Awesome things to do in your backyard this summer

summer backyard ideas

Stepping out into your backyard should give you the same cozy feeling as climbing into your own bed after being away from home. Whether you’ve custom designed your outer space, or are working with already established features, make it a dream oasis for relaxation and entertainment. Consider the following summer backyard ideas for creating an awesome at-home venue for everyone to enjoy.

Comfy Camping

Camping is a great outdoor activity, but you can easily turn your yard into a spectacular spot for appreciating the elements. Gather up snacks and blankets, set up your tent, and take in the wonders of the night sky. If you’re short on space, make a tabletop fire bowl for roasting marshmallows and sitting back to star gaze and identify constellations. If possible, create a lounge area with air mattresses and cardboard “cars” for kids, so you can watch movies on an inflatable or a makeshift screen. Strategically place landscape lights and lanterns along the walkways, for safe, well illuminated movements between the yard and house.

A Perfect Corner Hideaway

A little backyard nook is similar in theory to personal camping, as it’s part of making a warm, inviting outdoor space. Fashioned from string lights, colorful fabrics and expressions of your interests and tastes, picture a super snugly cocoon where the world is yours.   String a hammock between shady trees, make a teepee out of branches and curtains, or drape a canopy over your favorite chaise lounge or chairs. Add plants, tea lights, and pillows and make it the perfect retreat for reading, artwork, yoga, meditation, staycation picnics and whatever else serves as down time.

Outdoor Fun and Games

Sometimes the best ways to unwind are the simplest and the silliest. Use pavement chalk to leave cute messages for loved ones, or adapt the game of Twister to the lawn. Arrange directional lighting so that you can play croquet, horseshoes, miniature golf or swing on repurposed tires or chairs even when the sun sets. Kid-friendly summer backyard ideas include:

  • puppet stages
  • faery gardens
  • hopscotch
  • water gun and bubble making stations
  • scavenger hunts
  • in-ground trampolines
  • water balloon and papier-mâché candy-filled pinatas
  • ball pits, homemade slime pits and sensory stations made out of kiddie pools

Pool Parties for Everyone

Bold, bright dishware, tiki torches, palm trees, inflatable chairs, and low-voltage pond lighting enhance pool areas, but what if you don’t have the space for swimming? Lay a tarp out under a sprinkler for a slip-n-slide, or simply set up a water obstacle course with kiddie pools. Collect stones from your yard and surround neighbourhood parks as well as make your own pebble mats for everyone to clean or dry their feet off on. Toddler wading pools are also terrific for dogs. Make sure to place them under shade so your pup can stay cool.

Creature Comforts

Part of choosing decorating and lighting ideas to make your yard more inviting for yourself is also keeping it a peaceful place for all inhabitants. Since you’re most likely sharing yard space with a few creatures, make it appealing and comfortable for them too. Designate a spot away from where you entertain, for bird-houses, bird-baths, and bat-houses. Avoid food waste by stocking a butterfly feeder with old fruit that the insects love and craft obstacle courses for squirrels to navigate as they forage for nuts and treats.

Multi-Purpose Fencing

Fencing does more than establish privacy and borders, it’s also a wonderful canvas for the imagination. Use slats to mount sculptures, flower pots, or musical instruments. Transform a flat surface into a climbing wall, or use it as a background for to paint glow-in-the-dark murals. With LED garden lights to complement the perimeters, you can create quite a visual statement!

What’s your favorite thing to do in your backyard when the sun is shining? Tell us in the comments section below?

 

 

Lighting Ideas to Make Your Yard More Inviting

outdoor lighting ideas

Just as the right lamp or light fixture can really bring a room together, the perfect visual effects in your yard can make quite the impression. Yards are another terrific way to express your personality and create an extension of the warm and welcoming atmosphere that your home brings. Consider the following outdoor lighting ideas to turn your space into its own miniature oasis.

Simple Elegance of String Lights

Outdoor lighting is all about setting the mood, and string lights are a lovely way to add that distinctive touch. Strategically hang them through and between trees, along fences, walls, and trellis and under canopies. In addition to complementing the yard’s theme, it’s easy to coordinate string light designs with the seasons, or with certain occasions or holidays. They also work well, when combined with other landscape lighting techniques, such as silhouetting and shadowing. Those methods focus on creating subtle plays on light, as their names suggest, and can produce an even greater enchanting element to a seating or dining area in the yard.

Mesmerizing Underwater Illumination

Take the calming, captivating feeling that water brings to the senses, and use underwater pond lighting to highlight its beauty. You can control the exact angles of emphasis with the light’s swivel bracket, and make a striking statement. These types of fixtures are also effective on land, when placed near statues, plants, or rock structures that outline the waters. Remember too, that these accents are terrific for curb appeal, should you ever decide to sell or rent out your home.

Path, Border, and Step Ambiance

One of the strongest resources for outdoor lighting ideas lies within the yard itself, and how it is shaped and designed. Create your own borders around natural and decorative formations, with low voltage lights in a variety of shapes and styles. Bullet landscape lights can be staked right into the ground to act as directional pathway illumination, often in between small hedges. For more of a resort-type ambiance, consider placing brass or rust-colored mushroom, hat, or tulip lighting along the front yard walkway, and along the outlines of where the gardens, outdoor kitchen, fireplace, or fire pit area. If you prefer something less ornamental but still powerful, consider powder coated, metallic looking LED step deck lights with frosted glass.

Use Outdoor Lighting to Bring Color and Creativity to Your Yard

Whether your outdoor lighting follows an overall theme, or only adorns certain pocket spaces, use it to evoke happiness, relaxation, and everything else that’s great about unwinding in the yard. Paint recycled cans and jars with bright colors or whimsical designs, put battery-powered candles in each, and either hang them or place on a planting shelf. Hang vintage looking lanterns from lampposts and shepherd hooks. To decorate parts of the yard where landscape lights aren’t possible, try:

  • Tree branch or hula-hoop chandeliers wrapped with electric lights
  • Trays with votive candles, shells, and sand
  • Birdbaths with tea lights
  • Stepping stones accented with glow in the dark paint

Make sure that all of the lighting is comfortable on the eyes, and have fun setting up a yard that you and your guests can always enjoy at night!

How will you be making your yard more inviting this season? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

Illuminating Important Elements of Your Outdoor Spaces

landscape lighting

It’s that time of the year again when we start showing some much-needed love to our outdoor spaces in preparation for the warmer months to come. If you have a green thumb, that may mean planning your upcoming spring gardening. If you’re a barbecue aficionado, it may mean refinishing your deck. If you love to entertain guests over cocktails and canapés outdoor, it may mean sprucing up your patio décor. Although many of us relish moments spent outside soaking up the sunshine and breathing in that fresh spring air, we don’t end up making the most of our outdoor spaces at night due to a lack of adequate landscape lighting.

Why Should You Illuminate Your Landscape?

In addition to allowing you to enjoy the beauty of your garden at night, proper lighting can make your property feel more inviting to guests. Exterior lighting can also decrease the likelihood of accidents and detract intruders and trespassers, making your home safer during the night.

What Elements of Your Outdoor Space Should You Illuminate?

Flower Beds: Continue to enjoy your beautiful blooms even after sunset by installing landscape lighting. Rather than flooding your planting beds with light, strategically place your fixtures to create pockets of light that focus on a particular area. This way, the eye is readily drawn from one focal point to the next.

Trees: Since they are a natural center of attraction in many yards, trees are the ideal element to illuminate at night. You can get quite creative when it comes to lighting trees as you can highlight their various angles, patterns, and parts, such as the base, trunk, or branches with directional lighting, which can result in a multitude of equally-stunning results.

Walls and Facades: Show off the stunning detail craftsmanship of your garden walls and home facade at night. For instance, you can highlight the interesting textures of a rock wall by positioning well lights and even step-deck lights near the base to achieve a grazing effect.

Walkways: Path lighting makes your walkways safer and more welcoming at night by guiding your guests to your front door. Rather than choosing lights that bathe the entire area in light, use fixtures that feature a canopy so that the light travels downward so that your friends and family can see their steps and the ground.

Steps: If your front porch or deck features stairs, use lights designed specifically for that purpose to lead them up the steps safely. You can also use them in conjunction with patio lights to create a warm space.

Water features: Not only can lighting make your water features viewable at night, but they also transform this decorative feature and create a dreamy atmosphere. You can use underwater pond lights to create a romantic glow or use them as in-ground well lights to provide soft illumination.

What are your landscape lighting plans for this season? Tell us in the comments section below.