We all know the standard ways to measure the size and utility of a new or existing home: square feet, baths, closet space, number of rooms. But we sometimes overlook the biggest “room” in the house. What about the outdoor space? More specifically, is this space usable for most of the year for entertaining family and friends, and does it make the homeowner smile? While the “smile quotient” is hard to quantify in dollars and cents, the pandemic proved how important outdoor entertainment spaces are. It also led millions of homeowners to find new products to make this space a warm, inviting spot to spend some quality “down” time.
What This Means for You — The great outdoors is where more and more homeowners choose to spend their time and home improvement investments. With a little ingenuity and some innovative outdoor entertainment products, this space can become the favorite room in the house for everyone in the family.
With a stunning array of premium outdoor products, Acme Brick, Tile & Stone has everything you need to take the fun outside.
The Big Picture
For those who love entertaining outdoors, there are a few general things to consider when building that dream space under the stars. First, that pesky climate is always hanging around, intruding on the fun!
If the home is in the Pacific Northwest, rain is a factor for outside activities. In the Southwest, the sun and heat can dry up the party pronto. These climate factors must be taken into consideration. For example, should an outdoor space include a roof to allow more usability? This will add to the cost of the space but might be well worth the cost.
Plus, how about the landscaping? Because of the skyrocketing expenses for irrigation (particularly in hot, dry areas) and maintenance, many have fallen out of love with traditional grass lawns. One good solution to this challenge could be replacing the grass with synthetic turf such as GrassTex. The time and expenses of watering and lawn care will be eliminated, and the yard will look spectacular year-round.
According to the experts at Better Homes & Garden, functionality is key for an outdoor space. “Can you entertain? Can your kids play? Can you exercise? Can you tinker with hobbies or in a garden? Use landscaping, hardscaping, outdoor furniture, and other add-ons to create zones that can accommodate various outdoor activities.”
Five Ways to Rock Your Outdoor Space!
Add an Outdoor Living Room
The traditional living room of a home is a good model for one of the best ways to transform an outdoor space into an entertainment mecca. The website ExtraSpace.com suggests, “An open and inviting outdoor living room encourages gathering together. Try adding a fire pit, hammock, porch swing, or setting up an outdoor game in your backyard living space. If you’re trying to create an outdoor living area in a small backyard, no problem! Providing comfy chairs and sofas, trendy houseplants, a place to set your drink, and an emphasis on coming together are all it really takes to design an outdoor living room.”
Products to consider for this improvement:
- An outdoor fireplace, such as American Fyre Designs, Isokern Earthcore, or Mason-Lite.
- An outdoor fan such as Big Ass Fan is perfect for a covered outdoor space.
- Bromic outdoor heaters.
- Natural stone to surround your fireplace with beauty.
Become a Game Day Destination
Ask any sports fanatic. There’s nothing better than backyard tailgating! All it takes is a no-holds-barred grilling station (watching the game can make you hungry), an outdoor refrigerator (there’s that thirst thing to consider), plenty of chairs and outdoor sofas (sitting is better than standing for 3 hours), and a big, honkin’ television (putting you INSIDE the huddle with your team).
Must-Have Backyard Tail-Gating Stuff:
- Top-of-the-line grills from Saffire, Renaissance Cooking System, Cunningham, American Outdoor Grills, and FireMagic.
Build Your Own Backyard Patio
With the right building materials, it’s easy to channel your inner patio designer and DIY. The experts at ExtraSpace.com say, “Make your outside living space more permanent by adding a stone or brick patio. This literally sets the stage for entertaining and lets your guests know that your backyard parties are not a passing fad. A backyard patio can be either attached or detached from your home, and you can incorporate unique design elements into the space with patterned stone floors or pergolas for privacy.”
For this project, get your hands on:
- Pavers from Keystone Hardscapes
- Natural outdoor stone from M Stone
Add the Look of More Space with Levels
A variation of trompe l’oeil, which is the optical illusion of three-dimensional space and objects on a two-dimensional surface, works for outdoor entertainment spaces too. The design experts at ExtraSpace explain. “If your backyard’s on the smaller side, there are solutions to make it appear bigger. Breaking up the space with levels—like an elevated garden or raised planter bed, a sunken patio, or a container garden—creates depth in smaller outdoor spaces. Divide the area with small walls, artificial turf, or decking to better define your outdoor room. Add a structure like a trellis or pergola to direct the flow of traffic through your space while also setting up a focal point in your backyard.”
Is It Movie Night Yet?
There’s no business like show business, especially if it’s in your own backyard! There’s a good reason more and more families and friends are scheduling regular movie nights in their yards. It’s fun! By hanging some twinkling “fairy” lights (for atmosphere), getting a projector, speakers, a “screen” (which can be the side of the house, or a sheet supported by two posts), and enough lawn chairs for everyone in the “audience,” “Cinema du Backyard” is ready to roll ‘em!
Let the Fun Begin
While the investment value of an outdoor entertainment space will vary from region to region based on the number of days it can be used and the weather, the R&ROI (rest and recreation return on investment) is always positive for this space. Let the fun begin.
When you’re ready to have more fun outside, check with Acme to find everything you need. Just click here to get started.