Creating Your Outdoor Living Space

Spring is finally here! After a long, cold, rainy winter, it is finally warm enough to escape the house for some long-awaited sunny days! Now that warmer temps have arrived, we wanted to inspire our readers to get out and enjoy creating beautiful outdoor spaces around their homes. To that end, we’ve been talking to builders and landscapers while gathering some pretty cool photos to lure you into outdoor projects. So, let’s get started!

Outdoor living spaces are as popular as ever in home trends. With memories to be made, homeowners are using outdoor living spaces to bring health, wellness, relaxation, and joy into the lives of their families. Busy lifestyles mean that “staycations” are on the rise and the outdoor living space offers this. Outdoor kitchens, mood lighting, and fire features are popular upgrades that make home a welcome destination.

It doesn’t matter if your house is a mansion or cozy bungalow; if your yard is sprawling acreage or a few feet of backyard. It only matters that the space you have is utilized for your family enjoyment!

According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the main trends for 2019 landscaping are pergolas, metals, and pinks. Pergolas give definition to the backyard especially if there is no deck or patio. They offer privacy and shade, as well as a whimsical romantic mood to the garden.

The pergola can be personalized to reflect mood and style. It can be accessorized with hanging pots, lights, curtains, or any number of creative options. It is a great structure for creating an outdoor space that is both entertaining and relaxing.

The pergola is one of our favorite options this year. They are as versatile as your imagination! A simple, open structure with corner beams and a variety of roofing options lends itself for practical shade at a price point that can fit any budget. Flooring can be as simple as native stone or wooden decking.

This creative pergola rendition to the right adds romance and whimsy to a small backyard. The creator has used portable decking for a raised floor. Ambiance has been added with throw rugs and wicker candle holders. The four poles of the structure are bound with rope and an enclosure is created with sheer fabric loosely wrapped around the structure. 

Creativity and imagination have captured a mood and casual lifestyle. Romantic by night, the simple structure provides shade and comfort on sunny days. It can even become a place where a child might want to retreat with a book or a special toy.

No matter the size or style, a pergola is the perfect structure for creating shade, comfort, and intimacy to your outdoor lifestyle. And, as these images attest – they can be built around any budget!

Welcome back the “Sunroom”. This popular home addition is even hotter this year. This room has become a favorite for remodelers as well as homeowners seeking to bring the outside in. The popularity of large windows and natural building elements such as stone floors offer a relaxing view and provide homeowners the opportunity to have an additional multipurpose room. Adding to the beauty of the sunroom is that it can often be incorporated with an existing outdoor patio; become a home addition, or even be added as a connector from the main house to a detached garage. It is indeed, a versatile addition providing value and enjoyment to any home!

This lovely sunroom began as a back porch that has been extended and enclosed in glass – This lovely sunroom began as a back porch that has been extended and enclosed in glass – an excellent option for bringing the outdoors in. The addition of the skylight adds interesting shadows throughout the day. 

Metal is being used in decorative forms in the garden as well as through outdoor furniture and water features. Metal gates also seem to be popular as a decorative touch to a garden. And, you’ll find that metal sculptures add beauty and interest to your favorite outdoor oasis. 

Sculpture by Fayetteville artist and retired Fort Smith art teacher, Anne Edmondson

Trending in flower gardens you’ll find that pops of coral and blush tones are being used as the new neutrals when designing and planning your garden. Flowering shrubs and small trees add height and dimension to your landscaping. The key for today’s busy families is to create lovely gardens that demand little or no care.

Homeowners are using pavers, fuss-free plants, raised beds and potted plants more than ever. Planting flowers and plants native to the area is always a wise choice when choosing for the garden. Tall, narrow plants that offer a privacy screen are popular landscape choices this year. Using mulch is an inexpensive good choice to cut down on weeds which save the homeowner time while providing your garden with a beautiful clean look.

Whatever choices you make in utilizing your outdoor space, keep in mind your family’s lifestyle preferences. If you have active teens who enjoy dunking some hoops, you’ll want to make sure their fun doesn’t impose on the space you choose to tie a hammock! And, you’ll want active play areas a little further away from the outdoor grill! With good planning and a little imagination, you can create an outdoor lifestyle that provides the perfect photo background for those family memories!