Starting Small with Backyard Remodeling

Many people look out the window this time of year and dream about a major overhaul of the backyard. It comes as a great surprise to many people that updating your space in the backyard can be fun, easy and affordable. Just like your indoor spaces, the great outdoors is bursting with design potential. The first question to ask yourself is, “What do I want to do with my backyard?”

•Use it for parties and cookouts
•Enjoy time with your family or pets
•Get away from it all or add privacy
Most people want some combination of all three. The best way to achieve this — especially if you have some decent-sized real estate –is to create “outdoor rooms.” You have different rooms for different activities inside, so why not outside? Look to partition with a trellis, hedge row, or to create a small sanctuary using existing tree shade and adding a table and chairs.
Updating your backyard for the summer begins with looking at your own space, maybe in a way you haven’t looked at it before – and seeing the hidden potential of your yard.  Is there a big, wonderful feature tree you can highlight with a seating area or some lighting?  Do you have a spot with a bit of a view?  Remodeling a backyard is all about creating ‘moments’ for you or your guests to move around in the space and enjoy different activities when the weather is beautiful.
Here are a few more top tips to help your backyard become the centerpiece of your home:
–            People love pools. But that’s a big financial commitment – bringing water into your life doesn’t have to mean installing an in-ground pool.  You can also enjoy the peace of water with self-contained systems in urns, portable fountains, and even realistic self-feeding water walls with no waste whatsoever.
–          Compact barbecues (even portable ones you can fold up and stow away when not in use) are a great option for those who don’t cook out every weekend.
–          Create some walkways and paths to make a mini English garden. Line the sides with flowers, grass (or clover, which is a great ground-cover), rocks, or edible veggies in beautiful ceramic pots. Low-maintenance gardens using drought-tolerant plants are super-easy to achieve.
–          Attract beauty to your backyard even when nothing’s in bloom – hummingbird feeders are a great way to bring in pretty little birds. When it’s warm, growing butterfly-attracting plants (red, yellow, orange, pink, or purple are the most popular colors) is a fun idea. Make sure to plant your pretty plants where you can see them – and the butterflies they attract – from a window!
–          Hang discrete stereos speakers outside so you can dock your phone or device and enjoy endless playlists.
–          Scour the junk shops or swap meets for cool, eclectic furniture and go shabby chic. Get creative and use an old chair to grow a climbing vine like a trumpet vine or a morning glory for a beautiful, rustic look.
Remodeling your yard can be a daunting task – so start small and consider some of these steps as you explore how to enjoy your property in new ways this Summer!

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