Spending time outside is good for your physical and mental health. It is shown it can reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and enhance your mood and creativity. Outdoor spaces can easily be considered an extension of the inside of your home, so why not design it that way?
Did you know that elevating your outdoor space can also raise the value of your home? We are instinctively drawn to nature so when buying a home, a well-designed outdoor living space is at top of minds. Some experts, according to a 2021 blog post*, even suggest that a well-designed outdoor living space will bring more than a 65% return on investment for patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, and fire pits. Whether you are buying a home to renovate your dream outdoor oasis, or already have a home and would like to update your outdoor space, we have the tools to help you spearhead your project before the summer heat sets in.
Creating Cohesion and Purpose
With some key pieces and a good plan, designing a cohesive style to create the perfect indoor-outdoor vibe can be a piece of cake. One of the first things you should do is ask yourself how you will use the space. Do you spend most of your time outside entertaining or playing with the kids? Or perhaps you just enjoy lounging and relaxing. How you use your space is key to designing your outdoor oasis. The size, environment, and budget are also things to consider when designing your space.
Each area of your backyard oasis can be designed to have its own function. You can have a conversation area with lounge seating, a space where you can dine alfresco, a pool for those hot summer days, and a fire pit for the chilly winter nights. After determining the functionality of your space, next, you should assess the sightlines from your interior. If you can see a large part of the outside from your living room or kitchen, you want to select a palette that is harmonious with those areas.
When selecting furniture within your palette, make sure you find items that are specifically made for the elements. It’s best to select waterproof items, made with wicker, wood, or metal materials, and are fade-resistant. Be sure to add rugs, decorative pillows, and accessories to tie everything together.
Key Considerations for Every space
Music to My Ears
Music is a crucial factor in any sensory environment and there are many ways to bring it to your outdoor space. Weather and water-resistant speakers are a great addition to any backyard and can be turned on with the click of a button. They even have technology that is made to look like greenery or rocks to blend seamlessly with your landscaping. This is a great addition for those who enjoy hosting outdoor events.
If you prefer a more subtle and relaxing use of your yard space, whether you’re starting your day outside with a cup of coffee or ending your day watching the sunset with a glass of wine, adding the soothing sounds of wind chimes can help transform any outdoor living space into a relaxing retreat.
Let There Be Light
Outdoor lights add ambiance and can keep the party going long after the sun sets. Incorporate solar-powered lights in your landscaping for added safety. Customize your space with uniquely shaped hanging fixtures, textured floor lanterns, or tasteful string lights. If you live in an area that limits its light pollution, or you prefer to limit your use of light at night, there are an array of products that are approved by the International Dark Sky Association** that are light-conscious with a tasteful design.
Fire It Up
Nothing creates an intimate outdoor experience like a roaring fire. Installing a fireplace or fire pit will not only serve as a focal point but will also provide heat for those chilly evenings you want to entertain or just relax by the fire. Fire pits have come a long way in terms of design. No longer is it a simple black metal grated globe or a circle of bricks with wood in the middle. You have your choice of wood burning, gas, or electric; your choice of finish, either concrete, steel, copper, or granite; and so much more.
Water It Down
Water features can truly transform just about any outdoor area. Simply being around water is a great way to improve your physical and mental well-being. And, since water is a natural element, adding a water feature, such as a Koi pond or cascading fountain, will promote feelings of relaxation and tranquility.
If you want more than a water feature, adding a pool will not only bring tons of enjoyable experiences, but it will also increase the value of your home. Inground pools can be the center of attraction for any backyard. When choosing a pool design, there are many factors. First, make sure it fits your space properly. Think about what shape and features you want it to have. If you have children or pets, you will most likely need to add a fence with self-closing gates. Lastly, don’t forget to decide whether you want a chlorine, mineral, saltwater, or natural water system.
Build an outdoor kitchen
If you enjoy cooking and dining outside, adding an outdoor kitchen is a perfect way to transform your space. Once you’ve defined your allotted area and the purpose of your kitchen, you can outline your essential equipment needs and wish list. For example, if you are primarily cooking for family or small gatherings, you may not need as much space and seating as you would if you regularly host large parties. When it comes to appliances, be sure to invest in outdoor-rated stainless steel or ceramic equipment, which holds up best in all weather conditions. Make sure you take into consideration the gas, electric, and waterline needs when designing your perfect outdoor kitchen. And lastly, leave plenty of room for counter space.
Changing your outdoor space is an investment for you and your well-being. Instead of replicating something you saw in a magazine or online, it is possible to build exactly what you want and what is going to improve your life. The goal when you walk outside is to feel an instant sense of calm and relaxation, or excitement and happiness. If after reading this you still don’t know how or where to start, consider hiring a professional such as an interior designer, landscape architect, or pool contractor. As for an interior designer, we at Piece by Peace Designs (yes, we do exterior/outdoor spaces!) would love to assist you in making your outdoor oasis dreams a reality. Start your journey with us here!
*extraspace.com, 6 Outdoor Living Space Features That Boost Home Value. 2021.
**darksky.org, Find Dark Sky Friendly Lighting.