As we enter Summer #2 since quarantine went into effect, the parks and nature trails are starting to fill up with heavy foot and pet traffic. Why not reclaim your solace (and space) by rediscovering your backyard? Often an afterthought, your backyard can be the ideal space to explore creativity and regain a sense of control. Even the most petite, humble backyard can be elevated to a glory you never thought possible.
Founded on the psychological concept of ‘comfort decorating,’ the following easy and affordable steps can help you increase the glamour, function, and meaning of your backyard. ‘Wow’ yourself every time you open your back door!
Style and Substance
What is ‘comfort decorating,’ anyway? Coming from psychology, it simply means that we are our best selves in a space that appeals to our style, experiences, and the way we live. Whether you end up re-claiming just your backyard or your whole home, it is key for you to design with elements meant for the different people who most directly engage with your home.
Wherever your focal point is—the grill, the garden, the fire pit, etc.—by meshing utility, safety, and visually pleasing design, you can experience the upgrade you’ll wish you had given yourself sooner.
A quick way to see if your backyard hits all the high notes is to make sure the space is keeping it C.L.O.S.E. (Comfortable, Lit, Organized, Safe, and Exciting). This easy checklist will let you know what aspects of your backyard need the most attention.
How do you feel when you’re in your backyard? Does clutter make you want to run away? A few small investments can make it a desirable space to inhabit.
Clear your schedule for a few hours to sort out what you actually use, versus what turns the place into a junkyard. Dispose of what’s unusable, donate what will be useful to someone else, and keep what will be useful to you—including things that can be upcycled. That giant, colorful extra serving bowl can become the home for a new plant. Those old tires can be painted and used as a swing or the base of an outdoor table. If you’re just a jug of deck sealant or a handful of beautiful lawn decorations away from making the space inviting, make the time to go out and get the supplies you need, so you can make your space functional.
Inexpensive lights that are fashionable and functional can make your backyard feel like less of a jungle. They can also define different areas of your backyard, so you can dine al fresco under twinkling string lights or use paver lights to keep human feet away from your marigolds. Getting an umbrella for your hammock or a canopy for your deck can keep you cool and minimize the excess light and heat, allowing you to sip lemonade and finish that captivating audiobook in peace.
It may sometimes feel like you can never find enough space for your stuff, but being deliberate about where and how things are stored can make your backyard more ‘paradise’ and less ‘minefield.’
Look for pieces of furniture that also double as storage (i.e., tables and benches). Think about putting it all in a shed or getting whatever racks, bins, or carts you need to keep spaces clear and open. Even the items you keep on display, like hanging plants or your favorite sporting equipment, can be arranged in a way that makes maintenance a breeze. Many storage options are available in less noticeable and more fashionable designs.
Though grilling may be the first backyard activity that comes to mind, fire safety is just one of many ways to be aware of potential hazards in your outdoor space. If you have a playset that’s creaking for retirement, or a set of unwieldy deck chairs you’re afraid to use, it might be time for something new. Elements of your backyard that have fallen into disrepair put the focus on ways people may accidentally hurt themselves, instead of on all the ways the space can offer maximum comfort.
Clear out any miscellaneous or unidentifiable materials, fix or replace what’s broken, and yes—practice fire safety at the firepit or the grill to continue making new and awesome summer memories. It’s a lot harder to relax when you’re subconsciously waiting for the other shoe to drop—take action now, and make way for a safer space.
Now that all the eyesores have been removed and you’re no longer worried about tripping over your garden hose, you can select fabrics, colors, and features that have you bursting through the back door to enjoy them!
Look for décor made with your favorite colors, materials, and shapes. Find things that are easy to clean and won’t be too sensitive to sun damage. See how personal effects, like a relative’s tool set or a souvenir from your favorite vacation, can be folded into the design of the space. If you enjoy birds, add a bird feeder so you’ll always have a reason to pop outside. If you have a pool, look into getting a waterproof Bluetooth speaker and nice raft with a cupholder for those lazy afternoons. The best part is that there are small and large ways to personalize your backyard that will leave you feeling equally proud and blissed out.
With a fun brainstorming session and a few hours spent making the dream a reality, you can renew your love for the place you sleep, relax, and create, bringing new meaning to the saying, “There’s no place like home.” You’ll feel great knowing you can find quality comfort in your backyard.
Want to learn more about America’s Preferred Home Warranty? Call 888.351.3681or visit APHW.COM to learn how to get peace of mind for your new sanctuary today.