Interested in improving your outdoor living space? You’re far from alone. In fact, a growing body of evidence confirms that more and more Americans are prioritizing updates that expand and enhance their porches, patios, backyards, and other exterior areas.
The good news? Whether your goal is to facilitate more relaxation, recreation, or a combination of the two, you’ve got many exciting options. Read on for a roundup of 5 amazing ideas for transforming an ordinary exterior into an extraordinary one.
1. Take the Plunge with a Pool
Mere mention of the word “swimming pool” brings to mind thoughts of endless summer days of fun in the sun.
For families with young children, pools are an excellent way to promote physical fitness, teach and reinforce valuable life skills, and keep kids happy and busy. For singles, couples, and families with older children, swimming pools are excellent for post-work de-stressing sessions, pool parties, and more. Plus, swimming is an excellent form of low-impact exercise—which you’re much more likely to do when you’ve got a pool in your own backyard.
Adding an in-ground pool won’t just bring more joy to life. It can also give your home’s value a boost of approximately 7 percent. And while it’s true that pools come with additional (and ongoing) expenses pertaining to installation, maintenance, and insurance, many financing options are also available. Not to mention that you can’t put a price on quality of life.
Can’t afford an in-ground pool or working with space constraints? Alternative features like hot tubs, lap length pools, and even water features offer many overlapping benefits.
2. Extend and Enhance with a Porch or Patio Enclosure
During nice weather and daytime hours, outdoor spaces are wonderful places for gathering or enjoying solitude. However, in inclement weather, sweltering heat, after dark, and during bug season, opportunities for outdoor enjoyment quickly begin to dwindle.
Rather than remaining at the mercy of the elements, upgrading to a porch and patio enclosure will give you control over your environment. When the weather is nice, open things up to let in the fresh air and sunlight. On not-so-nice days, just close the screen. In sum, porch enclosures, patio screen enclosures, and deck enclosures enjoy all the pleasures and benefits of your natural surroundings without the inconveniences and discomforts.
The best part? When you go with one of Eze-Breeze’s innovative vinyl enclosures, you’ll get all of these benefits in an affordable, low-maintenance, and easy-to-install 3-season indoor-outdoor solution.
3. Luxe Up Your Landscaping
While maintaining a well-manicured lawn is an important part of creating a gorgeous and luxurious outdoor environment, it’s just the start.
A few other strategies for elevating your terrain include introducing levels and tiers to create visual interest through a sense of elevation; livening up a monotone yard through the incorporation of colorful gravel, mulch, and flowers; introducing focal points like statues and fountains; using natural materials like stone, marble gravel, and slate pebbles; and meticulously maintaining walkways, hedges, and topiaries while also embracing the potential of shape and form.
Large and exotic plants are also hallmarks of high-end backyards. In addition to contributing a sculptural or tropical look to your environment, they can also be used for functional purposes such as creating shade and concealing unsightly elements.
4. Light it Up
While outdoor lighting could technically fall under the umbrella of landscaping, it has such powerful potential that we’re giving it a category of its own. Like porch and patio enclosures, outdoor lighting is instrumental to keeping the party going long after the sun goes down. High-quality outdoor lighting has other benefits, too. It can be used to highlight landscaping and yard features, improve safety and security, and boost curb appeal.
For these reasons, it’s not surprising that good lighting is at the top of the list among outdoor amenities for new home buyers. In fact, a staggering 90 percent of homebuyers said exterior lighting was either “essential” or “desirable” when contemplating a home purchase. (Patios were a close second with 84 percent of homebuyers prioritizing them.)
In addition to outdoor light fixtures like hanging chandeliers and pendant lighting, wall sconces, and landscape lighting, fire pits are also a beloved addition to today’s backyards. Not only do they provide light to see by, but they also bring people together for toasting marshmallows, sharing stories, and singing campfire songs.
5. Bring the Indoors Out
While bringing the outdoors in in the form of plants and greenery is a popular design trend, so is the opposite: bringing the indoors out. While outdoor furniture used to be focused almost entirely on functionality, a new and exciting breed of outdoor furniture puts equal emphasis on form. From posh deep seating to dining tables that would be at home in even the most formal dining room, today’s outdoor sofas, settees, chairs, tables, and other pieces are made to withstand exposure to sun, moisture, and other outdoor hazards while simultaneously reflecting a homeowner’s design style.
Bringing the indoors out isn’t just about investing in the right products; it’s also about using them strategically to improve both the feel and function of your space. In addition to designing layouts that encourage flow, creating “zones” can help ensure that there’s a place for everyone and every activity. Some examples of backyard zones include entertainment zones, play zones, dining zones, relaxation zones, work zones, and outside kitchen zones.
Each zone should be outfitted with the appropriate furniture and accessories. For example, your relaxation zone may include a hanging swing and tranquil water feature, while your outdoor kitchen might feature a built-in grill, sink, fridge, and other outdoor appliances. Always dreamed of an outdoor entertainment space? Your entertainment zone might incorporate ample seating, an oversized television screen, an outdoor bar, and speakers.
Speaking of speakers, they’re also a must-have for modern outdoor spaces. Not only is listening to music a popular pastime, but music is also an excellent tool for setting the tone or vibe for a gathering or event.
Ready to Give Your Outdoor Space a Mega Makeover?
While summer may be fleeting, your enjoyment of your outdoor spaces doesn’t have to be. For some easy, breezy screen porch enclosures inspiration, check out our gallery of enclosed patio ideas, sunroom ideas, and more.