Your home – your castle, right? The last couple of years has shown most of us how important our homes are to us. We’ve had to work at home, shelter in place – usually in our home, and keep our families healthy and happy. Suddenly, our homes feel smaller, maybe isolated, and even a shopping trip for necessary supplies might feel like a temporary escape.
Our kids are also at home, going to school virtually, keeping safe, and bored out of their heads. Something needs to be done to turn home back into a home and not part of a way-too-long vacation.
So, what do we do? Can we, somehow, make our home larger and easier to find a spot for some quiet time, game time, or outside time… That’s the answer! Give ourselves more living space by expanding our outside living space.
Outdoor Living Space? What’s that?
Your indoor living space usually includes a kitchen and dining area or room, living room, work room or home office, sometimes a game room or den, and sometimes basement space made over for other purposes—also, bedrooms and lofts to afford privacy and a place to sleep or relax.
An outdoor living space can include one or two or more things, or space for an outdoor kitchen, dining area, outdoor living and relaxing space, firepit and fireplace, plantings to establish separate areas – your possibilities are endless. So what should you do first? Yes, call your Year-Round Services for information, consultation, design assistance, creation, and finishing of your outdoor space, so you get the space of your dreams.
Sometimes, the beautiful older and historic homes might not have a lot of outdoor space to spare, which makes detailed planning essential. Hardscaping that enhances the shape of your home and yards, locating and marking utilities that lead to the house and will be needed outdoors, and learning what can and can’t be done while staying within your local and state laws are challenging.
Make specific plans to capture the personal interests of your family members. Everyone has at least some concept of the vision they would want outside. Giant game boards as part of the hardscape ground level might rekindle interest in family game night. Using vertical space to create terraced garden areas takes creativity and know-how. Your landscaping crew can help you with all of this.
Consultation, planning, more planning, and the start of the work. You will have to choose or make a design that you find pleasing and functional. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have access to pricing, materials, and information that will be essential in creating your outdoor space. Permits and consultations with utility companies to mark the lines for power, water, and other utilities leading to the home needed for your outdoor space. A million swatches and samples will pass before your eyes, and your decision-making skills will be tested.
You will be deciding on decor from the floor up, including what kind and color of flooring you want for your outdoor living space. Don’t you think that’s hard? Wait till your millionth decision, when you have to pick furniture cushion swatches that hover between two shades of blue or the difference between red brick bricks and terra cotta tile. Yes, indeed.
If you think this will be easy, you may want to consider what other people will offer you. “Oh, no, dear, you didn’t mean to use that fabric color with the new tile, did you? I’ll have a little word with your decorator, shall I?” And that’s from someone you like.
And finally, all of a sudden, it’s done. The last bicycle is hanging on the new rack, and the final touches are in place in the outdoor kitchen. Fountains in strategic places give a relaxing background to your gathering.
The food smells delicious, even the bit that accidentally got on one of the new cushions by the fire pit. It’s a good thing you agreed to the cushions being washable by hose. Kids are running past in a frantic game of… well, whatever makes kids run frantically through large groups of adults.
Time to light the fire pit! It’s one of the things you like most about y9our new space. Kids get little bowls filled with marshmallows, chocolate bars, and various flavors of graham crackers. They will soon be drooling over gooey marshmallowy goodness, presenting chocolate-dressed faces for washing, and demanding ghost stories for listening and dozing.
Thank you, Year-Round, for helping to make this possible.