10 Ideas To Make Your Backyard More Enjoyable

Many homeowners spend more time working in their backyard than they do enjoying their backyard. For many homeowners, the backyard is an underutilized space that can become a relaxing oasis, a gathering place for friends and family, or so much more. In this blog post we will share some ways you can enhance your home by making your backyard more enjoyable.

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1. Design An Inviting Patio Or Deck Area

Enjoying your backyard space can take many forms. You can create an outdoor living space for relaxing in solitude, dining with a small or large group, fun playing games, or more. A current trend in backyard living spaces is to design several ways that your entire family can enjoy the space. Even if the activities are different, everyone can enjoy your backyard simultaneously. Imagine the kids playing cornhole, a relaxing area for mom, grill-master space for dad, and a dining area for entertaining friends and family.

A common patio preference is using a deck that can come in a variety of materials. Today there are outdoor living spaces created with pea gravel, stonework, laid brick, or specially manicured grasses. Whichever material and design of your patio or deck area, select the option which will allow you to use the space in the way that will bring you and your family the most enjoyment.

cafe lights over backyard patio

2. Include Lighting

Including lighting to your backyard adds to the ambiance of the outdoor living space you create. String lights or café lights are a popular option that can add charm to your backyard. In addition to the atmosphere backyard lighting can help to create, it also practically extends the amount of time you can spend outdoors. By using backyard lighting you can use your patio well after the sun sets. Cozy outdoor lighting in the right place can also create warmth and illuminate the key areas of your backyard.

3. Plan Landscaping

Carefully plan the use of plants and greenery in your landscaping to enhance your backyard space. Select plants which look natural in your backyard and help to set the mood of your space which you desire. Take advantage of potted plants for smaller spaces and to add to the ambiance of your backyard. Consider the colors of plants which will also compliment the look and feel of your backyard space. In addition to color selection, consider the fragrance and scent of landscaping around your backyard space for another layer of creating atmosphere. For blooming plants, long-lasting perennials will continue to provide enjoyment year after year.

awning with straight valence
balcony with lime retractable awning

4. Maximize Your View

If you are fortunate to have a lovely view from your backyard, maximize it. Whether it be a lake view, ocean view, pool side view, or other special backyard view, accentuate it in the design of your backyard patio space. Avoid blocking the view with trees, hedges, or other plants. Plan to position furniture so that you and your guests can enjoy the backyard space and the view.

5. Create Privacy

You may desire privacy separating your backyard space from neighbors. Fences come in a variety of heights, materials, and even colors. You may choose to plant a row of hedges, shrubs, bamboo, or other vegetation to create a barrier between your backyard space and neighboring yards. Carefully placed screens, walls, arbors, and overhead roofs can provide seclusion and add to the atmosphere you are creating for your patio space.

backyard patio with landscape border

6. Add Shade

While you will often enjoy your backyard most when the sun is out, you will extend the hours you spend in your backyard space if you have a shade vehicle to block the intense sun. Indeed, if you have a backyard space that is full sun, the heat of the sun and rising temperatures in the summer can be quite intolerable. Patio umbrellas can provide short-term temporary relief. You can also add shade to your backyard with gazebos, pergolas with canopies, open-air cabanas, vines growing over arbors or trellises, awnings, or solar screen systems.

For a more permanent, long-term shade solution, consider having a motorized retractable awning installed. Retractable awnings can be customized to connect seamlessly with your home’s exterior – looking as though to have been installed when your home was built. Fabric colors and style options are numerous and can serve to add to the feel and ambiance you are creating in your backyard space. Being retractable, motorized awnings can be unfurled when needed on sunny days and contracted and stowed away when not wanted in use. All with the push of the button on your remote. There are several benefits of having a retractable awning installed.

Solar screen systems are another option to create shade and privacy. Designed to provide privacy between the outdoors and your designated area, solar screen systems provide protection from the sun, wind, and insects. These solar screen systems (being retractable) provide temporary protection from the sun, wind and insects without obstructing views. They provide shade without blocking your view and allowing the breeze in, but not the glaring sunlight and damaging UV rays. By closing these solar screens, you get an instantly refreshing breeze from the great outdoors without letting in the bugs or heat of the sun.

A retractable awning is partially extended - ECCO Sunroom & Awning
Solar Shade - Virginia Beach, VA - ECCO Sunroom & Awning

7. Make A Space To Meet And Eat

Whether you plan to use your backyard patio space for a place of solitude or entertaining a crowd, you will enjoy a space to meet together and to dine. The furniture you select for your backyard patio will set the tone for the patio space. Ideally you will have both comfortable seating as well as a space to eat. Selecting furniture that is versatile, lightweight and easily movable in or out of sun and shade is key. Benches, stools, and ottomans can function as both seating or tables for food and drink. Pieces that are all weather-proof are a must in a patio space that is completely exposed to the elements in order to prevent fading and increase its longevity.

Looking for a space to invite conversation and relaxation requires comfortable seating such as: outdoor sofas, cushioned chairs, and lounge chairs. An ottoman or coffee table adds warmth to the setting and doubles for use while eating or drinking in the patio space. The more comfortable the seating and furniture, the more likely you are to encourage lingering conversations.

backyard patio with couch and ottoman

Looking for a space to relax? Consider lounge chairs, loungers, deep seating sets, or benches that allow for space to stretch out. Hammocks and rocking chairs are ideal lounging and relaxing elements to consider as well.

For a dining space on your patio, you could consider a large dining set if you frequently host big groups for meals. A simple eating area with just a table and chairs may be ideal for one or two enjoying a cup of coffee over breakfast. If you do a lot of outdoor grilling, including a space for eating will be a must. Consider including a side table or additional space near the grill to make the task of manning the grill simpler.

patio with deck and relaxing furniture
Open Air Cabana covers outdoor dining and kitchen in beautiful rock garden

8. Have A Fire Feature

An outdoor fireplace or fire pit is a great feature to invite folks to gather together as well as provide warmth as the day turns to night. Whether you chose to use the fire practically, to make s’mores, or just for the ambiance, it will be a centerpiece of your patio. In the summer, nights can get cool. A fire feature will extend the hours using your outdoor patio space is comfortable in the summer. With a fire feature you can also extend the use of your backyard more comfortably into the cooler fall months. You can choose a DIY fire pit, or an electric or gas outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Ensure that your fire feature complies with regulations in your community and is not near structures, under a roof, or on a wooden deck which could prove unsafe.

9. Consider A Water Feature

Including a water feature in your backyard patio space can be a nice focal point and add to the ambiance you seek to create. Swimming pools and hot tubs are water features you can enjoy for fun and relaxation. Smaller water features such as a garden pond, koi pond, water fountain, or even bird bath can be a calming source for relaxation and gazing in your backyard space. Some homeowners appreciate the calming and even therapeutic effect that the sight and sound of water offers.

Backyard Patio with Water Feature

10. Remove Clutter

Probably the quickest way to start enjoying your backyard more is by removing any clutter or unwanted items that have blended into the scenery of your patio space. Prune overgrown hedges and trees and give the landscaping a once over. Reevaluate the kids’ toys and outdoor equipment. Create a zone for their enjoyment and donate or toss items they may have outgrown. Try to start your enhanced patio space with as clean a slate as possible.

Consider appropriate storage for seasonal outdoor items, tools, and sports equipment. Have seldom used items in arms’ reach but in their proper tucked-away place, out of sight.  For truly seasonal items (summer versus fall, holiday decorations), only have the items in use available. Store out of season items in a shed, garage, basement or attic space. Take advantage of patio furniture that can double as storage. Pieces such as benches, coffee tables, or ottomans with storage space. Utilize space under sofas to slide bins storing seldom used items.

Boxes of Clutter

10 Ideas To Make Your Backyard More Enjoyable Wrap-Up

Consider one or all 10 ideas to make your backyard more enjoyable. Whether you desire a space for relaxation and solitude, an entertainment space for large crowds, or a place where your family can enjoy games and a meal, you can make it possible in your backyard. Ultimately, you can create a backyard patio where family and friends gather for conversations, laughter, relaxation, and fun. Over a meal, a drink, or a book.

Schedule A Free Design Consultation

Looking for ideas on how to enhance your backyard patio with shade? Consider a customized retractable awning, pergola canopy, or solar screen or shade. Maybe you are looking for a space that will provide you with the feel of the outdoors and the benefits of being indoors – a four season or three season sunroom? ECCO Sunroom & Awning has been creating customized outdoor living spaces for over 30 years in Hampton Roads. We’ve got you covered with ideas and plans to keep you cool when the sun comes out. Need inspiration? Check out our gallery. Call 757-424-0022 to schedule a free design consultation with ECCO Sunroom & Awning.

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Call ECCO Sunroom and Awning today for a FREE In Home Estimate at 757-424-0022.