How To Create the Perfect Outdoor Living Space
Since the dawn of our existence, humans have been social beings. There is one tradition that we as humans have shared for hundreds of thousands of years, regardless of location, culture, country, or religion, and that to this day remains a staple in every society and culture around the world. The discovery and continuation of this tradition may perhaps be the strongest unifying factor in the world, bringing people together to tell stories, to sing, to talk and listen, to inspire and create, to rejoice or cry, to make beautiful music, and to provide light and warmth in the coldest and darkest of nights. Gathering around a fire in the midst of the great outdoors has enabled human progress and fulfilled needs for countless generations of people from all over the world.
Let’s face it, there are very few things that are more relaxing than spending warm nights around a fire with some of the people that matter most to us. Without a doubt, we all have at least one strong memory of sitting around a fire in some capacity staring intently into the flames, laughing with those around us or telling stories. Perhaps you were in the middle of the woods on a camping trip, or maybe you were just in your yard sitting around a firepit. Those memories that we each have individually are what connects us, as we are carrying on a human tradition.
Today, we are lucky enough to be able to still carry on that tradition but can do so with the added comforts, amenities and beauty of our own backyards. We have a wonderful opportunity to turn our backyards into a private oasis to practice that tradition. So what else should we consider putting into our backyards to enhance our human connection with the outdoors? We break down some of the basics for your outdoor living needs.
1. Firepit or Fireplace
We covered this in-depth in the paragraphs above, but we believe in the importance of gathering around a fire to tell our individual stories and bring us all closer together. This is an easy way to get the whole family together or to bond with friends or teammates. You can purchase a firepit like the one below, or if you are on a budget, you can also purchase a basic iron firepit for cheap. You could also take the camping approach and dig a small hole in the ground and surround it with rocks to keep the fire contained. Lighting some Tiki Torches around the exterior of the seating area is a nice way to add to the ambiance too!
2. Outdoor Seating
Our ancestors typically would sit on rocks, tree stumps, fallen logs or the ground when sitting around the fire. While some may still choose to practice this by choice today, it is no longer a necessity. Instead, we can enjoy mother nature’s beauty from comfortable chairs, couches, loveseats, and more designed specifically for the outdoors! Some ideas for outdoor seating:
- Plastic or Folding Lawn Chairs – If you’re on a budget, you could always go for the classic lawn chair. Though not necessarily aesthetically pleasing, they serve the basic purpose of a chair, and you could also purchase weather-resistant cushions for added comfort.
- Wicker furniture with removable cushions – this is a basic and relatively inexpensive option that you can purchase on Amazon to give your outdoor living area some more visually appealing seating options.
- Couches or Loveseats – If you’ve got a significant other, a family, or just enjoy getting together with a lot of friends that you enjoy being close with, you could look into replacing the typical single-seater with an outdoor-friendly couch or loveseat. Who wouldn’t love cuddling around the fire? This is especially good for hoodie season when the air has a bit of a chill to it!
- Barstools – If you prefer to sit a bit higher up, you may consider getting some barstools. This would be great if you have an outdoor bar or would like to build one in the future.
3. Accent Tables
Planning on eating or drinking outside? You won’t want to put your plate on the ground and risk having the creepy-crawlies discover your tasty food.
- Coffee Table – A small table to place food, drinks, books or other items on. This can be made from any material that fits your budget – plastic, glass, wicker, etc.
- Side Tables – small tables that can hold a few items. Again, the type of material is determined by your budgetary needs or desire for visual aesthetics.
4. Dining Tables & High Tops
If you plan on enjoying the warm weather with some delicious grilled foods, an outdoor dining table is a good addition to your backyard. Dining tables are great for gatherings, eating, or playing card games and board games. There are many different pricing and material options, making it an easy addition to your backyard!
If you’ve got some extra cash, you could consider building your own personal backyard bar and stashing some of your favorite beverages for safe keeping. This is a great way to add to the atmosphere, a convenient way to make drinks, and a nice place to relax. It can be made relatively cheap DIY-style, or you can purchase a pre-made version as well.
If you plan to use your outdoor space frequently and are getting tired of smelling like campfire smoke, adding some entertainment options is a sure-fire way to delight your guests.
- Wireless Bluetooth Speakers – who doesn’t love music? Play some rocking tunes while enjoying quality time with people close to you never gets old. These are quick to set up, can be used indoors or outdoors, are convenient, and are affordable as well.
- Screen & Projector – Want to do an outdoor movie night? You can set up a screen, either by purchasing one or simply hanging up a sheet over a clothesline. You can also get good quality projectors for pretty cheap on Amazon. This will make streaming your favorite shows fun and enjoyable from the comfort of your own backyard!
- WiFi Extender – You won’t want to use up your data streaming music or videos. This is a great way to avoid running out of mobile data and guaranteeing a smooth, buffer-free streaming experience!
The final thing you need to complete your backyard living space are some decorations to complete the ambiance.
- String Lights – If you have some old Christmas lights lying around, consider stretching them around the exterior of your seating area to light up the night!
- Water – There’s a lot of water effects you can add, from a waterfall to a small water fountain. This contrasts well with the firepits.
- Zen Garden – why not set up a nice place that you can go for some solitude, thinking or meditation? A quick Google search uncovers countless ideas to construct your own quiet place that can be your own place for reflection and meaningful thinking. Setting this up in the back corner of your yard may be a great idea to limit noise pollution from traffic or roadways.