How to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living Areas this Summer

The season of outdoor living has arrived at last! Long, sunshiny days and flowers in bloom beckon us to soak in every moment of Mother Nature’s glorious display. Whether you’re looking forward to enjoying a good book in your hammock, hosting the little league team’s end-of-the-season party, or prioritizing family time, look no further than your own property for the perfect hang-out spot all summer long. 

HomeWise Roofing and Exteriors has collected some great ideas to make your own backyard your favorite place to be.

Design It

Begin with a plan that takes your family and lifestyle into consideration. How do you want to use your outdoor living space? Who will be there? If you’re entertaining the neighborhood kids until school starts again, you’ll need storage, durable seating, and plenty of room to run, romp and play. If you want to start hosting your work team for happy hour on your patio, you’ll need a bar, a fridge, stools, and high-top tables. 

When you’ve got a wish list in mind for your outdoor space, prioritize what’s most important to you…and what is likely to be most utilized. Don’t be discouraged by hardscapes, small spaces, or large open spaces. Each can be overcome to create an outdoor extension of your house. 

Small spaces are ideal for intimate seating areas, a bistro table with a couple of chairs, a hammock, a swing, or a cozy relaxation space for 1-2 people. Large decks, patios, and expansive lawns can be treated much like an open-concept house. Visually create zones for various purposes with rugs, planters, pathways, and strategic arrangement of furniture.

Grow It

The flora you choose to pot- or plant- in your outdoor spaces can serve a variety of purposes. 

Start by making the most of what you already have, working with nature instead of fighting it. Is there a large tree whose lowest bough would be perfect for a swing? Hang one there. Do you have a shaded spot where grass just won’t grow? Consider framing it with a border and filling in the space with gravel as “flooring” and make a small seating area with a pair of Adirondacks and colorful potted flowers. 

Hedges and ivy scaling fences or the side of your home make beautiful “living walls,” a perfect backdrop for an outdoor dining area. They also help define your space and enhance the coziness of the atmosphere.

Color, scent, and texture can also dramatically enhance your outdoor living areas. Choose plants and containers that complement your color scheme and invite your guests to linger and enjoy.

When choosing plants to use, be sure to choose ones that grow well in this climate and that you place them where they will get the right amount of sun for their needs. If your deck gets direct sunlight all day long, shade-loving plants will wilt and scorch. 

Summer outdoor living patio.

Build It

The options for the types of outdoor living spaces you can create are endless. Decks and patios provide the primary gathering spaces, and they can be upgraded for additional style and function.

Outdoor kitchens and bars are en vogue for summer cookouts and a host of other gatherings. A patio gains extra versatility with the construction of a pergola to provide shade and intimacy. Porches, patios, and decks extending directly from various rooms of the house become extensions of those rooms, whether they are shared spaces connected to the living room or private retreats connected to a bedroom. Secluded alcoves or photo-worthy spots with stunning views are the perfect place for quiet rest and reflection areas.

While a blazing fire pit may be the last thing on your mind as temperatures climb, the gathering space around one can be an entertainment hub right now, and with a sturdy cover over the firepit itself, it can double as a drink station, a plant stand or hold candles/ battery powered lights for a relaxed and cozy feel. Then, when fall rolls around again, simply open that firepit and you’ve instantly got a whole new vibe for the space.

Equip It

You’ll enjoy outdoor living much more if it’s set up for maximum convenience. Consider what you will need to make your design and purpose function well. Add a variety of comfortable seating to gathering areas and strive to put whatever is needed at your family and guests’ fingertips. Pool play? Add towel hooks and large, durable storage chests. Dining al fresco? Choose a dining table and chairs that are versatile and inviting. Hosting a book club? Set up an outdoor living room with plenty of comfortable seating and accent tables where people can place their drinks. Game room? Install a tv, sound system, and a variety of games that suit the ages and interests of your guests. 

Remember that in the summertime, the heat can put a damper on outdoor fun. Consider installing ceiling fans for covered porches and decks or having oscillating fans available for more open areas. Hanging curtains on porches and pergolas serve a dual purpose of shielding you from the sun’s intensity and adding privacy for more intimate gatherings. 

Enjoy It

You’ve worked hard, designing, building, and preparing an outdoor oasis for your family and friends. Now it’s time to get out there and enjoy it. Summer days may be long, but the season is a brief one, so seize every opportunity to make memories together.

At HomeWise Roofing and Exteriors, we can help you upgrade your home’s exterior features to enhance the aesthetic of your outdoor living space and give you peace of mind and maximum functionality to your roof, windows, doors, and siding for years to come. If you’re ready to talk about exterior renovation, we’d love to discuss options and provide you with an estimate. Give us a call today!

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