The outdoor area in the back of a home is valuable real estate that can be turned into a delightful, multi-functional space. No matter how big or small a yard is, there are design techniques that will maximize every inch of the space.
A patio or deck with comfortable seating can become an all-season gathering spot. Designing a space around household residents’ interests ensures it will be practical. Creating an ideal reading spot adds value, and outdoor areas can include a section devoted to exercising.
1. Expand Living Space with a Deck or Patio
One of the easiest ways to create a functional outdoor area is to build a custom patio or deck. These spaces provide room for plant containers, furniture, and entertainment areas. Homeowners can add borders to decks and patios to increase visual appeal. Many owners add flowerbeds or trellises with climbing plants. The benefits of custom retaining walls that surround patios cannot be overstated. For instance, adding a wall gives an outdoor area a clean, finished look and doubles as seating or a surface that holds plants.
2. Add an Area for Gathering and Relaxing
A backyard area can increase a home’s beauty and serve as an ideal gathering spot. The key is to include eye-catching and functional seating, furniture, and features. Better Homes and Gardens design experts recommend adding benches, chairs, or stools. Use your imagination and choose styles in colors and patterns that increase visual appeal. Choose scaled-down versions for kids so they can seat themselves and join the gatherings. Options like retaining walls make ideal overflow seating, but make sure there are also individual pieces that can be moved around to accommodate different needs. Just be careful not to clutter the area with too much furniture.
3. Make Room for Exercise
One way to add function to an outdoor area is to create an exercise section. It’s a great way to promote healthy activity without the need to go to the gym. Exercise space can be as simple as an area with a yoga mat. The space can also be as elaborate as needed and include equipment like a stationary bike, dumbells, an exercise machine, or a treadmill. When designing an outdoor space, it’s a good idea to clearly separate the exercise area from other sections, such as seating or cooking zones. Separating areas can make each more pleasant and functional.
4. Create Features with Favorite Activities in Mind
As you create your outdoor area, think about what you like to do, and then add that to the design. Experts at Porch.com suggest writing down the ways you plan to use the space. Consult other users, like family members, and determine which activities they would do at home if they had the right place. It’s critical to make these decisions early in the planning stages to map out clear goals.
5. Build in a Reading Space
An outdoor reading nook is a delightful feature that costs little but adds tremendous value to an outdoor environment. The key is to create a comfortable, well-lighted section that is ideal for relaxing with a book. Consider lounge furniture that will recline and include throw pillows. Make sure there is plenty of overhead lighting so readers can enjoy their books at any hour. Add features like Citronella candles to keep bugs away, or design a reading space in a screened-in section. Include a table to hold books, and think about hanging a shade or curtains for privacy.
With a bit of planning, it is possible to turn any outdoor home space into a delightful, functional environment. It’s a good idea to start with a deck or porch and then create a gathering place that includes seating. Design the space around favorite activities, and have separate areas for interests like exercise and reading.