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  • Kevon Bodden

8 Ideas for a Better Backyard

A backyard can add a lot of beauty to your home. It is more attractive to look at and use than an overgrown weed-filled mess of a yard. It attracts children, family, friends, and barbecues! But many of us make our yards less inviting by not paying attention to details. One nice idea can really turn a backyard around. Based on my own experiences, I've collected a few ideas which I think will make your backyard even better.

A good starting point is to think of your backyard as an extension of your home.

So, instead of focusing on the pool or patio or deck, think about what you want to do in your backyard — whether it's relax, entertain or play — and then create an area that fits those needs. It should be a place where friends and family can gather to enjoy each other’s company while enjoying nature.

Create a comfortable space to relax in.

Add comfortable seating. A bench or two, with cushions or pillows, is a great way to encourage guests to hang out in your backyard. If you have enough room, consider adding a small table and chairs so you can enjoy meals outside on nice days.

Install lighting so you can enjoy the outdoors at all times of day — not just during daylight hours.

If you don't already have a patio or deck, consider adding one. You can also add furniture and landscaping features like plants and trees that will make your backyard look more welcoming.

Incorporate a fire pit.

A fire pit is a great way to add ambiance and warmth to your yard. It also doubles as an entertainment center, so you can gather around it with friends and family for fun nights of singing and storytelling.

This is one of the most popular ways to get everyone together in the backyard. If you have children, they will love sitting around the fire pit roasting marshmallows or just enjoying the warmth of the flames.

Add shade in the form of trees and pergolas.

If you have a small yard, consider adding a pergola or trellis over a patio area or deck. This will provide shade for those hot summer days and evenings when you want to relax outside. You can also add shade by planting trees around the perimeter of your yard.

Create privacy screening with lattice, fencing or climbing plants.

Privacy screens are great for creating an outdoor living space that feels like its own retreat from the rest of the world. You can use them to block views from neighbors into your yard, or to create additional separation between yards if needed. This can be done by planting tall bushes along fences or borders between properties, or by installing lattice fencing around property lines.

Add walkways that invite foot traffic through the yard.

You can do this by having smaller areas of different kinds of grasses and ground covers set aside to create paths through the garden, or by paving them with stone or brick pavers.

Include open spaces for outdoor games like bocce ball.

This is a fun way to spend time with family and friends outside in the evening hours when it's cool out and everyone wants to be outside enjoying themselves. Playing is important!

Set up an outdoor bar for entertaining guests.

Have a drink before heading out to dinner, or enjoy the sunset with friends while sipping cocktails on your patio. You can build a bar from scratch or buy one online or at a home improvement store. You could even create your own little tiki bar in the backyard. Set up some lights and lanterns, and bring out some extra chairs and tables so that people can sit and enjoy their drinks outdoors.

Bonus tip to enjoy those drinks: Hang a hammock between two trees and enjoy reading, napping or just relaxing.

There are many different ways to improve your backyard into the backyard of your dreams!

We hope that these suggestions have been helpful. Now it's your turn to apply them to your own backyard. There are lots of other ways you can improve it, and you are sure to find new ideas popping up even as you read this piece. We know that once you finish reading this article, your mind will be brimming with all kinds of possibilities. Enjoy the designing process!


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