June 28, 2021
The pandemic has forever changed the way we view and utilize our living spaces. Whether or not they will need to spend any future extended time at home, many people have been moved to create a more “livable” space. Often, we are already “standing on our own diamonds” and just need a little creativity to create spaces that are as much about the experience as they are about practicality and shelter. Let’s take a look at a few transformative ideas for your backyard with the idea of creating a resort-like experience that’s free from jetlag and journey.
Consider adding a little solar to your landscaping equation. By installing solar lights, your lawn will have spectacular appeal even after sundown. They can be used to line the edges of your driveway and to emphasize the contours of flower beds. They are also great for illuminating the backyard or accenting a curved wooden garden pathway. Try hanging mason jar lights for an above-ground, solar lantern effect. The best part about solar lights may be the fact that they are powered by the sun and require no electricity.
An idea to help create a more immersive experience on your back patio is to add some big potted plants. This will help create a more rustic feel right outside your door. Some plants such as boxwood not only grow to 3 or 4 feet high, but they maintain their green color even during winter. Just make sure that your potted plants are in a spot that gets plenty of light and about half a day of sun. Adding some creative calligraphy - such as the names of family members - to a porch planter or across a series of potted plants offers an opportunity to add even more uniqueness and charm. You can find some colorfully inspiring ideas for decorating old planters here.
With good lighting, the good times will just be getting started as darkness falls. Whether your goal is creating a luau effect, using accent lighting to highlight hardscape, or having just enough light to sit out back and enjoy the night air, it’s relatively easy to get the job done. Of course, it’s prudent to begin any outside lighting project with security lighting to light up areas via motion sensors including walkways and fence entrances.
String lighting is great for temporarily illuminating the patio for parties and get-togethers. It’s retro stylish, low volt, and can really evoke a warming ambiance for your backyard gathering. String lighting is available in waterproof, battery-powered, and solar rechargeable options, and all eliminate the need for running extension cords.
The right fence should offer function while reflecting your personal style. One type of fencing to consider is natural bamboo. Its full bamboo stalks give it a natural and peaceful vibe and the straw color blends in almost anywhere. Natural bamboo pairs particularly well with greenery, flowers, and flowerpots. It would also add to the whole “staycation” effect outback.
For some extra backyard, adventure add a good old pop-up gazebo tent. They are relatively inexpensive and are great above a table and chairs. If mosquitos suddenly put you and your guests on the menu no problem- simply let down the netting while still enjoying the breezes. Nothing adds immediate festiveness like a pop-up tent gazebo style.
For a splash of color add an Aloha Outdoor Floral Rug. It will add some pizazz while helping protect the ground underneath all of that foot traffic.
For an affordable and easy DIY project, consider building a bar out of a few pallets. The look of your bar will gel nicely with the bamboo fence and the pop-up tent. They are sturdy, simple, and include storage shelves. Instructions and inspiration for creating a pallet bar can easily be found online. Though if you’re not handy with a saw consider hiring a professional to build it for you. This cool wooden bar is going to be a home run with your guests but add an outdoor pizza and we’re talking grand slam soiree. An outdoor pizza over keeps the heat outside and is more energy-efficient.
For a resort feel in the bar area try adding an outdoor daybed. They’re available with a retractable canopy when some shade is in order, and they hold four people at a time. Lounge, sunbathe, or just hang out in the evening in supreme comfort enjoying some pizza and listening to your favorite beats.
Creating your own awesome summertime oasis is easy to do but you’ll still need a few bucks to complete it. That’s where a cash-out refi may be the perfect solution. Cash-out refinancing is when you replace your current mortgage with a new one that has a larger outstanding principal balance, and you get the difference in a lump sum of cash.
By refinancing, you’re taking on a new loan. And, while you may be able to get cash out from this transaction, you may also be able to shorten your loan term or get a lower rate. That means you may be able to lower your monthly payment or even pay less over the life of your loan.
If you’ve built up enough equity in your home, it may be a good idea to go through with a cash-out home refinance – and creating the coolest backyard paradise in town could be the perfect way to put some of those newfound extra bucks to use.