Update Outdoor Space

Update Your Outdoor Spaces: Porches, Pits, and Pools

You might have been to an outdoor event this summer or spring at a friend’s house that had you green with envy. The outdoor space was breathtaking, yet comfortable and cozy all at the same time. Was it the lighting, the design of the outdoor walkway, deck, patio or porch, or the landscaping? Outdoor entertainment areas are really growing in popularity. Perhaps it’s time to take a look at your porch, pit, and/or pool and consider an upgrade. After all, wouldn’t you like to be the host with the beautiful outdoor area that everyone admires this summer?

Ideas to Freshen Your Porch

If you want to beautify your porch with landscaping, consider adding a vine-covered pergola entry from the yard onto the porch. There are three very popular vines for pergolas, due to their quick growth and ease of care: clematis, wisteria, and passionflower. You will have to tie new climbers onto the pergola, until they begin to take off on their own.

If you’re looking to create an additional entertainment space outside, consider a wall on your porch with a combination media center/fireplace. Though this will be a much more substantial investment than a pergola, you’ll likely become the hit of the neighborhood. Just imagine hosting the neighbors on the porch for the big game of the season during nice Fall weather!

Considerations for a Fire Pit

There are many ways you can use a fire pit. if you plan to cook on yours, you may like the rustic look. For rustic style design seating, chop old logs into seats and place them around your pit in a far corner of your yard. You can convert your pit into a large grill with two grates. And you’re ready to host that rustic barbecue party!

If you’re interested in a more contemporary-style pit for entertaining, consider a sunken outdoor lounge with the fire pit in the bottom center. With comfortable seat cushions on long surrounding benches and blankets for your guests (for added decorative flair as well as comfort), you’re ready to entertain outdoors on a cool evening.

Ways to Upgrade Your Pool

A couple quick ways to upgrade your pool are to add water enhancements or to improve lighting around the pool area.

Water Enhancements: Fountain bubblers are a great choice if you have kids and look terrific too. Bubblers are fairly inexpensive, nice looking enhancements that can typically be built right into the shallow sun ledge of your pool. Another water enhancement option is a waterfall. These can be composed of natural or artificial stone. Of course, artificial is much cheaper.

Lighting: Soft uplighting can provide a classy environment surrounding your pool area. A series of trees can create a wall of light fairly close to the pool area. Designers suggest that the brightest lighting should be as far away as possible. Path-lighting can also give your outdoor pool area a warm glow. But keep in mind the “less is more” rule with path lighting. Consider which walkways and steps will actually be used at night. There are even step lights designed specifically to light stairs.

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