You may love your home, but if your backyard or outdoor space isn’t decorated in a way that you enjoy, it can make the house feel less enjoyable overall. After all, what’s the point of having an outdoor space if you don’t make it nice to spend time in?
Here are eight ways to design an outdoor area you’ll love. These tips are easily adaptable to smaller yards and large ones alike, so don’t let lack of square footage keep you from enjoying these ideas!
1) Know your purpose for the space
First thing you need to know about your yard is why you want it. Is it for relaxation, hosting parties or playing? Do you have small children and would like a dedicated play area with high walls and easy access?
Think about how much time you want to spend in your yard, whether it’s just on weekends or if you want something low maintenance so you can spend more time outdoors. If hosting parties is high on your list of needs, consider how many people will be there on average and what they’ll be doing to determine how big of a yard space that is needed.
2) Make your wish list
You will need to figure out what you like and don’t like about your yard. Whether you have a long list of wants or just a few small tweaks, make sure they are all included in your wish list.
If you need help brainstorming, use magazines, Instagram or Google images as inspiration. Pay attention to colours, textures and materials used in other yards that look attractive and try not to focus on one style alone—different styles work with different homes and landscapes.
And don’t forget about things like flooring, furniture (for example, maybe a patio set) and even plants! These are all crucial elements that should be considered before jumping into design ideas for your outdoor area.
3) Estimate your budget
Before you get too far into creating your outdoor space, make sure you know how much you’re able to spend. Getting estimates on materials and services will help give you a better idea of what’s realistic for your budget.
While it might be tempting to hire out everything (after all, there’s a lot involved), keep in mind that having someone do part of it—like laying a patio or installing hardscaping—will still free up time for you to work on other things like designing or planting. If DIY isn’t your thing but hiring professionals is, see if any friends or family members have experience with those jobs; they may even be willing to help!
4) Identify your challenges
Before you begin designing your backyard, figure out what challenges you’re going to face potentially.
Do you have a big yard with steep hills? Or do you live on a smaller lot and need to get creative with how much space you can use? Think about these things as they will impact how design decisions are made.
For example, if there’s little sunlight or water available, talk with experts (like a landscaper) about how that can be addressed and provide your own suggestions for creatively adding more. The more realistic your expectations are, and better prepared for challenges that come up when redesigning your yard from scratch; it makes everything go smoothly from start to finish.
5) Patio Extension
If you have room, adding a patio is a great way to expand your outdoor space. Look for small spaces in your yard that are mostly concrete or stone and have some privacy from nearby buildings.
Once you’ve found a good spot, think about how you’ll finish it off—do you want pavers? A hot tub? A fire pits? Consider all options, but once you make up your mind, go ahead and start planning out where they should go so, they’re all ready when it comes time to work on that patio.
6) Choose your products
Before you even get to designing your outdoor space, it’s important to choose your landscaping products carefully. Carefully consider things like drainage and maintenance needs when you buy soil, and make sure all your plants can thrive in their environments.
Whether you’re buying tools or decorative plants for a fountain centrepiece, make sure you shop smart—you want products like composite decking that will last for years and won’t need much upkeep.
Maintaining your yard is part of what makes it so enjoyable, but it shouldn’t be so time-consuming that you never spend time out there in the first place. Getting everything right from day one will help your yard stand up against whatever mother nature throws at it.
7) Keep an eye on the project time frame
If you’re designing your own outdoor space, remember that home improvement projects can take some time. As such, it’s important to set clear goals and timelines before starting a landscaping project.
It’s also important to stay in touch with your contractor or crew throughout construction. That way, you can get regular updates about how things are going and make sure that everything is moving according to plan. Communication goes a long way when it comes to outdoor space design.