Do you enjoy spending time on your deck or patio? Do you wish your outdoor living spaces were a little more user-friendly, luxurious, or welcoming? Though summer may be coming to an end, there are still plenty of days left where you can enjoy time outdoors–especially if you have spaces with heaters, fire pits, or fireplaces.
Not only are outdoor spaces the perfect places to entertain or relax with family, but they also add value to a home and can increase your selling price if and when you decide to list your home. Want to take your outdoor areas to the next level this season? Here are some outdoor living space ideas to help you create a plan.
1. Use the rule of thirds
Unsure where to start when it comes to redesigning your outdoor spaces? A great tip is to use the rule of thirds. One third of your outdoor space should be green lawn, one third should be landscaping, and one third should be patio or deck. This creates balance and ensures that no aspect of your space dominates the others. If your current space doesn’t match these proportions, consider getting in touch with a professional contractor or landscaping company to help you hit the mark.
2. Think about your purpose
Your outdoor living space needs to reflect your family’s lifestyle and what you use (or intend to use) the space for. Do you regularly host barbeques, holiday parties, or other get-togethers? If so, how many people are typically invited? Do you use your spaces more for relaxation in peace and quiet? Does the space need to be kid or pet-friendly? Answering these questions will help you decide on the layout, amenities, and furnishings of your space.
3. Add hardscaping elements
Hardscape elements, such as retaining walls, water features, and boulders, can give your outdoor areas more visual interest and appeal. You can add granite to your patio, create flagstone walkways, or install a water feature that provides a soothing background for all your outdoor gatherings. A firepit area
is also a wonderful idea as it increases the amount of time you can spend in your outdoor area, encourages conversation, and can also be used to roast marshmallows or hot dogs during a family get-together.
4. Choose the right furniture
When choosing furniture for your outdoor areas, you need to go back to tip #2. If your purpose is to entertain, you’ll want furniture that is easy to move around and reconfigure (or remove altogether). Plan to use your space mostly for relaxing? Then you’ll need comfortable furnishings with cushions and lots of shade options. No matter what type of furniture you settle on, make sure it’s high quality, weather-resistant, and washable.
5. Don’t forget the lighting
With the proper lighting, your outdoor area can be used into the evening hours. Good lighting will also increase safety and security and add to the overall ambiance of your patio, deck, or backyard. Some lighting ideas to consider include outdoor string lights, wall-mounted sconces and lanterns, outdoor chandeliers, and landscape lighting to illuminate flower beds, trees, or pathways. When you have guests over or know you’re going to spend some evening hours on your deck or patio, you can create even more ambiance with candles or decorative torches. There are plenty of LED flameless versions of both if your get-together involves pets or small children or if you just want to be extra safe.
6. Add some plants
Even if you’ve followed the rule of thirds and have plenty of green lawn in your outdoor area, you can still add more texture, fragrance, and life to your area by incorporating the right plants
. Clarendon Hills residents will have more luck with plants that can be taken indoors when the temperatures start to drop, so focus on using easy-to-move containers such as colorful planters or pots. Some popular patio plants include begonias, which are perfect for hanging baskets, and hostas, which are ideal for shady decks or patios, as well as succulents like aloe, agave, and cacti. Remember that succulents love full sun, need well-drained potting soil, and should be brought indoors before the first frost.
7. Make it private
Creating a barrier between your outdoor area and the outside world helps you, your family, and your guests retain your privacy. It’s also important for security and is a neighborly gesture to reduce noise and other disruptions. Fencing, trees, and screens can all achieve your privacy goals.
8. Shade and shelter are key
To increase the amount of time you’re able to spend in your outdoor area, you need to have shade from the sun and shelter from the elements. Consider adding a pergola, awning, gazebo, or overhang to keep you protected from the sun, wind, and rain. If you really want to up the value of your area, you can also partially or fully enclose it, turning it into a sunroom or three-season room
. A sunroom (or four-season room) has thermal insulation in the walls, roof, and flooring and can be used all year long, while a three-season room has glass or windows from floor to ceiling and can usually be used during fall, spring, and summer.
An outdoor living space adds to the value of your home and increases your enjoyment of it. Whether you plan to use the space to entertain or just relax with your family, incorporating these ideas will help you take advantage of it to the fullest.
Decided you’d rather move to a new home that has better outdoor living space options? Reach out to experienced local agent Casselyn Tertell
. She can show you houses for sale in Clarendon Hills as well as help you sell the home you currently own. Reach out today for expert guidance, advice, and help throughout the entire buying and selling process.