The bustle of the holidays is behind us and the new year is here. It’s calmer and quieter…and boy is it cold. Just when you think it can’t possibly get any colder, the mercury drops even farther and local meteorologists’ forecasts are abuzz with speculations about setting new record lows or record ice storms.
That’s probably why so many of us consider this the doldrums of winter. In reality, however, there couldn’t be a better time to start planning for your spring and summer projects!
Set your budget
First thing’s first. What is your budget? Set it in stone and back into that number. If you neglect this step entirely or just have a “general idea” of your budget, you can easily blow right past it and, while you end up with an amazing outdoor living space, you might be too stressed to enjoy it! There are a variety of options at every price point so set and own your budget. Then have fun making your vision a reality!
Determine your style
What’s your style? Do you love a beachy vibe? Desertscape? A mountainous/woodsy vibe? How about something more formal and elegant like a French country feel? Or an understated, modern vibe? Outdoor spaces can easily be designed to reflect your personal tastes with an intentional mix of elements.
Design your patio
When conceptualizing the shape of your patio space, gardens and outdoor features, consider how you plan to use your space and what kind of traffic flow will help facilitate your goals. A mix of different pavers and landscape features such as seat walls, arbors, and greenery, can help create separate spaces for different functions. Would you like to make your patio a continuation of your deck? Do you envision connecting your patio to your garage with a walkway? Spend time detailing your goals and nail down your patio layout first. Then, have fun adding all your features and amenities!
Choose features and amenities for your outdoor living space!
Your outdoor living space is an extension of your home and your lifestyle so take time to assess what it is you enjoy. Are you an introvert who enjoys unwinding in solitude with a good book at the end of a long day? Then keep that in mind when you design your space. Be sure to include quiet nooks for privacy instead of designing an entirely open-concept space.
Consider adding a few seat walls to the perimeter of your patio, perhaps shaded by some larger bushes and trees. A fire table with space for a few chairs around it may also contribute to the quiet, reflective ambiance you’re looking for. Ponds and water features lend a relaxing vibe, perfect for the solitude-seekers among us! Perhaps your philosophy is “the more the merrier” and you live like every day deserves a big ol’ celebration! Then designing your patio for entertaining is a must. And where there are parties…there is food!
Plan adequate space for a grill and group seating. How many people do you want to be able to seat? Do you prefer weatherproof furniture or removable furniture? If your budget allows, explore the possibility of creating an outdoor kitchen space. Your kitchen al fresco can be as simple or lavish as you wish with only your imagination to limit you. Include a bar or buffet, a cooktop, a sink with plumbing, a beverage fridge with electrical…if it can be installed indoors it can also be installed outdoors! You also may want a pergola or shelter above your kitchen area complete with a ceiling fan/lighting.
If your jam is entertaining and you have space in your yard and in the budget, a backyard pool can be a great addition. (With a swim-up bar? Why not!) A pond or fountain also adds the water element yet with a smaller price tag.
A fire pit makes a great spot for congregating after a hearty meal. Gather ‘round for s’mores, drinks and post-dinner convo. Lean back, relax and enjoy the night sky in the company of great friends.
If this post is getting your creative juices flowing, contact us today to get on our spring/summer project calendar. Our schedule for 2020 is filling up fast We’d love to make this the year that you design the outdoor living space you’ve been dreaming of.