Every homeowner today is aware that a home’s value is enhanced by that elusive quality known as “curb appeal,” and that a well-designed and properly-maintained landscape is a selling point for any home on the market. But what about backyard landscaping ideas that boost the enjoyment quotient for residents all year long, as well as adding immense value to your home
What are the elements — in addition to lush lawns, manicured planting areas, and backyard pools — that distinguish luxury landscapes? And how can a homeowner incorporate some of those features to capitalize on the potential for family fun as well as value?
Luxury Backyard Landscaping Ideas to Consider
If you’re lucky enough to have a large lot, chances are that much of the space is underused. Rather than looking at the backyard as additional square footage that can function as additional “rooms” for specific activities, many homeowners view the yard as just that: A view meant to be enjoyed from the home’s interior.
We at ASI Landscape Management think there are almost limitless possibilities for distinctive backyard spaces, and that outdoor space is a bonus that allows you to accommodate a variety of functions. Similar opportunities exist for using dramatic backyard landscape ideas even if yours is only a pint-sized condo patio. The trick is to capitalize on available space to accommodate a variety of functions.
Essentially, you should look at your landscape with an eye to activity zones. A patio or deck that is adjacent to your back door is the logical choice for a backyard seating area designed for family use as well as entertaining function. If your backyard includes a pool and/or spa, this is often the transitional zone between the interior and the active space.
Today’s outdoor rooms serve as living rooms, additional dining rooms, game rooms, dens, and activity areas. Some outdoor spaces rival their interior counterparts in terms of comfort, style, convenience, and luxury materials. And, often, with the help of sliding doors or “disappearing glass walls,” the lines between indoor and outdoor rooms are blurred in a good way.
Here are some of our favorite ideas for attractive and upscale outdoor rooms. In Florida, outdoor living options are especially appealing if there’s an included water feature, but that doesn’t always have to be a pool. Waterfalls and fountains offer options for homeowners who wish to forego the upkeep requirements of a private pool.
The Outdoor Kitchen
Who doesn’t love a burger fresh off the grill? Today’s outdoor kitchen is several steps beyond the simple appeal of an outdoor grill. A fully-equipped outdoor kitchen does away with the need to transport food and party supplies from the kitchen and can be every bit as attractive, stylish, and functional as the best modern indoor kitchen. Sleek appliances, stainless steel, and natural stone are favored materials that require little maintenance and withstand typical weather conditions, and the options for convenience and specialty appliances are almost limitless. It’s as easy to turn out gourmet fare and specialty cocktails from a backyard kitchen or bar as from your chef’s kitchen inside.
Let your creativity and imagination soar to design the perfect outdoor kitchen/bar area. Built-in seating and serving counters cater to a crowd; if there’s a pool, consider a swim-up bar counter for extra fun! Space for sit-down dining under the roof means all-year, all-weather use, a bonus for Florida residents.
As for available appliances — the options are endless. Functioning sinks and stainless steel cabinets are readily available. Look for under-counter refrigerators and icemakers, built-in gas grills with side burners, specialty pizza ovens, smokers, or even beer taps and wine chillers for the ultimate in outdoor convenience.
Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits are Popular Luxury Backyard Ideas
If you view your backyard patio as a second living room or family den, then it makes perfect sense to install a fireplace or fire pit as the room’s natural focal point. Both gas-fired and wood-burning models exist. Add a wall-mounted television and speakers to play favorite music in the “room,” and you’re all set to enjoy lazy Sundays with the family or rousing game-day parties with a crowd! With at least a partial roof to provide shade and a bit of protection on drizzly days, add comfortable plush seating, a rug underfoot, good lighting, and put-your-feet-up comfort year-round.
For added usability, hang ceiling fans to provide a bit of breeze on hot days, or install sleek HVAC units at the ceiling line. Misting units for hot summer days would be an especially nice touch!
Gazebos and Garden “Follies”
In a large yard, delightful landscape elements include gazebos and Victorian-era “garden follies” that offer the possibility of a quiet escape. These typically airy structures are as nice to look at as they are to sit in and enjoy a glass of lemonade or read a book in solitude. Choose a design that complements your home’s architecture, add some flowering plants, and an attractive brick or stone pathway for access.
Ponds and Waterfalls
Soothing sounds of water enhance any outdoor setting. Simple waterfalls and small in-ground or elevated water features add intrigue and visual delight to the landscape. Efficient circulating pumps minimize the maintenance and upkeep requirements, and cultivating a few easy-care water plants is easy enough. If you choose to install a larger, in-ground pond, you might even want to raise Koi for their colorful display and calming influence.
Florida sun can be brutal. So, whatever seating areas you have in your backyard landscape should have some shade and shadow to make the space more functional as well as more visually interesting. Shade doesn’t have to be a roof. Attach beams or a lattice structure to the existing walls of your home, or construct a partial ramada over a remote garden seating area. Enhance outdoor spaces — especially along a fence-line — with climbing vines, or add a telescoping canvas “tent-pole” to provide shade where and how you want it in your outdoor rooms.
Personalize Your Backyard Landscaping Ideas
Chances are good that whatever you imagine for your backyard landscape can become a reality. Collect ideas by visiting public spaces and luxury hotels to find features that might work in your own space to make your backyard more convenient and more expressive of your individuality. Don’t just copy popular trends, but adapt some of those interesting features to truly express your personal vision.
If you need help planning or implementing landscape design, don’t hesitate to call on our professional design team. We’ll work with you to get it just right! Remember, with three offices to serve you in Tampa, Orlando and throughout Florida, ASI can be your go-to choice for luxury backyard ideas and solutions.