I believe I’ve written a lot of articles covering improvements that you can make to your backyard living space over this past year. Making your living space work no matter what season you’re in can be a struggle. It all depends on what kind of person you are and what you need to make your space comfortable and useable.
While creating a functional, all-year outdoor living space, the focus should be on dividing the space up correctly, getting the proper furnishings, then adding electricity, lighting, & a pest barrier. Then, you can focus on your specific seasonal needs for making the space comfortable & functional.
I’m going to touch on some of the most suggested ways to make your outdoor living space functional year-round, and I’ll also comment on what I’ve done in particular. If you keep reading, you may get some great ideas. And if I failed to mention something you’ve tried, let us know! I’ll go back and include it.
How to Make Your Outdoor Space Functional
What function do you want in your outdoor living space? Entertainment? Coming together? Reading? A workspace in a nicer area than inside provides? Cooking? Before you can decide what to add for function, you need to know the function of your space.
To maintain comfort, I would suggest spacing out your outdoor living space kind of like you would the inside of your house. Make sure the cooking stuff is in one place, eating or relaxing can be away from the heat of the cooking, and you have good paths all around them.
Be sure to make the best decisions about your furniture. Should you get a bistro set? Should you get a full table and chairs? Or, would it be better for your space if you got a lounge set? Which would last longest and need the least care? Do you have the space for all or just one? We wound up with a small bistro set, lounge set, and we inherited the picnic table with the house. So, if we have folks over, there’s plenty of seating. It’s comfortable.
My first request was electricity. Why? Because I like to go outside and work on my laptop. I also like music, and sometimes you forget to charge your speaker. Not to mention, if we’re going to have lighting and fans running out there, it needs to be plugged in.
And keep in mind that you need to be sure to get the correct electrical outlets for your plans. We wanted a hot tub that takes a different voltage than the norm. So, we had a professional electrician set things up so that we had both the outlet for the hot tub and a normal one for everything else. I do not mess with electricity myself. And I suggest that you get a professional unless you are licensed and insured.
After we get the new shades installed, lighting is the next big project. We have adjustable LEDs to put up all around the pergolas. I also have a more focused light that can stand near me while I read and write. This is a year-round space that I actually want to use year-round. And lighting is a must.
We have already contracted a pest control company to treat around the house and patio. We don’t mind bugs anywhere else, but we want to be sure that we don’t run into any pest issues where we will spend most of our time. I have also been using oils and planting plants that make scents that are natural bug repellants.
How to Help Make Your Living Space Comfortable During Cold Seasons
A heat source for cold winter nights will be a must once the temperatures begin falling. Before purchasing something, you need to understand how heat works and how much space you need to heat. Keep in mind how close you can get it to your furniture and your shelter. We don’t want you to create a fire hazard. We decided on a firepit table, but you may want a freestanding heater.
Another thing I will be looking into this year is barriers. We have some higher wind during the fall and winter. Some days are absolutely glorious in the backyard…except when the wind hits you. So, there are some screens that you can get that roll up when not in use. I like that idea of privacy, too. I’m also planning a plant barricade. Rosemary shrubs with citronella shrubs will line up on one side of our living space and be combined with lavender growing lower and maybe some arborvitae.
Another thing you might want to invest in is a hot tub. I love these things for winter because it helps my aching joints, but also because when you’re cold, a nice heated and clean hot tub can be just the thing you need. We made the decision before we moved and set aside the money for it.
How to Make Your Living Space Comfortable During Hot Seasons
Fans, fans, and more fans! I have had several kinds of fans and love them all during the summer. However, this summer, I have failed miserably at being outside in any capacity. Record highs and very little air movement keep me in. Not to mention, our shades are not as good as we thought.
When things go on sale this year, I will be purchasing fans that hook to a hose for misting purposes. However, I will also need regulating fans that I can attach to the pergola. I want them out of my way but still usable. Again, I’ll wait for the season-end sales and enjoy them next year.
Shade is a necessity for me. We tried the sails, and though they do a good job, they aren’t enough for me. I burn easily, and my medication makes it difficult to deal with sunlight. So, the hubs is going back to the drawing board and ordering some corrugated roof panels instead.
There are many fancy cooling tools out there, and I’ve gone into deeper detail about them in other articles. Because we come from such a warm climate, I knew it was a subject I wanted to cover. But there is also the practicality of just knowing how to set up your patio so the cooking is nowhere near where we will be relaxing.
And of course, the all-time most expensive thing you can do to cool down in your backyard during the hottest months is to add a pool. There are several kinds of pools, and each has different functions, but all of them can help make your time in the backyard more bearable during the hotter seasons.
How Do You Make Your Outdoor Space Functional and Comfortable All Year?
I used a combination of all the methods I’ve listed. This is our first year in the new house, so I’ve not had the chance to implement them all. My health has kept me indoors during this summer’s heat. So, we’ll look at a better way of providing shade and comfort before next summer hits. I want more fans and better shading.
And for winter, I’ve already mentioned, everything will be fantastic. We’ve already got everything prepared for it! We have a fire table and a hot tub, and I plan on placing lights around the pergola so I can work outside into the twilight. Depending on the breeze, I may also save up for a screen to block out some wind.
So what have you done to get your outdoor space ready? How can you use your backyard for your enjoyment during this hot season? If you’re like me and you’re not using it right now, what do you plan to make that happen next year?