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Designing An Outdoor Living Environment


A 5-Step Outdoor Living Guide

The Pelham Group
Apr 10 4 minutes read

Summer is quickly approaching, and as we seek sanctuary within our homes and huddle more closely with our families, we look for ways to reconnect with nature, spending much more time outside. 

Does your backyard beckon you outdoors?…

Do you long to lounge in the warmth of the sunlight?…

 Creating an outdoor living environment can not only transform your backyard, it can compel your family to spend more time together.

STEP 1: Determine how your family will primarily use the space

An outdoor space can be transformed in many different ways. Think of your backyard area as an empty Bonus Room, just waiting to be renovated. You know what draws you together inside your home, but what draws you outside? Is it a chance to breathe in fresh air and relax? Is it activities and exercise? What about entertaining?  

Whatever you choose, design your outdoor living space around what would be a compelling reason for your family to spend time out there.

STEP 2: Choose the main area, or purpose, around which you will design other elements

Just as rooms in your home serve a primary purpose, so should your outdoor living space. Swimming pools and spas are compelling reasons to spend time outside. 

So, too, are outdoor kitchens and fire pits. Herb or vegetable gardens are a great way to get the whole family involved, and the fun can continue while harvesting the produce, and making recipes together. 

STEP 3: Create a wish list

As we continue to work from home, and children are completing their school semesters with virtual learning, this could be a fun family project. Begin by creating a Wish List. If you enjoy grilling and cooking for family and friends, maybe an outdoor kitchen is in order. If you your family loves the sun and the water, maybe a pool and spa are the way to go. If quiet areas of retreat, and a place to commune around a fire to watch the sun set is your inspiration, then perhaps a fire pit with comfy seating is just what you need.  

STEP 4: Determine your budget

As I type this, the wisdom of my dad is on my mind. He would say “Now, don’t let your eyes get bigger than your pocket book”… meaning, be logical with your spending and don’t stretch yourself too thin. For larger projects, like a pool, financing may be available.  Smaller projects, like landscaping, can be completed in phases. This will enable you to do smaller areas and “spend as you go.”

STEP 5: Make a plan and begin a local search

Once you’ve chosen your direction and you begin to research your options, there are a few things to keep in mind. The completion of smaller projects may be very attainable with guidance from resources like DIY Network and Pinterest. However, some larger projects should be left to the professionals. Do your homework and gain as much information as you can beforehand.  

Whatever and however you choose to create your backyard entertaining area, create a plan, work within your budget, and enjoy your time in your backyard sanctuary!



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