Planning an Outdoor Space: The Ideas Guide

Benjamin Franklin once stated, “By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail.” This sentiment is true even when designing an outdoor living space. Coming up with a well thought out plan will help homeowners determine the function of their space and the features they will need to support their desired outdoor activities.

Creating a framework for the outdoor design will encourage creativity while helping homeowners increase efficiency, avoid costly mistakes, and eliminating post completion doubts. In this three-part series we will explore the must haves, could haves and safety measures to consider when planning an outdoor space.

Essentials to designing a successful outdoor living space include landscaping, hardscaping and the placement of outdoor structures.

There is no reason to re-landscape the entire backyard. Homeowners can start by surveying their yard and determining the best place to create an outdoor living area. They can take note of focal points to incorporate into the design, slopes and drainage in the yard and how they would like to blend the environment into their design. Once the landscape has been factored, hardscaping comes into play. This will include solid foundations, walkways, paths, retaining walls and steps. Hardscaping offers homeowners added beauty and functionality to an outdoor space. Outdoor structures will help maximize comfort to an outdoor living space. Pergolas, gazebos and arbors protect the party and space from the elements as well as provide shade and define space.

Thanks to manufacturing improvements the possibilities are endless when it comes to outdoor living. There is very little holding a homeowner back from creating an ideal outdoor living space. An outdoor space can fit into just about any size and budget. Whether egger to build a scaled down retreat or an elaborate outdoor extension to a home. In exploring the possibilities, homeowners will discover potentials for dining, playing and relaxing in their space.

A simple outdoor space can make for a beautiful outdoor space. A lounge chair or hammock can be assembled for relaxing and reading. A bistro table and chairs are all that is required for an alfresco dining experience. Stylish furniture, with small pops of color from rugs and cushions can remake a tired outdoor space.

Homeowners wanting to go full tilt to create an elaborate space can find all they need with no lack of creature comforts all designed for the outdoors. Outdoor kitchens complete with pizza ovens, grills, as well as outdoor appliances are available to eliminate the need for running inside for something. Outdoor living rooms can include lush seating, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, and entertainment areas complete with a television. Added amenities such as pools, spas, dramatic lighting and water features will give any space the “wow” factor. Tropical, modern, European, and classic designs are available suiting a variety of styles.

Safety is an issue. While safety measures might have slipped your mind, it is imperative to incorporate them to guarantee a comfortable space. A variety of surfaces can add visual interest and texture to a design but make sure walkway surfaces are even. A well-lit area will help people see where they are going and prevent accidents. Fire safety is important when using heating sources such as heaters, grills or fire pits. Keep it clean, containing clutter can clear walkways for traffic.

Creating an outdoor living space is exciting. When homeowners take the time and effort to successfully plan a space, it will pay off. Contemplate the necessities, the possibilities and safety when developing an outdoor space design. These planning fundamentals will transform outdoor living, producing the ideal space for homeowners.

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