Update Your Yard to Create The Perfect Outdoor Living Space
Update Your Yard to Create the Perfect Outdoor Living Space
As we move into spring and summertime and the weather gets warmer, you’ll want to spend as much time outside enjoying the seasons as possible. After a long, dark winter spent indoors, time spent absorbing sunlight in the fresh air has been shown to fight off depression and improve overall mental health. A comfortable outdoor space can also make it almost effortless to plan a last-minute family gathering, neighborhood barbecue, or other social event for both adults and kids alike. If you find yourself looking out your window and thinking that there’s no way you’d invite anyone over to spend time in your outdoor space, consider these simple steps to bring new life to a drab back yard.
Refurbish or Replace Old Furniture
Long months of exposure to sunlight and rain can take its toll on outdoor furniture, so it should come as no surprise if the wooden chairs you bought ten years ago are looking a little worse for wear. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, head to the local hardware store and pick up a few cans of spray paint or wood stain – you’d be surprised at the difference a few coats can make on even the oldest and most worn out pieces of furniture. Another alternative to replacing the furniture itself is to invest in a few new brightly-colored seat cushions or throw pillows that will add a splash of color.
If it’s time to replace your outdoor furniture, take time to consider how you can optimize the use of space by choosing the right pieces of furniture. If your space is relatively small, you’ll probably want to steer away from large, bulky tables and heavy chairs that will make the area feel cramped. Instead, consider smaller-framed chairs or even a couple of benches that will make the space feel airy and open. Small end tables can provide the perfect place to set down drinks without taking up all the space of a larger table.
Bring the Prep to the Party
Outdoor kitchens and bars are an increasingly popular backyard feature that allows you to play host or hostess without missing out on the fun. Just as having a barbecue allows you to flip burgers on the grill while still enjoying your guests’ company, an outdoor kitchen area, particularly one equipped with a sink, will allow you to prepare virtually the entire meal without having to miss a beat by running back and forth between the kitchen and the patio.
A simpler and more economic take on this idea is to have a fully-stocked bar area outside, maybe even complete with bar stools! Make the countertop unique and unforgettable by creating a mosaic out of recycled glass or using a slab of natural wood that’s been sealed to be waterproof. Add a mini fridge and you’re good to go. If space is tight, consider crafting an old-fashioned drink and snack cart for your outdoor get-togethers.
Use Plants and Invite Wildlife
Depending on the size of your yard, a full-on garden might not be plausible, but you can always use potted plants to bring a splash of life and color. Bright flowers in window boxes can be enjoyed both from the inside and the outside of your home, and hanging pots add a fun flair without taking up any ground or table space. Consider planting local plant varieties like wildflowers for a garden that’s sure to thrive where it’s planted.
If you have a love for hummingbirds, bumblebees, or butterflies, why not plant a garden of flowers that will specifically attract them? Your local garden store can help you with this. Bird feeders are another space-efficient option to bring life to your outdoor living space.
Shake Off the Dust of Winter
During the winter, lack of use allows dirt and debris to gather undisturbed on patio surfaces and sidewalks. If you live in an area where it’s cold enough to freeze, ice and snow can cover these surfaces, effectively locking in the dirt until the spring thaw. Road salt can also leave a residue and even cause damage to some natural stone walkways. Before you throw your first outdoor party of the year, let the team at COIT lend a hand by deep-cleaning your patio and walkways, removing accumulated dirt and debris so they’ll sparkle in the sunlight.