The sun is shining bright, which means it’s time to roll out the grill and start hosting some fabulous events for friends and family. After a cold winter, you might look at your backyard or patio space with dissatisfaction, but holding onto hope that in the blink of an eye you will have the outdoor entertainment space you have always dreamed of. No worries! We have 8 inspiring outdoor living design ideas that are sure to make your backyard the place to be this summer.
Backyard Spring Cleaning
Why should you transform your backyard into a great entertainment space? There are plenty of reasons to start on these backyard entertainment ideas, especially if you have a large family. Outside is by far the best option for space, or if you want to spend your time in the sun now that the cold temperatures are behind us.
Whatever the reason may be, you need a fresh start. That means taking care of weeding and general outdoor maintenance first. Like any project, it’s easier to start off with a “clean slate,” so when planning for said project, you don’t have to work around objects and debris or keep starting and stopping to clean. This is also a must on your to-do list if you plan on adding any additions to your outdoor living space like a deck, paved walkways, a garden, or a shed.
Pave Your Way to Outdoor Living
Stone walkways or pavers are a great way to upgrade any outdoor living space. They are also one of the easiest ways. What you’ll need:
- Garden hose
- Spare wooden planks
- Round-nose shovel
- Mason’s line stakes
- Marking chalk
- 4-foot level
- Bedding sand
- Stepping stones
Your first step is to lay out the path using staked mason’s lines for straight sections and a garden hose for curved sections. You can turn the nozzle on and water off so that the hose will keep its curved shape. Then, cut lengths of spare wood to the width of the path and lay them between the hose sections to keep the width consistent. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. Most stepping stone paths are not, which is exactly what makes them unique. Next, mark the pathway with chalk. When you’re finished, remove the hose and wooden pieces.
Once you have the general width and length for your path, place the stones and mark the perimeter of each stone with chalk. Individually, remove each stone and set it aside. Using a round-nose shovel, dig out the sod along the chalk marks and dig a recess deep enough for the stone thickness plus 2 inches of sand. Then, you’ll put 2 inches of sand into the recess and level it with a trowel.
Finally, set each stone back in the recess and level it. After you’ve laid several of the stones, you can check them in groups to make sure they are at a consistent height. That’s all there is to it!
Having a garden is a fantastic hobby and also a wonderful design element for any outdoor space. Whether it’s a delicious vegetable garden or a beautiful sea of flowers, we strongly suggest starting your own! There are so many ways to integrate more plant life into your backyard. You can have planters, raised garden beds, vertical gardens, and even a greenhouse. The possibilities are endless.
However, starting a garden does require some research when it comes to appropriate seasons for certain plants and how much sunlight and watering is needed for each. We won’t be going over all of that, but we will give some important tips so you have a starting point for your future garden.
- Decide what you’d like to grow first
- Choose a location for your garden
- Plan your garden beds before planting
- Invest in basic gardening tools
- Test and prepare your soil
- Plant with care and nurture your garden
Gardening can be relaxing, but it can also seem very overwhelming. With specialized care instructions for each plant or when a plant dies, it can be disheartening at times, too. Start small and be patient. This is your garden, so pick things you like and can manage easily. Then, you can move onto bigger and better gardening techniques and layouts.
Take a Seat
Outdoor seating is a huge must when it comes to entertaining guests. Designate an area of your backyard as a place to just sit comfortably and chat. Throw out your old camp chairs and upgrade to adirondack chairs or a patio sofa, so your guests can sit and chat comfortably outside, with a cold beverage in hand.
All Fired Up
We love the smell of a bonfire and we’re sure you do too. Why not have the option to have a fire in your backyard to keep you warm while we still have some chilly evenings? A fire pit is a great feature for entertaining. Of course, you can use it for warmth, but also for making tasty s’mores or hotdogs with the kids. Check out this affordable fire pit or you build your own firepit instead!
DIY Fire Pit Area
You will want to plan the location of your fire pit before doing anything else to make sure it is in a safe area that won’t set anything on your property on fire or cause harm to young children or pets. You can easily mark where you want the fire pit to be by driving a wooden stake into the ground and using a rope that is the length of the diameter of your fire pit. Tie the end of the rope to a piece of chalk to make a perfect circle where your fire pit will go,
Next, dig about 8-10 inches inside the circle you just created and fill 2 inches with sand. Then, place a metal fire ring inside your pit. You can then build around the metal ring with pavers or concrete blocks and be sure that there are at least three levels to the outside wall for added protection. You can also anchor the bricks or blocks down with construction adhesive if you want the fire pit to stay just like it is, but you don’t have to if you’d prefer to be able to remove it later on.
That’s all for DIYing your own fire pit, but please be safe when building this if you choose to. Check your HOA for any rules or regulations with open flames and make sure that the fire pit is set up at least 10 ft. away from your home or outdoor structures. Having a fire pit is definitely a very fun and attractive design element for any outdoor living space, but always keep safety first whenever you are doing anything involving fire.
Step Things Up With a Deck
Having a deck is a great way to elevate your backyard (pun intended). If you read our last post, 7 Remodeling Projects to Increase the Resale Value of Your Home, we’re sure you’re aware how having a deck can increase your home’s monetary value. It’s also a great way to designate a spot in your backyard for a sitting or eating while leaving the rest of the yard au naturale. Contact a local deck builder in your area to start your journey to an incredible outdoor space!
And Then There Was Light
When planning any sort of outdoor event set in the evening, you probably get stuck on how everyone is going to be able to actually see how beautiful your backyard is. Of course you can never go wrong with some tiki torches here and there, but if your style isn’t Hawaiian Luau, then this one’s for you!
String lights aren’t just for Christmas! you can use them to light up your outdoor living space in a trendy way. You can hang them above your eating area, wrap them around trees or posts, or even string them along the top of your fence. However you decide to light up your space, we’re sure it will not disappoint your guests!
As we mentioned earlier, having a designated space for sitting or eating is a great element when it comes to entertaining. Obviously you can’t go wrong with having a grill, but what about a place to sit and enjoy your grilled burgers and hot dogs without having to go in and out of your home? There are some great options for outdoor dining; from picnic tables to full on dining tables and chairs. It doesn’t matter how little space or how many people you want to have over at a time, there’s something for everyone!
Drinks Are On The House
Want to take your parties to the next level? Add an outdoor bar! By having an outdoor bar, not only are you the coolest person on your block, but you also can decrease the traffic coming in and out of your home when you have company. If you really want to step up your entertainment game, you can also change your dining area to bar height. Please drink responsibly.
Spring Into Action
There are so many ways to upgrade your backyard or patio to make it a great place to hang out with family and friends. Today, we went over why it’s important to show some love to your outdoor living space and some design ideas and projects. Having a great outdoor space is also a great way to increase the resale value of your home so keep that in mind if you ever plan on selling your home. The days are getting warmer and longer, so spring into action this weekend to achieve the backyard of your dreams!