Now more than ever, we’re seeing how important it is to have a comfortable area outside of your home to unwind. As a result, many people are interested in the latest landscape and outdoor design trends to really make their yard a place for solace. We spoke with Stacy Ling of Bricks ‘n Blooms about everything you need to know to transform your backyard, from blurring the lines between your house and nature to what colors will help you relax.
Whether you have a large suburban property or a cozy plot in the trendy neighborhood, our list of outdoor living ideas is full of ways to make your yard a staycation destination.
Unless you’re blessed to live in a warm, weather-friendly region, you’ll want to create a space that can be used when the temperature isn’t on your side. Instead of spending weeks or months at a time forced indoors, transform your deck, patio or yard into an area where you can be outside year-round.
Consider installing a pergola to keep your space dry, then invest in some space heaters to keep it toasty. If you’re more of an open-air person, then a retractable awning with a fire pit may be more your style. Whatever you decide, remember the key is to keep the area dry and warm.
“With people staying home over the last year, homeowners want to make their outdoor spaces feel like indoor living spaces. And it’s got to feel cozy, comfortable and welcoming.”
Stacy Ling | Bricks 'n Blooms
No. Not literally. Keep your walls standing, but find ways to blur the lines so that it’s not such an abrupt change going from inside to outside. According to Ling, it’s easier to do that now than ever. “With better quality outdoor living furniture and area rugs, it’s much easier to make the outdoors feel like a cozy living space,” Ling said.
There are a number of ways that you can make this happen, involving everything from landscape to furniture to the doors on your home — it really just depends on your personal style and your budget.
“Whether it is a dining or living space, the trend is making a space outdoors feel like a room with lots of organic textures and elements.”
Stacy Ling | Bricks 'n Blooms
The string of lights dangling from tree-to-tree or post-to-post isn’t gone, but it’s not going to be as prevalent as it once was. That’s not to say that you should toss your string lights and start fresh, but you might opt for lighting options that are less noticeable. So, take those string lights and run them along the rail of your deck or tuck them on top of the beams of your awning. Make it so that the lights are there and potentially visible, but no longer the focal point or a distraction from the other landscaping and design choices you’ve made.
If you’re ready to ditch the sting lights, consider adding up-lighting that sits behind patio furniture or have lights built into posts and poles. Ling notes that if you don’t want to keep string lights, solar lighting is another great, non-intrusive option, provided you live in an area with plenty of sunlight to power them. “I love solar walkways and lanterns to add around the yard for extra ambiance. Solar lights have significantly improved over the years and are totally worth investing in.”
You don’t need to plant privacy hedges to surround your entire property. After all, part of the joy of having an outdoor living area is getting to interact with others in the space. However, it’s still important to have an area where you can get away from the chaos of the world and daily life. You can use a mix of landscaping and hardscaping to achieve this.
Consider taking a small section of your yard and creating a plant wall. It doesn’t have to be overly tall. Just enough that it’s clearly separating the space from the rest of the yard. Then, use the space for whatever you want — read a book, take a nap, do some yoga or anything where you just want a bit of space for you time. Consider adding a pop-up canopy to give yourself a little shade, too.
This seems to go against idea #2, right? Well, not exactly. While it’s great to have an outdoor living space, you don’t want to track in grass, mud, sand and other pieces of the earth with you. So, why not have a place to wash it all off? Install a foot rinsing station near your door to quickly clean off before entering your home. You don’t have to stop there, though.
If you find your time outside tends to leave you dirty from head-to-toe, consider installing a full shower to get yourself completely freshened up. Once considered a warm-weather specialty, outdoor showers are becoming more commonplace in colder regions.
Just like any room in your home, you’ll want to decorate and design your outdoor space with cohesion and a sense of purpose. That all starts with your color scheme.
Earthy colors are the way to go. They not only make logical sense for an outdoor area, but help to create an inviting and relaxing atmosphere. So, look to get some shades of brown and gray for your seats and cushions as well as some gentle blues that will help make relaxing outside simple.
Why not enjoy your yard from inside your house, too? This landscape design trend is all about ensuring the view out your window is as breathtaking as it would be if you were actually outside. So cut down or trim back those hedges that block your view and tear those overgrown bushes out of the ground.
If you want to replace them, you can get creative with your new landscaping. Ling notes that there really is a landscape design that works for everyone as long as you’re honest about how much time and effort you can give to it. “It’s important to keep in mind how you live and how much you want to care for when purchasing plants,” Ling said. “There are lots of plants out there that are either easy care or a lot of work. Knowing and understanding the difference and being real about how you live will help you grow a garden wit much greater success.”
For this landscaping trend, you’ll want plants that won’t grow too tall. After all, the point is to keep the view out of your windows unobstructed. Instead, focus on your visual points in the distance. Bright colors and sharp angles are always a great choice to give you a picturesque image when looking through your window pane.
“Whether it’s a large or small garden, a few containers or some houseplants, they will add personality, warmth and make a space come alive.”
Stacy Ling | Bricks 'n Blooms
Are you ready to make your outdoor space the best it can be? Whatever changes you decide to make, enjoy the work and transforming your outdoor space. Pick a few or just one of the ideas we listed — just make sure you enjoy your yard and your new personal paradise.