Nothing beats having an oasis of peace to turn to when the day’s done and your laptop bag is put away; a comfy (rocking) chair, an inspiring view leaving you with enough space to dream, breathe and rest, all while treating you to a gorgeous (natural) surrounding you yourself have built and nurtured is what we call outdoor happiness. The beauty of this outdoor heaven gets even more valuable if you’ve got a (big) family and kids who love to spend time outside with you and take in the gorgeousness of their backyard. On that note, in case you love spending time outside but you’ve never given it enough thought (or care!) to put it in shape, we’re laying out a few awesome tips to help you transform your semi-regular, almost uninspiring backyard into a real oasis of tranquility, beauty and relaxation.
Divide and conquer
Like all home projects, the updating of your backyard should start with a plan and a clear vision of what’s going to happen. Also, considering your available budget and the time you’ve got to spare on fixing everything is of essence too. So, sit with your spouse and bounce ideas around: everyone should say what they’d like to see happen in the yard, and then meet in the middle. Once you’ve got the vision, talk about the money and time you are willing to invest in this project, and then – act accordingly.
Give all generations their space
Although turning your outdoor space into a Kardashian-backyard-look-alike does seem tempting, the idea is to make it a homey space, an environment all generations of your family will be able to enjoy – whether on daily basis or when they come to visit. Here’s what we feel would work perfectly:
a) Design a kid space
Kids have their own interests and goals, and they’ll never be even remotely amused with anything adults find interesting. So, to hit the mark with your little ones, sit them down and ask them what they’d like to see in their backyard. Expect them to be unanimous about having a castle, performance stage, basketball court, soccer field or one of those amazing above ground pools installed in their backyard and just go with it. Depending on your budget, decide on the most cost-effective options that can look extraordinary with just a little imagination and DIY effort.
For instance, if you are building a stage for your kids, use solid wood to build a removable platform you’ll be able to storage in the shed during winter days and preserve it for the next summer; consider sewing stage curtains yourself and add just a little glitter on the fabric to add the element of drama. Hang Christmas lights around the “stage” and turn them into “stage lights”. Voila! Or, if you are building a soccer field for the boys, instead of buying expensive soccer structures to imitate the field, build one by using white paint to pedantically draw out the field on the grass and buy quality soccer goals they’ll be able to use for a few more years. The kids will love it, and you’ll have fun making their outdoor space entertaining and playful.
b) And the grownup space
The adults deserve to have their own chill zone, and the best way to build it is separate it from the kid area with interesting, colorful plants, fun dividers or furniture like sofas, beautiful outdoor rugs, stone bars, the grill, etc. (anything that’s visually separating the two spaces). Equip the space with “grownup” elements like a super comfy chair/daybed, an elegant table with a fire pit, a lot of cushions for comfort, and the inevitable serving set that will hold your favorite drinks/snacks for whenever you need a refreshment. Play with outdoor lights that’ll give a romantic, relaxing touch to your time outside: install dimmers and ambient outdoor lighting, and you’ll be set.
c) Don’t forget the grandparents
A rocking chair goes a long way for when your dear parents visit, so put one outside in your grownup area to make their stay comfortable. Building a garden they can take care of is also a nice gesture, as is finding something else you know they’ll love.
Say yes to DIY
Being all extravagant about your space is super cool when you’ve got the budget for it, but when you don’t – DIY is a perfect way to go about your backyard design. Plus, it’s fun! If your kids are old enough to maneuver semi-heavy materials, make it a family project to spruce up the yard. Build a birdhouse together and a dream catcher; make an outdoor cinema using just a few blankets and cushions to lay out on the grass and your family projector to watch movies on. Plant a garden together; build a stone grill or an interesting table using bricks or other materials. Paint the fence fun colors or draw crazy, attractive pictures that will be fabulous conversation piece when someone visits. Go creative on your outdoor space not just for the sake of the budget but to have your kids remember the moment when they “built the yard with their dad and mom”. It will be amazing!
There you have it – the six awesome tips we believe will help you arrange your outdoor space and turn it into a gorgeous ambiance.