Intentionally developing your outdoor space is an excellent way to improve the quality of your home and your life. But similar to renovating an interior area of your home, remaking your lawn and garden is not (always) without its challenges. Incomplete planning can end up exceeding your budget, or worse, leave you feeling unsatisfied with the end result. Our designers can work with you to help create an outdoor space that fits your budget and style, and here are a few things to get you started.
What kind of outdoor space do you want?
This may seem like a simple question, but with so many choices available in outdoor design, it’s worth really taking some time to envision what you hope your space becomes. Do you want an outdoor living room where you can relax with your friends and family? Or do you visualize an outdoor dining room and kitchen? Perhaps you’re less concerned with having space to entertain and drawn more to the idea of having a robust garden, featuring a wide assortment of plant life? Any of these options (or a combination thereof) can be achieved, but having a sense of how you want the space to function will drive how your space gets laid out.
What challenges are unique to your space?
Your outdoor area probably has positive qualities as well as problems to solve. Just like planning your kitchen or vacation, it is important to think through all of the considerations. Is your space limited in size, hence requires clever planning? Too much sun, shade, or wind? Do you have standing water after it rains? Are you in close proximity to your neighbors and therefore need to keep them in mind when you plan your design? It’s important to know what may be potential problems as you begin so, if needed, creative measures can be taken to solve them. For example, you’re not likely to want to place furniture in an area where it bakes in the sun all day. Or if your space is particularly windy, you’ll want plants that are resistant to the damage it can cause. Being mindful of your unique circumstances will ensure a smoother process.
How much time and energy do you have for maintenance?
Just as the inside of your home needs routine care and maintenance, so too will your outdoor space. Are you someone who enjoys spending time caring for plants every weekend, or do you need more of a “hands-off” garden? Does the idea of having to winterize an outdoor kitchen stress you out? Are you comfortable with the thought of employing a fine gardening team keep your property looking great so all you have to do is enjoy? Having realistic expectations of your time and interest level can help guarantee that your yard and garden do not end up becoming an irritating presence in your life.
How much money do you want to spend?
Nobody likes to think about the expense that comes with home-improvement projects. In reality, though, projects cost money and most of us don’t know what to expect. Our designers can help demystify the costs of many well-loved outdoor features like a patio, walkway, lawn, etc. You may be surprised to learn how much it cost to install the outdoor kitchen you had hoped for, or, on the contrary, you may be surprised to find furniture that is quite affordable. We find that thinking about developing and installing functional and beautiful outdoor space is much like the investment you would make inside the house. The costs can be similar. Make sure you know what your priorities are, as well as what you can do without (for the time being, at least), and adjust your budget accordingly.
Fortunately, when it comes to designing your outdoor space, there are plenty of ways to be flexible and creative. Feel free to call us when you’re ready to begin; we can’t wait to work with you!