What do you feel when you look at your yard? If you’re like millions of Americans, you feel a bit bored. Maybe it’s because there’s nothing really interesting in your yard, or maybe it’s just because you’ve gotten used to it after all these years. Either way, it might be time for a change.
So what are the best ways to spruce up a boring yard?
An Outdoor Kitchen
Building an outdoor kitchen has innumerable benefits. If you live in an area with a reasonable climate, you’ll be able to use this outdoor kitchen most, if not all of the year. You’ll have access to all the amenities and appliances you enjoy in your indoor kitchen, including a refrigerator, a stove, an oven, and plenty of counter space. But unlike your indoor kitchen, you’ll have much easier cleanup, easy fume dispersal, and access to fresh air.
People love outdoor kitchens for their ability to facilitate outdoor entertaining, their unique aesthetic appearances, and their dynamic functionality. And since you have the ability to customize any kind of outdoor kitchen you want, you can get exactly the fixtures you need and still stay within your budget.
On top of that, outdoor kitchens have a tendency to increase the value of your home; you probably won’t make back every cent you spend on the outdoor kitchen, but you don’t really need to. Even if you only recover a small percentage of the cost of the outdoor kitchen, the benefits should pay for themselves, as long as you use the outdoor kitchen regularly.
A Patio or Deck
A slightly more conventional option to spruce up your boring yard is to add a patio, deck, or similar structure. These make for excellent relaxation and recreational spaces for your family, your friends, or just for yourself. You can use them to host a cookout, spark friendly conversation, or just zone out and sunbathe.
Be sure to keep the following in mind if you’re shopping for a deck or patio:
Bigger patios and decks offer more space and tend to add more value to your home, but they also take over a greater portion of your yard. Some people prefer a smaller gathering space, preserving as much yard as possible, while others want as much deck or patio space as they can reasonably afford.
· Materials and finish.
You’ll also need to think about materials and finish. Wood is a relatively inexpensive and abundant option, and you can stain or paint it to get almost any kind of appearance you want. You can also construct a deck or patio out of a wide range of other materials, including brick, concrete, or pavers.
Most people want to have at least some outdoor furniture on their deck or patio, giving them a chance to relax comfortably. Higher quality furniture tends to be more expensive, but it’s usually worth the investment.
· Weather protection.
Depending on your local climate, you’ll probably need to weatherproof your deck or patio. Fortunately, technologically advanced modern products make this relatively easy.
· Structural requirements.
Before beginning construction on any deck or patio, make sure you have plans that are in full compliance with any local laws or HOA requirements.
Trees and Shrubs
You can make your yard more interesting by decorating it with various trees and shrubs. Preferably, you’ll choose native species that help support local wildlife and ecosystems, but you’ll also need to consider aesthetics. If you’re not very good with plants, or if you don’t know anything about landscaping, hire a landscaper you trust to make recommendations and be sure to follow all their guidelines for proper care. Trees and shrubs do require occasional trimming, watering, and other maintenance, so keep this in mind.
Raised beds are ideal for supporting healthy plant life, facilitating adequate drainage, protecting from weeds, and making it easier to practice regular gardening. Whether you’re interested in colorful, decorative flowers or fruits and vegetables that you can eat at home, a handful of raised beds in your yard will make it more interesting.
Consider adding pathing, especially if you walk around the yard frequently. Winding stone trails can look beautiful, while simultaneously giving you a comfortable and natural place to travel between other destinations in your yard.
Adding water, in almost any form, to a yard can make it more visually striking and make it feel more natural. For example, you might build a small pond or add a running fountain as a centerpiece in your yard. Even something as simple as a bird bath can make your yard feel more natural and inviting.
If that’s not enough, or if you’re looking for simpler, smaller improvements, consider investing more in outdoor décor. For example:
· Statues and sculptures.
If your budget is big enough, you can get almost any kind of statue or sculpture you envision. These impressive, permanent structures add a unique look to your yard – and can show off your interests and personality as well. Just don’t go overboard, as a cluttered yard can be uninspiring.
· Hanging baskets.
Even if you don’t consider yourself as having a green thumb, you should be able to take good care of flowers in hanging baskets. You can pick these up at almost any store with a gardening section or, if you’re feeling bold, try to start some from scratch.
There are many styles of outdoor lighting to choose from, all of which facilitate a more welcoming, cozier space at night.
Though home modifications don’t directly affect your yard, they affect your aesthetic experience in and around your yard. Replacing the siding on your house, adding a fresh coat of paint, or replacing elements like a front door can instantly improve the curb appeal and image of your property.
With these strategies, and a bit of creativity on your end, you should be able to make your yard much more impressive, exciting, and welcoming. Consider making additions and adjustments on a regular basis, so the environment never feels stale.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.