How fortunate we are to live in a place where outdoor living is a possibility nearly year-round. As we head into the summer, it’s time to take stock or your outdoor living spaces, noting what could be improved. Invest in your outdoor living spaces, is almost like adding an addition to your home because, with the right furniture, accents and landscaping, you can considerably increase the square footage of your living space.
The following tips will help you create the perfect patio and outdoor oasis.
Add one of your fantasy hardscape features.
In a culture that can’t get enough of the HGTV home improvement shows, it can feel like every dream remodel or landscaping plan should be able to happen overnight. In the real world, it doesn’t work like that. Time and budget are always a consideration. Rather than having an all-or-nothing approach, have the vision and foresight to see that one change at a time will lead to your dreamscape within a handful of years.
This year, make it a point to add one of your dream landscape features. If you can’t afford a built-in fireplace or fire pit, create a cozy seating area around an attractive chiminea. If you aren’t able to create the large pond and babbling brook, use a wine barrel or huge ceramic pot, a small water pump, and a faux-creek bed with river stones. One feature at a time is a smart approach to the outdoor environment you want.
Create an outdoor lighting design.
Your flood lights and porch lights are not enough to create a patio or outdoor oasis. Just as your interior lighting plan utilizes a variety of light sources, so should your exterior lighting plan. Safety is the first priority, so make sure that walkways, pathways, stairways and unexpected obstructions are illuminated. Then add dimmable lights, hanging lanterns, landscape lighting and/or twinkle lights for ambiance.
Invest in high-quality furniture.
Yes, high-quality outdoor furniture can be a significant investment, but it is so worth it if you and your family plan on spending any amount of time outside. Many companies offer 0% financing options, which can help you get the furniture you want with minimal payments over the course of the next year. It’s the difference between creating a temporary resting spot or a bona-fide outdoor living room, dining room, etc., where you can comfortably hang out for hours.
Focus on native perennials.
One of the great things about being outside is enjoying the flora and fauna. The more flora you plant, the more fauna will visit. I always recommend meeting with a landscape expert or visiting a local nursery and taking notes. This will help you plan a landscape that provides year-round interest, rather than one that blooms all at once and then goes barren for the rest of the year.
The best landscape is one that uses native plants, which are adapted to the climate and require less water and maintenance than their non-native counterparts. By making the majority of your landscaping perennial, you won’t have to invest a lot of time or money planting new annuals every year. You can save your annual planting for the few flowers you want to have in your containers, hanging baskets and the borders of your plant beds. Another bonus of native plants, they are the most attractive food sources for pollinators, butterflies and birds.