Simple Backyard Designs

Since backyard design takes place behind the house, it may not be obvious as you drive down the street, but there are changes taking place in backyards everywhere. We are spending more time relaxing on our decks and patios after long work weeks. We’re leaving the comfort of our air conditioned interiors to entertain and cook outdoors.

This shift is changing the way we approach backyard design. Increasingly, backyards are being compartmentalized, encompassing a wide range of inviting spaces designed for recreation and relaxation.

Technology plays a key role in helping us spend more time with our families, and to make the most of the spaces we have – both inside and outside the house. Advances in outdoor lighting make exterior areas more inviting after dark.

Heaters and outdoor fireplaces provide greater comfort and extend the outdoor season. Backyard design can now transform your barbeque into an outdoor kitchen, able to provide gourmet meals. Innovations have made pools and hot tubs more affordable.

The development of durable, weather-resistant materials for furniture and fabrics continues to enhance the style and comfort of outdoor furnishings. However, successful backyard design involves more than adding accessories.

Backyard landscaping ideas are best approached as part of the overall home designing process – one that considers the relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces. When porches, decks, and patios are planned as integral parts of a new or renovated home, they can be designed to create transitions that are so subtle they blur the line between the house and the landscape.

When planning outdoor spaces, take backyard design hints from your home’s indoor rooms. By designing exterior areas with the same attention given to an indoor room, you can create a place to gather with your family, or escape after a long day at work.

These outdoor rooms can have floors, walls, ceilings, comfortable furnishings, and decorative accents, just like your living room. Keep in mind the outdoor elements which will dictate fabric choices, life cycle of your furnishings, and how your backyard design will work with local wildlife.

Throughout your backyard, spaces should vary in shape, size, and character. Relaxing spaces, for instance, should include comfortable seating, while dining areas need sturdy tables and outdoor cooking amenities. Both should be positioned for afternoon shade.

While some areas are for sitting, others should be for standing or strolling, and at least one area should be for activities – especially if you have children. How you divide the overall plot into these spaces will be determined by its general size and shape, how you usually spend your outdoor time, and the composition of your family.

A combination of several cozy areas has a way of feeling larger than a single medium-sized space. If there’s no room to divide, lay out paths, patios, or lawns diagonally or along an S-curve. This makes a yard appear bigger by allowing it to unfold gradually rather than in a single glance.

Paying attention to details, such as paving materials or planting zones, also makes a small space seem larger. This is because it takes longer to visually absorb all of the elements.

With larger spaces, you can divide them into smaller, functional spaces, so they appear more inviting and manageable. When you’re planning your backyard design, identify areas for cooking, dining, entertaining, gardening, and activities. Determine how much space is needed for each.

Also define areas that you wish to leave natural. I have a natural area at the rear of my plot and it really comes in handy for depositing grass clippings weeds, and other natural debris, while providing a natural barrier between homes.

Regardless of size, backyard spaces should be clearly defined and conveniently connected. This may be as simple as changing the paving materials – like stepping from a stone patio onto a lawn. Building a low step between two such areas will distinguish the spaces while preserving the open feeling.

It takes time to implement the plans for a backyard design. Take it slow and tackle one area at a time. Don’t be surprised if it takes longer than you expected. 
You will probably change plants and make improvements over several years. Start with areas closest to the house because you can see them from the indoors and because they will be used most. And finally, address any urgent outdoor needs up front – such as storage needs or play areas for children.

With a good backyard design, you will enhance your outdoor experiences for many years to come. ENJOY!

Charles Gueli invites you to ask questions about backyard design, and take advantage of the resources on [], where guidance, information and support are always available.

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Big Backyard Playset

A good quality outdoor playset is something every family should have for their children these days, there are too many kids stuck on video games and glued to the TV, and it’s a good idea for keeping them in shape and building more social skills than they have with the television.

Some of the perks of having an playset are,

One of the biggest is like I said to keep there activity levels up and keep them active, lots of kids don’t get into activities like we all did when we were kids. Back in the day we never use to watch lots of television or play video games, all we had was Atari, we were always out in the hills discovering things or building a fort wherever we could and you just don’t see that often these days. We need to bring back the days of getting kids active.

Also it helps to keep the kids at home when they have a playset of their own to play on instead of wandering off in the neighborhood. It is nice to know where your kids are at and with their own outdoor playset it can help to keep them on the property. Because lets face it some of the areas we grew up in aren’t as nice as they use to be, so keeping an eye on them and knowing they are on the property playing in the outdoor playset is a bonus.

One other thing to consider is what type of playset you are interested in; do you like the wooden playset, plastic ones, or the cedar playset? All of these are made with very good quality and are not to hard to assemble yourself. I have a few in my yard and with a few basic hand tools I would recommend the outdoor wooden playsets. The reasons for this is that they last a long time, are very sturdy, and that’s a big issue when your children will be playing on them, and they look nice, almost like a small professional playground in your own backyard.

The cedar outdoor playset is really nice as well and sometimes can have a better smell and overall look to it depending on what design you are looking for. They are pretty much the same as the other wooden ones just a few perks with the cedar ones.

The plastic ones work well but after time they can warp, start to crack and also if it’s a hot day it can burn the skin if they are sitting in direct sunlight, so keep those in mind. But the advantages are that they are really easy to assemble and move throughout the yard as well.

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Backyard Hanging Lights

Standard types of outside string lighting includes wall hanging sconces, post and path lights. Yet, anyone requested to name the most decorative type of exterior lighting would probably express outdoor string lights. Architects for Restoration Hardware treasure the charming style and design of those dangling lights. They have designed strings that contain smaller types of the lights that hang on top of Italy’s piazzas.

Generally there are six unique types of lamps concerning the various RH strings. Each and every light on the Street Fair string lights carry a standard bulb below a metal cover. Property owner can purchase a cover of both bronze or weathered zinc. Unique 11 1/2 foot sting contains ten.

Collectively the Party strings and the Industrial strings include globe lights. The Party Globe string can be purchased with two distinct styles of uncovered globes–huge globes and smaller sized globes. The globes in the line of Business-related lights benefit from the safety measures produced by a small metal shed. Even while these have one ordinary sized globe, they supply the homeowner the possibility to choose from a galvanized metal roof, and those with a copper roof.

Property owner that wants to see his or her bright yard looking in the same way as a Tuscan country villa should invest in either the Avignon string or the Sauntering string of lighting. Each of these strings contain ten lantern like lights. The kind of metal in those undersized metal support frames is up to the homemaker. These Italian themed strings afford the homeowner possibility to purchase one of the two kinds of frames-bronze and hardened zinc.

The most basic of all the attainable RH swinging lights is the Vintage string. While the LED light bulbs in this string continue to be uncovered, these string lights have 24 bulbs, more than twice over the quantity of lights came across in of the other strings. All the above listed strings bear all weather wiring. Each of these hanging lamps can enable to light an outdoor occasion, one that is happening after sundown.

Linda has been writing articles for nearly 2 years. Come visit one of her latest websites over at [] which helps people find the best outdoor string lights for their home or workplace that will help create the friendly fun atmosphere that people are looking for.

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Planning A Backyard Wedding

A backyard wedding is so much fun and great to plan. You can really be creative when planning your backyard wedding. You need to make sure you are careful when you plan so that you don’t run into problems.

If you don’t want to plan the backyard wedding yourself, you can always hire a wedding planner. Wedding planners plan backyard weddings all the time so they know what to be careful with and what you need to have so your wedding will be perfect.

If you plan to prepare your backyard wedding yourself, here are some tips you can use.

You will want to be careful of the date you choose when you plan to have a backyard wedding. Rain and wind can cause problems, so you will want to plan your wedding accordingly. Of course, the weather is unpredictable so you will need to make sure you have a back up plan just in case.

The first thing you need to be very clear about when you are planning your backyard wedding is the number of people you invite. You are limited on the space and the number of chairs you can have, so you don’t want to invite too many guests and not have enough chairs. The worst thing you can do is have your guests stand during the ceremony.

When you are planning your backyard wedding, you will want to rent a tent so your guests will have shade. In the summer, it can be very hot and the clothes you and your guests will be wearing can make it even hotter. So the tent will help shade them from the sun and get some relief as well.

Decorating is minimal when you have a backyard wedding. You will have chairs for your guests so you won’t have pews to decorate. You may not be able to have a candelabra so that will be another expense you won’t have. Flowers are another thing you won’t have too many of since you will be outside.

The dresses your bridesmaids wear will also need to go with the atmosphere. You may consider spaghetti strap or strapless dresses to help keep them cooler with the warm temps. It’s a little more difficult with the men since they will need to wear a tux. You can help by eliminating the vest that goes under the jacket and have them wear short sleeve shirts rather than long sleeve ones.

You will also need to be careful with your cake, drinks, and food for your reception. Most brides who plan backyard weddings plan for the reception at the same location. This will save you money because you won’t have the rental expense of a reception hall, but you have to be careful with the food. You don’t want it to go bad before your guests get a chance to eat it. You will want to keep it refrigerated for as long as possible.

Planning backyard weddings can be so much fun. They are so beautiful and you have many more options that you may not be able to do in a church. There are things you have to be careful with, but in the long run you will be so happy that you chose to have your wedding outside. Backyard weddings can also save you money because you won’t have too much decorating to do, you won’t have the cost of renting a hall for the reception, and you won’t have the cost of the church. Planning a backyard wedding is the way to go!

Darlyn Burkle of [], offers resources on how to plan a wedding. The six-month membership program helps brides-to-be organize and plan inexpensive weddings [] and unforgettable honeymoons. Members receive one new lesson every week for six months.

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