How long has it been since you spent a quiet afternoon in your backyard relaxing under the shade of a tree? If you’re like many people, it has been quite awhile. When life gets busy, our outdoor areas often become overlooked and forgotten additions to our home that serve more as an extra chore than a place to relax. But that could change in 2022 with just a few updates to your home’s exterior. The outdoors will no longer be considered a hassle and will instead become an extension of our home. These are a few trends that will transform your backyard into a beautiful and relaxing outdoor space.
Grow Your Own
Since the global COVID-19 pandemic created a wave of food insecurity, there has been a shift to creating and sustaining an edible garden. Interest in growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs skyrocketed in the summer of 2020 and has continued to draw attention from homeowners of all ages. Despite nationwide interest in gardening, homeowners in general do not have the time or patience to maintain a time consuming difficult to control edible garden. Luckily, there is no need to invest in a massive greenhouse or remove a large part of your outdoor space to enjoy a few home grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Easy to grow vegetables such as carrots and green beans can be planted in large pots and placed in a sunny spot along your porch. Strawberries are easy to grow and care for when they are planted in a large outdoor hanging container. Lettuces and spinach don’t take up much space and will grow easily in partial-sun locations in small containers. Small wood herb boxes fit nicely on your window sills or porch railings so that they can soak in a full day of sun.
Since you’ve grown your food outdoors, why not treat yourself to a bite of a sweet strawberry or crisp carrot at your outdoor kitchen? Outdoor kitchens can be as simple as a gas stove, some counter space, and a basic sink or they can be as luxurious as a double range gas stove, granite countertops, full custom cabinets, a pizza oven, and a built-in refrigerator. Outdoor kitchens should mimic the natural environment so stone and brick are ideal materials for walls or flooring. Add a small outdoor dining set and you will be well on your way to enjoying all your hard work in your own outdoor space.
With all the hard work of cooking your homegrown veggies, you’ll need to relax and dine in a well shaded area. You may prefer the shade of a low hanging oak tree but if that isn’t an option, you’ll need to create your own shade. Simple shade options are large umbrellas which are easy to find, inexpensive, and can be moved without much effort. More permanent shade elements are pergolas and awnings. Pergolas can be enclosed with a hanging shade or can be left as an open air structure. Additionally, awnings are attached to your home and can be pulled open only when shade is needed, which makes them beneficial in an area of your home that requires shade from the bright sunlight only during certain times of the day.
Invest in Comfort
It’s not easy to fully relax when you are stuck on an uncomfortable creaky chair. That’s why you should invest in a comfortable outdoor living set. Outdoor couches come in a variety of styles, colors, shapes, and sizes. Choose one that fits your home’s style and provides comfortable seating. You can also add outdoor chairs, center tables, and throw pillows for a completely comfortable look.
Add Privacy with a Natural Feel
Wood privacy fences might separate you from your nosy neighbors, but do they add beauty to your yard? Probably not as much beauty as a living wall would add. Living walls are composed of some sort of sturdy structure such as a trellis or tall wood posts that are fixed into the ground. A climbing plant such as ivy, wisteria, or climbing hydrangea is planted in front of the support structure. As the plant matures it will climb vertically, creating a natural and vibrantly colored living wall. While these walls may take a few seasons to fully mature, once they are established they only need to be trimmed back occasionally. Living walls are beautiful when they are used along just one side of the yard or just a small section and can serve as a focal point of the yard.
Keep It Simple
Adding comfort and a bit of luxury to your backyard does not have to be complicated. In fact, overly complex home exteriors can scare away potential future homebuyers. To avoid this, keep your outdoor oasis simple. If your backyard is small and you want to install an outdoor kitchen don’t go overboard with too many appliances as it will take away from coveted space. Keep your landscaping simple with perennial flowers, a fresh layer of mulch, and neatly trimmed lawn so that you can relax and enjoy your time outdoors.