New homeowners are often so excited about decorating the inside of her home, but they often neglect the outside. The good news is that oftentimes homeowners make the outside of their home an extension of the inside, meaning that the same decor style and theme(s) used on the interior are applied to the exterior as well. Here are seven ways that you can personalize your backyard.
#1: Fire Pit
Fire pits are a great way to create cozy outdoor gatherings in your backyard, especially for small backyards. There are small, portable propane fire pits that are perfect for small patios, decks, and other backyard areas. If you have a bigger backyard, you can get away with having a bigger, wood-burning fire pit— as long as it complies with the rules and regulations in your area. For example, in most of Virginia, it’s typically okay to burn fires in small and contained spaces, such as in a fire pit.
A garden is one of the simplest— and most functional— ways to transform your backyard. Planting a flower garden (as well as flowers and other greenery around your home) can boost your home’s curb appeal, and in turn, increase your property value. You can also grow a fruit/vegetable/herb garden. By choosing this option, you can cut down on your trips to (and the amount you buy at) grocery stores, and you’ll also be able to live a healthier lifestyle.
If you live in an apartment, live alone, have a smaller backyard— or if you just want some backyard comfort— consider adding a hammock to your backyard. All you need is two trees or two posts that are at a reasonable distance apart to suspend your hammock, and then you can enjoy a nice book or take a relaxing afternoon nap. If you have a pergola or a covered patio, you can tie your hammock to these posts to enhance the look of those areas.
#4: Outdoor Kitchen
Summers at home are all about barbecues and cookouts, with Father’s Day in June, Independence Day in July, and back-to-school parties in August and September. Your outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill or a small outdoor stove— or you can have an entire outdoor kitchen, depending on what your space allows. You’ll be able to enjoy these warm summer nights with friends, family, and good food. Just keep in mind the laws against open flames in Virginia, though recreational fires like stoves and grills are allowed.
If you have an open patio space— or even if you don’t— a pavilion made from timber can be a great option to keep your backyard gatherings protected from the blazing summer sun. Not only will your guests be more comfortable, but your outdoor furniture will also be further protected from the outdoor elements. You can even house your outdoor kitchen under your pavilion, depending on how big your outdoor gathering space is. These pavilions are also great for outdoor parties and backyard weddings.
#6: Swimming Pool
A pool is something that many people desire for their backyard, particularly if they live in warmer climates. If you add a hot tub or make your pool a heated pool, you’ll be able to enjoy it all year long. In Virginia, you must have a building permit for most types of outdoor pools, but most home improvements of this nature (i.e., adding something new to your home) requires a building permit. In most cases pools add to property value, but you’ll want to check with your specific area and homeowners’ association to ensure that this is allowed.
#7: Tire Swing
Swings aren’t for children only, so don’t be shy about hanging a tire swing from a tree in your backyard if you don’t have any kids. All you need is a good tire, some strong rope, and a sturdy tree branch to relive a classic childhood activity. If you do have children, this is an expensive way to add a swing to your backyard.
Of course the size of your backyard depends on what you can do to it, but there are many ways to personalize your backyard no matter what size it is. It can be a little tricky when you’re renting, so make sure to check with your landlord before making any changes to the yard. After you’ve done this, you’re free to personalize your backyard.