It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in your home for decades or you’ve just bought a new one with amazing potential, you might be looking to change the backyard area to better suit your needs and lifestyle. Depending on the space at your disposal, the ways how you can upgrade your outdoor living space are numerous and we’ve decided to single out ten tips that are sure to help you in this endeavour. Take a look below.
Fix up the existing structures
In case your budget is not enormous and you think that there is no need for any major renovations, you can simply start by fixing up the existing structures. First of all, remove all clutter and things you have no use for. Whether it is old furniture, rusty garden tools or a shed that is falling apart, get rid of it. Then, take a good look at what is in front of you. For example, is the concrete cracked or are any of the tiles missing? Look for the best way to repair the cracks or replace the tiles. After that, check whether the roof is leaking and if there is any rot or mould that might affect the structure. If you do encounter any issues, you can either contact professionals in this field to help you or do it yourself if you’re handy.
Add a patio, deck or porch
On the other hand, if there are no existing structures and you are looking to expand your living space into the outdoors, you have a few options to choose from. For instance, if you don’t have much space in the backyard, you can perhaps add a porch to the front of your home where you can have a coffee in the morning and catch up with some neighbours. However, if you do have the ability to build in your backyard, you can also opt for some sort of screened-in back porch if you want it to be closed but still get fresh air and a nice view of nature. Another approach includes building a deck but keep in mind that you will not be protected from the elements. Finally, the simplest alternative is probably adding a patio. Consider all the options and see which one would suit you best.
Build a pergola
In case you don’t want this outdoor area to be attached to your home, you can also choose to add a pergola to your yard. Pergolas come in all sorts of varieties so you should have no issues finding one you like. It can be with a solid roof or one that lets the sun in through the lattice-like roof. It can be made out of timber, metal or fiberglass. It can be any size you want. Plus, you can find instructions online on how to make one yourself, you can order one online or contact a local expert that will make you a customized one. Having this space at your disposal in a quiet corner of the backyard will allow you to relax and escape the world for an hour or two, either by reading a book or taking a nap.
Block out the sun
Regardless of the option you go for, you need to think of ways how you will get some shade for the space. We’ve all heard by now how harmful it can be to stay outside in the sun for too long but luckily there are many approaches we can take. For one, if you have a large deciduous tree, it can provide you with the shade that your outdoor living space needs. Another option is to add a permanent roof to your outdoor area. While this will keep your belongings safe from the elements, it might not be the most practical idea seeing as how it cannot be moved in case you need to place it somewhere else and it is a big investment. A great alternative can be shade sails, which you can install over your outdoor living space and take down when you don’t need them, as well as various types of canopies and umbrellas. For instance, if you have a pool and love to lounge by it, you might want a parasol to protect you from the harmful sun rays. Finally, you should even consider adding aluminium window awnings to your porch windows to stop the heat from getting in and the sun rays from damaging your furniture.
Change your flooring
We mentioned already fixing up damaged flooring options; however, sometimes the problem is not with the wear and tear but with the style of the floor in question. Maybe the simple concrete option is too plain for you. You can swap it out for a colored concrete version or get concrete pavers that will add a different vibe to space with their interesting shapes and colors. Maybe you’d like something classic such as clay or stone. On the other hand, if you have a timber deck, perhaps you’d like to get a different variety or shade of timber. Be careful when it comes to timber, however, seeing as how it will need to be re-stained after a couple of years to stay in shape.
Invest in quality furniture
Once you have built or improved the structure, you can start thinking about making it more practical. If you got rid of the old furniture pieces, you should start looking for new ones. Take into consideration the weather conditions they will have to withstand. For instance, if you will have a roof over them, you don’t have to worry about them getting damaged by sun or rain. However, if they are not covered, look for weatherproof items that are not easily worn out or broken. Of course, consider how you will be using the space. If you will be eating and hosting parties here, get a dining set or create a cozy seating arrangement with many versatile and multipurpose pieces. For lounging around with only your family, get some daybeds, swings and hammocks. Finally, if you will be using this space as an outdoor kitchen, you will need quality appliances to ensure everyone stays safe and gets delicious meals.
Think about the décor
After you have picked out the main elements for this space, start thinking about how you will decorate it. If there is a roof, you might consider getting a fluffy carpet that matches your aesthetic. If you have windows, you can add curtains that will either let in the light or completely block it out. Of course, interesting throw pillows and blankets are necessary to make this area more homey and chic. If you don’t have enough space in your backyard for a garden, you can add a couple of potted plants to this area as well. To create a nice, soothing atmosphere, you can introduce scented candles or an oil diffuser. In case you want a fun entertainment area, you can add a TV, quality speakers and game consoles – make sure they are kept safe from the elements, though.
Work on illuminating the area
To make the most of this area, it needs to be properly illuminated for its use. If it will be used for relaxing in the morning or evening, there is no need for bright lights – some recessed options and string fairy lights will certainly do the trick. Twinkling lights will help you create a romantic atmosphere and you should most certainly consider simple but cute lanterns that can act as centerpieces. However, prevent injuries by illuminating some dangerous areas where people could get hurt, such as the stairs or the pool.
Put in a water or fire feature
Pools are not for everyone as some people like the sound of running water better. In that case, you can install a fountain or a mini waterfall in your yard. This will surely allow you to reach the state of Zen. On the other hand, if you prefer fire features, you can consider a fire pit that will keep you warm and cozy in the evenings and even allow you to make s’mores with friends or your kids. Fire pits come in many shapes and forms, from stone models to metal ones so you can surely find a variety that fits the look of the whole space. What is more, you can even think about DIY fire pits if you’re looking for a side project.
Do some landscaping
Last but not least, the landscaping of your yard also plays a big role in making this space homier. From mowing the lawn to planting some interesting varieties, there is a lot you can do. For example, the aforementioned deciduous trees can provide you with shade but remember to trim them regularly to prevent incidents. Then, you can put up a trellis near your outdoor living area and get some vines to create a privacy screen of sorts or separate the space into different zones. Finally, you can plant a rain garden that will divert water away from your outdoor living space and toward the plants.
Whether you go for just one of these options or combine them with your Melbourne home extension project, your outdoor living space will certainly look amazing.