As homeowners, we value our precious yards, and are willing to put in lots of work to improve the curb appeal. We spend countless hours mowing, watering, and fertilizing the plants to make them look “pretty” for 6 months of the year. But what do our yards ever do for us? For most people unfortunately, the answer is not much at all. Yards are one of the most underutilized spaces we own, but what can we do to change that?
First, define your family’s lifestyle and needs. Do you have kids or pets that require open space to run around and play? Or do you frequently entertain large groups of people? Don’t simply adjust your lifestyle to fit your existing yard, instead reimagine and reshape your yard to fit your lifestyle.
The best way to gain more outdoor function from your yard is to install outdoor rooms. These are spaces that extend your living quarters outside into the fresh air. More than just a patio, these outdoor rooms can include custom outdoor kitchens, dining, TV, fire pit, or any other hardscape accessory to create the perfect backyard oasis. Whether you enjoy entertaining, cooking, or relaxing, outdoor rooms can accommodate your needs. Be careful though, you may not want to leave!
Games aren’t just for kids, especially when it comes to lawn games. Yards are the perfect venue to for fun activities. Traditional games like badminton, croquet, or bags are easy to set up for small groups of people, but the possibilities don’t end there. Built-in games can be focal points of the backyard design. Some ideas include outdoor shuffleboard, bocce ball courts, sport courts, or a synthetic putting green for the golf enthusiast. Lawn games are a hit with any age group.
The final option stretches the idea of what belongs in a backyard. Chickens, beekeeping, and vegetable gardening are becoming quite trendy right now in homeowners yards. The appeal of these hobbies is the return on investment for your work. If you’re going to spend hours watering, weeding, and maintaining the yard, you might as well get some vegetables, eggs, and honey at the end of the day.
The prototypical yard requires lots of attention, but doesn’t offer much in return for the homeowner. Don’t expel all of your energy on a quarter acre of green space just to look pretty. Redefine the purpose of your yard into a space that maximizes your lifestyle. Make the yard a place where you want to spend your time.