Summer will be here before you know it, which means long days at the pools, movies on the Green, and lots of backyard entertaining with the neighbors. Sure, Stapleton yards are a bit small, but I like to think of them as an extension of the home. This means maximizing functionality and injecting a big dose of design. Here are some of my favorite ideas for creating an outdoor living space that will be your favorite place to hang out all summer long.
1. Blur interior and exterior lines. The fastest way to making your deck feel like a second living room is bringing in textiles and accessories that don’t scream “backyard.” I always suggest laying an indoor/outdoor rug and adding plenty of throw pillows to create a cozy, comfortable feel. This is also a great way to add color and pattern. Since it’s easy to change these up every couple years, don’t be afraid to pick something that really grabs your attention.
2. Bring in the elements. There is just something appealing about fire and water. So add an outdoor fireplace/fire pit as a central feature (one advantage of this is that it can extend your backyard entertaining use well into the spring and fall). Or if you’re more of a water person, put a fountain either on the deck or in the garden. If you have a bigger yard, you could even add a koi pond or small waterfall. The sound of running water adds an instant spa-like feel to a yard.
3. Create zones. Even if your deck is on the small side, you can establish zones for dining and lounging. Use a rug to separate your seating area from your dining area. Built-in benches are also good for creating a dedicated seating area.
4. Add shade. No one wants to hang out on your deck if the sun is beating down mercilessly. Add umbrellas or shade sails as protection from that brutal Colorado sun.
5. Build an outdoor kitchen. You can have an outdoor living room, so why not an outdoor kitchen as well? Create a kitchen area with a built-in grill and counter space for prep work. You can even add a refrigerator and sink if you truly don’t want to have to trek inside during the middle of your BBQ.
6. Increase privacy. Hopefully you’re best friends with your next door neighbors, but even close friends could use some privacy every now and then. Add a pergola, trellis, or wall to provide some separation. You want to feel like your outdoor space is just as comfortable and private as the interior of your home.
You can reach Gala at email@example.com or 720-261- 4662 to learn more about her design services.
Main photo: A Stapelton exterior facelift. Design of seating structure & pergola Sarah Christian, RLA, Urban Gardens, Inc.; accent pillows by Gala Stude Interiors, Inc.