Turning Yards into Outdoor Living Rooms

Just as the entrance to your house is designed to draw you in, your lawn and landscape should welcome you outside! With a little planning and creativity, your backyard can be the perfect “outdoor living room” for your family. Whether you prefer casual cookouts or garden teas, family fun or a private retreat, any space can be transformed. Below are ideas that make for outdoor living at its best:• Plan ahead. Consider how you want to use your property. Make a five-year wish list. If you really want a pool, leave space for it now. Sketch out the general areas you want in your yard on tracing paper, allowing for easy movement from one area to another.• Consider the view looking out from your windows. It’s an view many people forget, but that’s the one you’ll see most often.• Plant now for privacy later. Landscaping elements make great screens for privacy and for stopping sound, but they do take time to grow, so planting ahead is a good idea.


• Match the size of outside rooms to similar spaces indoors. A patio might equate to a family room. Make the barbecue area the size of a kitchen-dining room combination. Making outdoor rooms too large takes away the feeling of intimacy.• Continue colors, styles or even flooring from inside to outside, if possible, for a sense of connection.• Think outside the (square) box. Remember, nature produces nothing in a straight line. Curves in walkways, pools, and decks will look more natural than using all straight lines.Whatever the age of your family, your home or your landscape, you can create an extra room in your yard, right outside the window!Planning ahead is fun, and the enjoyment and value that landscape improvements add to your time at home can make transforming your property an exciting experience.

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