Summertime, and the Livin’ Is Outdoors!

With Memorial Day fast approaching, temperatures rising, and flowers blooming, we start to dream about the long summer months ahead.

c14BackyardRetreatTHUMB
Published May 9, 2012 5:00 AM
3 min read

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c14BackyardRetreatTHUMBWith Memorial Day fast approaching, temperatures rising, and flowers blooming, we start to dream about the long summer months ahead.

 

By Sean Jancski

c14 outdoor kitchenWith Memorial Day fast approaching, temperatures rising, and flowers blooming, we start to dream about the long summer months ahead. Visions of cookouts, cocktail parties, and lazy afternoons at home fill our heads, until we look out the back door and … don’t see the garden of our dreams.

Many homeowners are starting to envision their outdoor spaces as extensions of their homes and are renovating their landscapes to meet these higher expectations.

Gone are the days of dad standing outside alone over a smoking Weber grill. People are working harder and harder and have limited free time, so when they are home they want to be together. Being at home should feel like going on a little vacation. Just as home design has evolved towards open planning, outdoor design now promotes inclusiveness and ease of function.

Previously, much of the focus of landscape projects was to beautify, but functionality is now also at the forefront. For example, it should be easy and convenient to access different parts of the property, so many projects begin with conceptualizing better hardscape, i.e. driveways, paths, and patios. With an increased amount of time spent outside, safety of children often comes into play, and many clients are adding fences and gates for peace of mind in addition to aesthetics.

c14 backyard retreatAnother important element to a relaxing yard is privacy. This season, I’ve gotten many calls from clients seeking attractive and creative buffers from their neighbors.

We all know the adage that the way to people’s hearts is through their stomachs, so it’s not surprising to see outdoor cooking become a priority for many families.

Modern outdoor kitchens boast amenities such as bar seating, refrigerators, wine coolers, sinks, dishwashers, and even televisions. More and more people are adding conversation areas with comfortable furniture to supplement the traditional dining table. The addition of “destinations” draws people out into the garden. Elements such as arbors, trellises, sculpture, benches, herb and vegetable gardens and custom outdoor soft play design equipment all accomplish this goal.

Start thinking outside of the box of the standard small patio just off the back door. Our homes should be mini-resorts, where we can truly relax and unwind. One thing that helps promote calm is water, whether it’s a pool, fountain, or a small water feature.

Why have a beautiful property and not use all of it?

The author is a registered landscape architect whose Rye office occupies the second floor above Parker’s at 43 Purchase Street. For more examples of spectacular outdoor spaces, visit Sean Jancski’s website, www.invitingenvironments.com.

 

 

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