The season of football parties, grilling out, and cozy nights around the firepit has arrived at last! Fall’s cool breezes and colorful displays beckon us toward our outdoor living spaces. Are you ready to make the most of yours? Try a few of these time-honored tips gathered by Forsman’s Finest` to make your backyard the most inviting gathering place in the neighborhood.
Outdoor Living Spaces…an Extension of Your Home
Begin by embracing each of your outdoor living spaces as open-air “rooms” of your home. Remember the careful attention you gave to each element of your living room, as you selected furnishings, colors, accessories, and flooring? Every aspect of the room functioned cohesively to create a singular theme or mood. The same concept applies to your outdoor spaces.
When it comes to outdoor themes, your options are virtually limitless. Do you prefer the free-and-natural approach of an Impressionist painter or the minimalist order of a Japanese garden? Rustic western? English countryside? Outdoor art gallery? Cottage style? Whichever decorative theme best reflects your interests and personality, let that overarching concept guide your decisions in every element of your design.
Consider the View
Reflect back on when you first bought (or built) your home. What was it that drew you to choose this particular spot? Do you have scenic views? Have you cultivated a beautiful garden? Make good use of the aesthetics of your property and arrange your seating areas to take in the beauty before you.
Bring the Inside Out…and Vice Versa
If you have picture windows or French doors in your living room that open out to a porch or deck, plan your outdoor space for visual continuity. Simply put, if you are seated on a couch in your living room and look out, the colors, style, and designs of the outdoor space should complement the room you’re in. The same is true if you are on your deck and looking back into the house. Do the areas flow smoothly into one another, allowing you to open up those doors and treat the two as a single room?
Define the Spaces
Whether your outdoor living space is large or small, give it definition and visual boundaries with strategically placed furnishings for each area’s purpose. People tend to sit and talk where the seating is cozy and close. Keep plenty of open space around the grill so the grill master can work, and no one is injured. Utilize benches, rugs, and large planters to visually establish the definition that gives the area an inviting natural flow.
Outdoor living spaces must incorporate plants. Choosing a variety of shapes, textures, and styles of plants adds instant interest and cohesion to outdoor living spaces. Of course, not all plants are able to thrive in the Nebraska climate, so if you want to ensure that your plants will thrive, talk with your landscaper and consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to discover your best options.
The containers, and pots in which they are housed, will also add to the overall design, so think purposefully in selecting complementary containers too. Additionally, with freezing temperatures just around the corner, making your plant displays portable will enable you to bring them indoors and protect them from the elements.
Add Seasonal Charm and Color
Reflect the colors you see in the trees’ falling leaves with a variety of mums, pumpkins, and gourds. Bring autumn colors in with your tablescapes and accessories, such as rugs, tablecloths, placemats, and throw pillows. Keep a basket of cozy blankets for guests so they can bundle up on chilly evenings
Twilight is arriving earlier and earlier as winter approaches. Don’t leave your guests in the dark. Endless varieties of garden and landscape lights illuminate points of interest in your yard, create ambiance, imitate moonlight shining through the trees, and guide guests along sidewalks and paths. Choose soft lighting, not harsh floodlights, and look for LED options to keep the lights cool and costs down.
Aesthetics Meets Functionality
Many practical outdoor accessories can add to the atmosphere of your yard. Weathervanes, decorative fountains, birdbaths, and light fixtures create interest and beauty. The most popular outdoor accessory for autumn is inarguably the fire pit. This practical centerpiece to any outdoor living space will set the stage for stories, laughter, and friendships forged all season long.
Reflect Your Lifestyle
Regardless of the colors or themes you choose to employ for great backyard living, remember that your home should ultimately reflect your family and the lifestyle you enjoy. Do you prefer small gatherings with just a couple of close friends? Create small seating areas for a tête-à-tête. Does your son’s pee-wee football team use your yard for practice? This calls for a completely different strategy. They need plenty of open space, a refueling station for water and snacks, and the furniture needs to be simple and durable furnishings.
Enjoy Your Space
Whether you choose one tip or many to enhance your backyard this fall, don’t let yourself get so busy with projects that you don’t have time to enjoy the haven you’ve created. Should you decide you would like to expand or need to repair your decks, give Forsman’s Finest a call. We’d love to help you get outdoors and make the most of fall, right in your own backyard.