It’s the weekend! Time to gas up your car (at $4+/gallon), pack up your family (yes, even the kicking, screaming 2-year old), and ramp onto the interstate, where you’ll travel at a blistering 10 mph while watching the clock tick away the hours and accept the fact that you could have crawled up north on your hands and knees faster than this.
OR, you could grill some steaks, pour yourself a frosty, cold one and put your feet up, all without having to leave home. Now that’s living! And that’s what you get with an outdoor living space—the immediacy of a vacation spot right outside your back door.
More and more homeowners are foregoing the cabin and the camper and investing in a staycation spot in their own backyards. Thinking of installing new or simply upgrading your existing outdoor space? Consider some of the following hot, hot trends:
- Misting system—popular for years in the Southwest and now available for your patio in the Midwest, a patio misting system emits an ultra-fine mist along the perimeter of your patio. The mist evaporates almost instantly, taking the heat with it, leaving the air cool and refreshed.
- Outdoor living room—these can be as simple as a lovely flagstone patio or as sophisticated as a pergola with an adobe fireplace. Twinkling lights and tinkling wind chimes complete the ambiance for summer entertaining.
- Firepit—It’s like camp, except in your own backyard where you can eat and drink what you want. Firepits make backyard gatherings cozy and fun. Best of all, you can use them long into the autumn and even winter if you choose.
- Water features—Pondless waterfalls, ponds, and fountains are just some of the ways folks are adding the sight and sound of water features to their outdoor living space.
- Lighting—Light fixtures illuminate and decorate, adding enchantment and style by day or night. Consider shedding light on pathways, patios, gardens, decks, pools and more. Go for sleek, modern looks or classic, antique styles.
- Landscaping—Instead of fussy, demanding landscaping, homeowners are trending toward low-maintenance gardens, drought-tolerant plants, and edible gardens, all pulled together with natural materials, like good quality mulch.
Remember, flagstone patios, outdoor kitchens, gurgling water features and blooming landscaping complete the picture of an oasis that’s just steps away and never overbooked or overcrowded. There truly is no place like home. (Unless those annoying neighbors invite themselves over again.)