The New Backyard

15th Feb 2014

With a vintage find or two, mood lighting, and a hanging swing you can recreate your outdoor space into an open air living room that increases the comfort and value of your home. The first step is to measure. What kind of outdoor space do you have? Is it a long and narrow balcony or a broad porch? You want to utilize your space to properly accentuate the furniture and decorations. Next, you need to choose where your furniture is going to be placed. Is it under a terrace or roof or is it completely exposed to the elements? If it’s exposed to the elements you want to choose furniture and decorations that can hold up to the weather. If you don’t have a roof then a simple canopy can help give your backyard the needed shade. Try to be creative with what you have. For example, if you have a narrow balcony then try setting up a bar set instead of a dining table—apply the same principles of traffic flow that you would in your own house.

Eclectic is becoming increasingly popular and can be a fun way to recreate your backyard into a fully functional part of your house—done with a little bit of imagination and enthusiasm you can create your dream space cheaply and effectively. The first thing anyone should think about is what kind of space your looking to create. Is it a modern day adult playground or is it a relaxing getaway from the rest of the world? Once you have your idea firmly planted in your mind you can begin the adventure of combing through vintage stores, antique shops and garage sales to find the perfect furniture to complete your vision. Think outside the box—reclaimed shutters can be used as a table or as a partition. Stick to a certain style or era of furniture to give your backyard the desired look. However, eclectic is always an interesting style and can be made to express a multitude of personalities and looks. But by simply viewing your backyard in a new way you can reclaim that vital part of your home—the outdoors.

Others have taken to completely remodeling their backyards by adding and extending their porches and patios. These back rooms have become more of an outside extension of the house then the backyard, and home owners are able to enjoy their backyards like never before. Back rooms have all the amenities of the inside, including kitchens, grills, fireplaces, dining rooms and even living rooms complete with electronic entertainment, but with the added bonus of the outside.

The new outdoor space has created a need for maintenance. There are two basic steps to the proper care of the backyard space—protection and upkeep. I’ve found that the best protection for my furniture are KoverRoos furniture covers, when I tried to use a tarp my steel barstools rusted, and the tarps filled with winter’s debris, so I researched these covers and not only are they water-resistant, but because they're breathable they keep my furniture from rusting. Also, unlike a tarp or furniture cover bought at the bigger chains, these covers have a fastening system, so you can secure your cover to the furniture. For upkeep try Golden Care. I was able to remove the rust from my barstools with their Stainless Steel Kit and I made my teak table water resistant with the Teak Protector.

With the rising trend of outdoor rooms an exciting outlook towards backyards is being cultivated. The backyard is no longer a neglected part of the home, or something to use once in awhile, but a viable living space that begs to be used. You’ll be surprised at how invigorating it is to have a new part of your house that you never knew existed.