During the summer months, your backyard (terrace, stoop, roof deck – you get the point) serves a number of purposes. It’s a place to relax after a tough day at the office; it’s a place to entertain your friends and family; it’s a place to showcase your green thumb and grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables to enjoy in your seasonal cuisine. While it’s not a difficult task, there is no room for error when it comes to designing the perfect backyard. Your space is limited, so it’s important to make the most of it! Create a stunningly functional backyard space to enjoy this summer with these do’s and don’ts.
Here’s what you should DO in your yard this summer:
- Hire a professional. Sure, you can tackle certain aspects of your backyard design without the help of a professional contractor, like arranging furniture or deciding on what color plates to purchase. When it comes to properly staining and sealing your deck, or updating your home’s exterior color, or even re-sodding and mulching your backyard, that work is best left up to the professionals.
- Consider what you have. It’s important to consider the existing layout of your backyard, the space you have to work with, and of course, the current decor your home’s exterior already features. After all, mixing a Latin-American themed Pueblo into the backyard of a Cape-Cod might look a little silly. To get a better idea of what would look best with your home’s exterior, look online at HGTV and other home improvement sites for inspiration. Take a walk around your neighborhood to examine the ways in which your neighbors have transformed their yards. These simple steps will give you a better idea of how you can make the space your own.
- Make your life easy. When it comes to adding decor to your backyard, there is a thing as “too much.” If you’re going to add a garden area, consider the plants you’re installing. Make sure they don’t require too much maintenance throughout the season – this makes planning long weekends and vacations a lot easier (you won’t have to worry about watering the ficus!) Invest in outdoor furniture that won’t rot over time. You’ll be able to use it from season to season, and again, you won’t have to spend the summer worrying about the integrity of your chaise lounge when you should be relaxing and enjoying yourself.
Here’s what you SHOULDN’T DO in the backyard this summer:
- Don’t let the lawn get out of control. There’s nothing worse than an unsightly, untrimmed lawn, particularly if you’re outside entertaining guests all summer. If you don’t think you can handle the meticulous care that’s required pretty much bi-weekly, hire a professional to take care of it. Those of you on a budget can get the kids to mow the lawn as part of their chores, or hire a local neighborhood kid to take care of it for you on a scheduled basis!
- Don’t crowd the space. This goes back to carefully considering the amount of yard that you have to work with. While it may not seem like it, there is such a thing as “too much” when it comes to backyard furnishings. When arranging backyard furniture, make sure that your designated seating area doesn’t consume the yard – where will you set up Corn Hole/Kan Jam/horseshoes?
- Don’t forget to hang out! Once you’ve amplified the look and feel of your yard to meet your needs, start entertaining. After all, that’s what summer’s all about, right?
Stay social this summer and entertain your friends and family in a great backyard. For more tips on summer fun, check back to the WYL Blog regularly!