This beautiful summer weather beckons us to spend more time outdoors on the patio, enjoying al fresco dining, and laughing together around a fire pit. Your landscape should be an extension of your home, bringing indoor comforts outside to create practical outdoor living spaces surrounded by nature.
The first thing many of us think of when we hear “outdoor living” is a nice spot to sit and enjoy time with friends and family. A tiny bistro set or laid-back Adirondack chair may become your new favorite spot during the summer or a place to savor an evening meal. Heck, with a long enough extension cord and a laptop, one might even be able to move the home office outside! But there can be so much more to outdoor living than a few comfy spots to sit. Here are 7 of our favorite outdoor living features in a landscape design:
Staying Lit with a Fire Pit
Even though it’s summertime, the nights can still have a slight chill to them. Adding a fire pit to the patio or yard is the perfect way to extend the fun with friends and family well after the sun has gone down during any time of the year. It also creates the perfect excuse to eat s’mores all night (as if we really need one).
Stay Cool with a Pool
The recent heatwave has many of us dreaming about a dip in the water to cool down and escape the heat. A quick trip to the river or lake is always fun, but why travel farther than your own backyard if you don’t have to? Whether you envision a large, modern pool that everyone can enjoy or a more private natural rock pool for your backyard oasis, there are infinite design options for a pool that fits flawlessly into your home’s aesthetic.
One of the huge benefits of living in the Pacific Northwest is that it’s beautiful no matter the season, but it also gets quite rainy. With a covered patio or outdoor living area, you can enjoy your landscape and the outdoors in rain or shine. Add a fireplace or even a heated floor to stay extra cozy for year-round enjoyment.
Play Ball… Or Golf
Who doesn’t love a lawn game? The answer is no one. Add a special game or sporting area to your landscape design for a fun escape when you’re stressed, a way to get the kids outside, or something to do with friends after a dinner gathering. You can add almost any type of game area your heart desires, from a bocce ball court or a basketball court to a mini-golf course!
Destress in a Hot Tub
Over the last year, we have all had to get quite comfortable staying at home instead of traveling. The best way to give yourself a much-needed staycation is to implement relaxing elements into your landscape. Create a secluded area with an above-ground hot tub or even a modern in-ground tub to relax after work with a glass of wine. You might just feel like you’re on vacation!
Skew it on the Bar-B
There is nothing quite like barbecuing in the summer… except maybe having a complete outdoor kitchen. Cooking and entertaining is so much more fun when you’re surrounded by nature during golden hour or under the stars… and when you don’t have to run back and forth from inside the house. Take your patio and al fresco dining to the next level with an outdoor kitchen and dining area!
Add More Plants (our usual advice)
Of course, an outdoor living area isn’t complete without the aesthetic of plants. Complement the surrounding nature by adding some seasonal container plantings. Not only does this give you the ability to play with color and texture, you can also grow herbs to use in your outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor living has endless possibilities. No matter what your landscape, home, or interests look like, there are features that are suitable for your space. Give yourself an excuse to get outdoors and create a place to gather with friends and family (or just by yourself) in your landscape.