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Enhancing Your Home with Outdoor Living Spaces

Enhancing Your Home with Outdoor Living Spaces

Tips to take “the backyard” to a relaxing retreat

With the long days and warm weather upon us, it makes sense that we want to spend more time outdoors. However, if your backyard has become the dog’s domain or a dumping ground for unfinished projects, the thought of being out there might not seem that appealing.

But it should – and could – be. After all, sunshine and shade, pleasant breezes and fresh air, what’s not to like? When you factor in the opportunity to add comfortable square footage and extend your living space, it's easy to see why homeowners everywhere are inspired to "go play outside."

Over the past few years, outdoor living spaces have become a booming trend, be they cozy backyard retreats or stylish patio lounges. Perfect for entertaining, they can also offer a peaceful spot for relaxation. So why not embrace the great outdoors! The following tips will not only boost the beauty and value of your home, but they might just enhance your state of mind!

Planning for Your Outdoor Living Space

The first step in transforming your outdoor area into a perfect living space involves a bit of strategic planning – I know, boring but important. First, take a close look at your space and evaluate its potential. And no matter who tells you otherwise, size doesn’t matter. Big or small, there’s always room for creativity. Next, set a budget. Pallet furniture has its place, but a bit of a budget in a necessary evil. Finally, define the purpose of your new space. Is it to be a go-to spot for entertaining friends, a quiet retreat for relaxation or a cozy place to dine al fresco? Once you have these basics nailed down, you’re set to start creating an outdoor haven that fits your lifestyle (and maybe makes your neighbours just a little jealous).

Seasonal and Maintenance Considerations

Now that you have an idea of what you want to achieve, before you start shopping, think about comfort-levels and care. If it’s just a warm weather thing, then you don’t need to worry so much about weatherproofing, though storage may be an issue. Protecting furniture and fixtures from the elements ensures they stay in good shape. Plus, it’s smart to come up with a plan for those occasional summer storms. For all-season comfort, you’ll want to consider adding heating elements to warm those chilly evenings, and fans may come into play during the summer. Depending on where you live, you may have to implement measures to deter pests like mosquitoes, wasps and ants. Shade sails and awnings all can make the space more usable during the hottest parts of the day.

In terms of maintenance, a quick sand and coat of oil on outdoor furniture and railings at the start of the season will help prevent weathering and extend life. Regularly raking and removing leaves and debris can help maintain a tidy appearance and prevent mold. Creating a new space to enjoy also means creating a new space to maintain, so keep that in mind when planning your outdoor oasis.

Designing for Comfort, Style and Ambiance

Now comes the fun part! For a retreat that beckons you to unwind and entertain in style, start by selecting durable, comfortable furniture that complements your space’s aesthetic while withstanding the elements. Enhance your comfort zone with shade options such as pergolas, umbrellas or awnings to escape the sun’s rays or unexpected drizzles. Brighten your sanctuary with a mix of ambient and accent lighting to create both functionality and a magical atmosphere from dusk till dawn. Greenery tailored to your climate will add a lush backdrop and a touch of natural serenity. For added relaxation, consider incorporating water features and/or a fire pit. Both are ideal for soothing evenings or cozy gatherings with friends. Depending on your zone, you may want to complete the look with thoughtfully designed pathways and hardscaping, ensuring seamless integration of both beauty and practicality.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Design Options

And while you’re at it, try to minimize your environmental footprint while maximizing enjoyment. Opt for recycled and eco-friendly building materials that blend seamlessly with nature while reducing waste. Implement efficient irrigation systems to conserve water, ensuring your greenery thrives without excess usage. Embrace energy efficiency by integrating solar lighting and energy-efficient appliances, harnessing the power of the sun to illuminate your space and reduce electricity consumption. Appealing is good but environmentally responsible is better, so prioritize eco-conscious choices when possible.

Make Your Space Your Own

Elevate the vibe by adding your personal touch with decor and accessories that reflect your taste. Consider incorporating entertainment options, such as outdoor TVs, sound systems and games, to keep gatherings lively and enjoyable for guests of all ages. And don’t forget Fido and Princess! Design a pet-friendly zone with comfortable areas for them to lounge and feel at home, too. A basket of toys and treats is always in good taste, as least that’s what my dog tells me.

When it comes to outdoor living spaces, the potential for personal touch, privacy, peaceful retreats and profound inspiration knows no bounds, so get planning!

As always, please feel free to reach out should you want information on any aspects of buying and selling real estate in the Comox Valley;  contact me, visit my website or check out my Facebook page.


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Leah Reichelt
Cell: 250-338-3888
Office: 250-339-2021
Toll Free: 1-888-829-7205
MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.