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June 20th, 2018 at 11:00 am

maximize-outdoor-space

When investing in your home, there is no question that every square foot of your property is valuable and should be utilized to its fullest capacity–and your backyard is no exception. Living in Southern California means we have virtually no excuse to not maximize our outdoor living space and soak up the sun as the weather heats up. With a few tips and the implementation of new outdoor living trends, you will be eager and ready to spend more time in your backyard this summer and beyond.

Living

An important tip to keep in mind when designing your outdoor space is that it should feel like an extension of your home. Keeping your interior design theme in mind, you will be able to create a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living. When you bring traditionally “indoor” elements outside, you bring the sensations of comfort and relaxation that you feel in your living room, into your outdoor space. Consider incorporating a few of the following accents to embellish your yard or patio: stylish throw pillows, a statement rug, cozy throw blankets, decorative lighting, candles, and even hanging weatherproof art if space allows.

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The beauty of this 2018 home design trend to bring the inside elements outdoors, is that it works for yards and patios of all sizes. A smaller patio will allow for an intimate and cozy environment that can be treated as an extension of your indoor living space. If you have a larger yard to work with, you can get even more creative with your extra square footage. One of the best ways to utilize a large backyard is to map it out into several zones with specific purposes in mind.

Entertaining

If you have a passion for hosting friends and family, designating an area of your yard for outdoor cooking and dining may be a useful addition to your space. You can create a low-key outdoor kitchen by simply adding a grill and mini refrigerator, or an elaborate outdoor kitchen by installing electric, gas, and water lines to fuel your inner master chef (but make sure you have the correct permits if you choose this route!). Add an outdoor dining set, and you will be ready to host a fabulous dinner party for friends and family or set the scene for a romantic party of two.

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Relaxing

If you prefer your backyard to be more of a private sanctuary, creating a relaxation zone will make for the perfect place to unwind and enjoy nature from the comforts of your own home. The addition of a perfectly placed hammock, tranquil fountain, and room to roll out your yoga mat will turn your backyard into an idyllic outdoor retreat. Escape to your calm outdoor space to read a book, take a nap, or just take a few moments to decompress with your morning cup of coffee or evening glass of wine.

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Growing

One of the most traditional uses of a backyard is to grow a garden – whether it be purely decorative, or for the intention of harvesting your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. In Southern California, we are presented with our own sets of challenges for keeping a garden thriving in our climate, but there are plenty of plants that require little maintenance and water to survive. Even if your backyard is miniature in size, it is still possible to have a bountiful garden at your fingertips. When working in smaller spaces, always remember to think vertically. Take advantage of the “living wall” trend to add extra life to your outdoor space by installing a growing rack to a bare wall, or simply using weather-proof shelving. Vertical gardening works well for herbs, succulents, flowers, and even certain vegetables such as tomatoes, peas, squash, kale, and peppers, to name a few! If you have a larger yard to work with, raised garden beds are another great option for confining your plants to one protected area.

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Playing

If your yard is a prime spot for family gatherings (including little ones) it may be smart to have designated “play” area. By zoning out a specific area to consolidate lawn games and play space, you will have more control over the condition of your yard. Lawn games such as croquet and corn hole tend to create a high traffic area that promotes wear-and-tear of your landscape. When you plot your yard with a play zone in mind, you can be sure to avoid the potential heartache of trampled gardens or unsightly turf taking up the front and center space of your yard.

Care for some Croquet? Bring some fun to an outdoor cocktail hour with lawn games, like this vintage croquet set from @smthingvintage and signage by @papercranecalligraphy. Photo @lisaziesing #cocktailhour #lawngames #croquet

A post shared by Lauryn Prattes (@laurynprattes) on

By zoning out your yard and treating it as an outdoor extension of your living space, it will be much easier to create an environment that you are eager to spend more time in. With the extra hours of daylight that the summer months offer us, now is the prime time to invest in creating a yard or patio that you are happy to come home to.

How are you looking forward to enjoying your backyard this summer? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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