planters or potted plants to define the space, you will have an outdoor second den!
- If you need privacy, think of creative ways to screen your space from neighbors’ view with lattice, natural plantings, or even outdoor fabric curtaining.
- Add a hot tub for relaxing and entertaining, especially if you would like a water feature that is not a full size pool.
- On the subject of water features, think of adding an area with a waterfall or a fountain for a great visual effect.
- Create ambiance with proper lighting for enjoyment and function all through the night (light paths, focal points and seating areas).
- Create shady areas under umbrellas, awnings (retractable can be a consideration) and in gazebos or other structures.
- Wire for sound from soft backyard music to guest participating karaoke (Invite the neighbors so they won’t complain).
- Create focal points for socializing with seating, re: sofa areas, dining areas, built in seating on deck, bar stools around kitchen area (everyone loves to gather ‘round the chef).
- Create eye appeal with colorful plantings and planters that flower throughout the summer season as well as the perennial greenery that is the design staple.
- Add backyard games like horseshoes, bocce, shuffleboard, badminton, etc. or put in a putting green, if there is space.
- Use outdoor area rugs to define space and create an outdoor “room”.
And . . . . . . . . . . . . if you’re lucky enough to have the space and funds, build your own pool house! I’m working on one in Lloyd Harbor right now which includes a full kitchen and bath, fireplace and T.V. and comfortable seating located at poolside. It is an all year ‘round “destination” hang out room that adds a new dimension to a stay at home getaway!