The Art of Turning Your Backyard into an Outdoor Living Space

The Art of Turning Your Backyard into an Outdoor Living Space
  • Opening Intro -

    Turning your backyard into an outdoor living space is, if you think about it, quite a subjective thing.

    What we want from our backyards is very personal after all, and what appeals to you might be totally different than what your neighbors want in their space.

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For many, the art is in the visual appeal of a well laid-out, well maintained backyard. This could be flowerbeds planned to the inch, it could be a lawn so manicured it resembles a green carpet.

Nothing wrong with any of that of course – but for me, a backyard should be somewhere you want to relax, somewhere you entertain and an extra space for enjoying the warm weather of the summer months (if we ever get any of course). It’s a place I want to enjoy with my family.

So for me, an outdoor living space has to include:

BBQ

As the American Chef Anthony Bourdain famously proclaimed, “BBQ may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” 

A garden without a BBQ is a like a pub without a dartboard, there’s just something missing. Consider either building a brick installation, or otherwise buying the best freestanding model you can.

There is nothing nicer than being able to throw a couple of chicken legs on to char, grabbing a chilled beer and enjoying some al fresco dining.

Even if you’re not a huge outdoor cook, it is well worth investing in a standing fire pit. It can be used to cook up a storm if you fancy it, but can also be stocked up with logs to provide a gorgeous centerpiece that can help to keep everyone warm as the sun starts to dip.

Decking

Where are you going to eat that BBQ? Or where are you are going to sip cocktails, and where are you going to spend a chilled evening, chatting with friends into the night?

Don’t say the lawn! Garden chairs and lawns are a no-no for so many reasons. They are terrible for the lawn, and they are worse for the people who have to sit on them. Think back to summer parties sat in an uneven, buckling plastic chair, beer in one hand paper plate of BBQ food in the other – it’s not fun, right?

Decking is not only a great investment to provide a nice place to actually sit and enjoy the yard, it can be a real focal point of yard design. It can be dressed up in multiple colors or wood stains, covered in canvas awnings or twinkling lights, potted plants and creepers. It really is one of the key pieces you can rely on when transforming an underutilized space into a living space.

A Bar

Yes! Come on, what is going to turn your backyard into an area that you really want to be enjoying all summer more than adding a bar? In fact, the main problem you’ll probably have will be stopping your family and friends wanting to visit you every day.

You don’t need to go to the effort of building a full on backyard pub either (though they are great!) – just an area that’s set aside for drinks. So a table or bench of good outdoor material like stainless steel with a wood trim to make it look friendlier. Run in a simply electric socket or two and you can install a small mini-fridge, a few appliances like a blender – hey presto, you have a simple backyard bar that is worth way more than the sum of its parts.

These are just a few simple, effective ways to create an outdoor living space the whole family loves and enjoys. Whatever you enjoy, whatever you think will make it a fun space, go for it, because that’s the key message here – to craft an outdoor living space that you actually want to spend time in with your friends and family.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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