Over the past year, many people have taken a fresh look at their outdoor living spaces, as outdoor living has taken on renewed importance as gathering spaces. Backyards have turned into retreats for living, and front entrances have been repurposed as social distancing spaces reminiscent of old-fashioned porches.
No matter where you live, your outdoor space can be enjoyed all season with simple upgrades using hardscapes, like adding a fire pit for cozy gatherings or an outdoor kitchen for a taste of the outdoors. summer all year round. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional landscaper, landscaping materials – including natural stone, interlocking concrete pavers and retaining wall systems – can add value to your home and help set the stage for a heated hot tub, comfy seating around a fire, wood-fired ovens for pizza nights and more.
1) Add a fire function for chilly days and nights. A fire pit, fire table, fire pit, fireplace or patio heater will enhance any outdoor space with warmth and ambiance. “One of our most popular landscaping installations features a fire ring surrounded by a seat wall,” said Scott Arnold, manager of Villa Landscapes in St. Paul, Minnesota. “A fire feature is a useful and beautiful addition to any outdoor space that you can enjoy all year round.” Fire pits and fireplaces are also available in kits that include all the materials popular with DIYers.
2) A dedicated outdoor cooking space allows you to grill in any season. In addition to multi-function grills, compact wood-fired outdoor ovens are popular choices, and landscaping designs can make the perfect countertop or grill island. “Cooking outside isn’t just for the summer,” says Arnold. “Easily accessible grills, wood-fired ovens or outdoor kitchens built with hardscapes are essential in outdoor spaces.”
3) Create easy access from inside to outside. A raised patio, constructed with retaining wall units and pavers, is a low-maintenance solution to a deck. Its surface absorbs heat and can help keep ice at bay. Pavers are available in many styles, textures and colors, and require little to no maintenance if properly installed. “We often vary the shapes, colors and textures of the pavers to define the space and create distinct outdoor rooms,” says Arnold.
4) Consider year-round sieges, such as siege walls created with segmental retaining wall units. “VERSA-LOK is the only block I do 90% of my projects with; it can do it all,” says Stan Genadek, owner of Genadek Excavating and Landscaping in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, and creator and host of a landscaping YouTube channel, “Dirt Monkey University.” According to Genadek, “Due to its versatility and ease of installation, VERSA-LOK is the benchmark for retaining wall systems. » Use it for retaining walls, freestanding walls and seating, sofas, bleachers with berm seats, planters, columns, curves and more.
5) Accessorize with functionality in mind. Year-round lighting, pergolas, shades, awnings, screens and furniture should be considered in an all-season outdoor space refresh. Low voltage LED lighting can be installed between courses of retaining wall units, under capping stones and along patios and paving stone walkways. Look for furniture, such as Comfort Craft outdoor furniture, that is durable against the elements and doesn’t need storage or maintenance other than cleaning.
Outdoor living is an essential part of everyone’s health and well-being, and landscaping materials help you create an outdoor space that adds value to your property and keeps you outdoors longer at night, earlier in the spring and later in the season.