Your back yard should be so much more than a place to have the occasional cook out. In fact, there are lots of ways you can make more use of the space, and many of them involve taking the indoors outdoors. If you still have space in your yard after turning a section of it into your very own farmers market (well worth considering, even if you’ve not tried growing own vegetables, before) here are a few ideas for using your outside space…
Create a zone for outdoor living
The most obvious (and effective) way to take the indoors outdoors is to create a living area in your back yard. This might mean buying a sectional sofa that’s suitable for outdoor use, a set of patio furniture (so you can entertain friends and family), or simply just installing a swing chair for a cozy spot for a little outdoor reading. Skip over uncomfortable, unsightly plastic sets – there are many dedicated outdoor dining sets and sofas in beautiful shapes, fabrics and sizes to make your outdoor space feel as comfortable as your indoor space.
However, even with this extra furniture it can look a little jarring to have a living space in your back yard without any ‘transition’. So, pay attention to the flooring (as this will help to zone off parts of your outdoor space, marking it as living space) and consider shopping for a pergola. Pergolas are a good transition between indoor and outdoor living areas and if they’re high enough quality, you’ll find they offer great shelter, shade and protection from the elements, meaning you can enjoy your outdoor space whatever the weather.
Don’t forget to accessorize.
In the same way you can take the indoors outside using furniture that’s traditionally always been used within a home, you can also use ‘indoor’ accessories in your yard. For example, you can incorporate a rug that’s been specially designed for outside use (and can therefore cope with high traffic, moisture and dirt). You can also take various textures and colors into your back yard through accessories such as cushions and blankets, and don’t forget the impact that candles, string lighting and even large mirrors can have on an outdoor living area.
If you enjoy cooking, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy cooking in the great outdoors – especially considering you’ll have an endless supply of fresh air and natural light. (And natural ventilation, too!) So, think about designing your back yard in a way that accommodates some cooking equipment. Simply upgrade your grill for something a little fancier so that you really enjoy cooking on it, or go a little further by installing a permanent BBQ island. If you have a much larger budget to play with, a full outdoor kitchen could be exactly what you need to make the most of your space – especially if it’s complete with an island, sink and refrigerator drawer.
Watch a movie outdoors
Budget doesn’t stretch far enough to an outdoor kitchen? Don’t worry – there are other things you can do to enjoy your space, such as turning your back yard into an outdoor movie theater. Hire or buy a projector and screen so you can watch a movie in outside, gathering your friends and family to watch it with you. Make bowls of fresh popcorn and hand out blankets to keep everyone warm once the suns gone down and enjoy a Friday night that feels a little different to your usual routine.
Install an outdoor fireplace
Admittedly, an outdoor fireplace isn’t going to be possible for every homeowner, but if you’re lucky enough to have the space or budget for one, why not consider it? An outdoor fireplace will undoubtedly make your back yard a lovely place to spend time in, ensuring you can use it all year round while you and your loved ones sit around the crackling fire. Shop around for one with your budget and do some careful planning for where you think it would be best be placed in your garden. Then, once it’s installed, stock up your supply of marshmallows and get ready to toast them!
What do you think of these ideas for bringing the indoors outside? Not only will they make your back yard enjoyable for you to use; they could also help to improve the value of your property. After all, as any good realtor will tell you, a pleasurable back yard will be viewed as another room for prospective buyers.