Creating your outdoor space

Creating your outdoor space

What are you looking for in your home’s outdoor experience? A little softness? A rugged retreat? How about a living retreat?

Deciding exactly what you want often times can be the hardest part of the entire project. Try not to get so caught up in all your specific backyard limitations or budget at this point and think bigger picture.

Ask yourself this question:

“What do I want to do out here … cook, entertain, sit back and enjoy a water feature with some bed spaces, or all of the above?”

Almost any situation can be manipulated to fit your scenario so do not get overwhelmed by the details too soon.

Start with the patio or main feature of the backyard and design out. When extending or adding a new patio/outdoor living space, always budget for more room then you think you will need. All those extra guests can really fill up the patio chairs.

About 25-30 feet per person is just right for sitting space with little room to move around. Setting up your furniture in the lawn and spraying some outline is a great way to come up with what will work best for you, whether you’re looking to create an outdoor kitchen or
living space.

Once you have the layout of your patio/sitting space you can start to overlay beds or soft areas to the design. Keep in mind your fields of view from the rear windows of the house and new patio sitting areas. You do not want to create any focal points that are features and spots that might be blocked by seating or patio cover posts.

To balance the soft and hard space is essential, but this does not mean you have to mirror what you do on one side with the other. Just keep it natural and change it up.

Sometimes just using a couple common plantings or similar stones through these spaces will carry enough similarities to tie it all together.

Privacy screening, especially out here in Lantana, is very much needed. Creating a wall out of some dense plantings is a great way to frame in the back area, balance the height of the patio cover and get you that privacy you want.

Staggering the plantings will offset the flat affect all the wood and iron fence leaves us looking at while helping add depth.

With the fun stuff laid out (patio and landscape) there still are a few commonly overlooked items that need to be addressed. Make sure the irrigation has been set up to accommodate your new spaces. Thirsty plants, grasses and trees all need different amounts of water throughout the year; so save yourself future replacement costs and make sure all areas are on separate zones and are adequately set to the different run times.

Don’t mix and match your rotor heads with pop-up style heads or you will regret it in the summer. Check the drainage as most lots will have a swell that goes across the backyard to direct and discharge water coming from neighboring lots and your own.

Make sure a new drainage system is in place to keep the water flowing so you don’t end up drowning the plants or wading through a
flooded patio.

With a solid vision and the right contractor creating your space it should be a blast. There are many other things that will come up during the process but just remember to not let any one thing overwhelm you and try to have fun!

~by PJ Kratohvil
Complete Soulutions

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