Fort Worth residents enjoy a temperate climate all year round. The warm seasons encourage an active outdoor lifestyle, like boating on the local lakes, cycling on the Trinity Trails, or hiking in the many parks or Nature Preserves.
We gained a new appreciation for the calming powers of nature and the outdoors after the pandemic. Even as life returns closer to normal, many of us will continue spending more time at home thanks to remote work. More time at home means more time appreciating all our homes have to offer, including our backyards.
Our outdoor living spaces are an extension of our home. Backyard improvements surged during the pandemic, as we sought to maximize how we utilized our homes inside and out.
Renovating our backyards increases our enjoyment of the outdoors and the at-home lifestyle. No matter the size of your outdoor living space, it can be revamped to maximize your appreciation of the outdoors. An outdoor space that suits your lifestyle is more likely to encourage you to enjoy it throughout the changing seasons.
Use these backyard renovation ideas for inspiration for your outdoor living remodel.
Do you enjoy a Texas summer BBQ and outdoor entertaining? Adding an outdoor kitchen to your backyard living space might be perfect for you. Outdoor kitchens are fully customizable to your available space and style.
Create an outdoor kitchen around how you plan to use it. If you enjoy grilling and cooking al-fresco, install a grill or a smoker to suit the size of your events. Construct a permanent bar for your guests or family to gather around while the meal sizzles on the flames.
Be creative with how you create your outdoor kitchen. We've seen homes that have added brick ovens for Woodfired pizzas and flatbreads. Others add kegs and spouts for readily tapped beer and drinks.
An outdoor fridge makes quick ingredient access easy. It's also the perfect place for keeping your drinks cool while hosting a backyard event.
In designing the outdoor kitchen, remember to add storage for your outdoor cookware and serving plates. This way, they stay at hand and ready to go whenever you are cooking and dining outside.
Make your outdoor kitchen more enjoyable by adding shade. Your home may have a built-in porch already ideal for adding a shaded outdoor kitchen. Otherwise, think about incorporating pergolas or sun shades into the design so your outdoor kitchen is more comfortable for you and your guests.
Upscale fire pits
Create good memories while sitting around a crackling fire with friends and family. A fire pit is a place where we reminisce and tell stories. It's no wonder adding a fire pit is a common part of a backyard renovation.
Today you have numerous options to customize and design your fire pit. Your outdoor fire pit will become a focal point for creating countless backyard memories, whether inlaid or above ground. Select from wood-burning for an authentic campfire experience or use natural gas to eliminate smoke.
In addition to deciding between wood-burning or natural gas, today's fire pits come in various styles to suit anyone's design aesthetic. Select a contemporary concrete bowl-shaped design, a more traditional round stone fire pit, a simple steel design, and many more options. Mix-and-match styles and construction to find the right fit.
Include a seating area around the fire pit. For an in-laid fireplace, excavate into the ground to create built-in seating. Alternatively, build a wrap-around deck surrounding the fire pit. Throw some pillows on these ready-made benches, and you'll have a cozy place to gather.
The outdoors may not be the most important selling feature, but we have noticed an increased interest in homebuyers for homes to have livable outdoor spaces. A common ask or request is for outdoor seating or a patio. Adding a patio deck if you don't already have one can boost your home's value while increasing your enjoyment of the outdoors.
Patio decks are easily customizable to the different sizes of your backyard. Expansive spaces have more options than smaller backyards, but the right contractor and landscape designer can create a plan to maximize a patio in any backyard space.
When building your patio deck, consider what you'll use it for. Will it be a space for hosting dinner parties? Do you plan to sit around the fire pit? Perhaps it is an access point to the greater backyard.
Incorporate shade into the patio deck design by planning for pergolas or sunshades. These enable you to enjoy the patio regardless of the weather and temperatures outside.
Get clever and artistic with your outdoor seating arrangements. While it is nice to sit around the patio table, you're not locked into buying patio furniture and chairs.
Add some swinging chairs to relax in the spring breeze. A suspended outdoor daybed is perfect for taking an afternoon nap in the fall or cozying with a good weekend read.
Strategically place benches around your yard or garden. For a bohemian or eclectic design, mix and match styles and shapes.
Make the most of whatever space you have. Movable pieces make it easy to create arrangements for hosting a backyard event. If you're interested in sustainability and upcycling, build some rolling pallet seating. This allows you to adjust a patio arrangement while providing extra seating for any outdoor entertaining.
For a more permanent option, add some built-in terrace benches or a drop-down fireplace surrounded by built-in seating perfect for cozying up around a warming winter fire.
Set the mood with lighting
When the sun goes down doesn't mean it's time to go inside. Encourage your family or guests to linger into the balmy Texas evenings with appropriate outdoor lighting. Edison bulbs and industrial-style strings have been popular over the last few years. Look beyond these for lighting that better matches your style.
For softer lighting, use sophisticated ball lights such as paper lanterns. Or, try fairy lights inside mason jars for a mix of rustic charm and romantic lighting.
Place solar-powered torches around your patio and gardens. Available designs have lights that mimic a fire's flicker, creating a dramatic nighttime lighting effect. Lights along your deck and walkways also enhance your backyard's safety by marking the edges and travel pathways.
Not everyone is gifted with a flat and spacious backyard. That doesn't mean you can't transform your backyard into a functional and attractive space ideal for your lifestyle. The easiest way to transform a sloping yard is with a terraced design.
A terraced landscape creates a functional layered, yard with room for versatility in its design. Terraces can also be modified to flow with the natural contours of your landscape, which can create an interesting outdoor space. Another bonus: a terraced garden can help with drainage if water is an issue on your property.
Terrace walls can be made of various materials to fit the overall style of your home better. Buttress the partitions with wood, stone, brick, pavers, and other materials. Obviously, anything in stone will be more durable and long-lasting.
Designate some of your terraces for a seating area. Get creative in how you use the walls. Create some built-in benches and guest seating in the drop-downs.
Add a cascading water feature across the levels, such as a relaxing waterfall dropping into a series of small ponds. The result is a terraced landscape that becomes a natural, calming retreat.
Layer your terraces with some natural landscaping. Take inspiration from an English garden by creating a layered, wild approach that creates a greenery wall in the high summer. Or fit the terraces with natural plants for a more drought-friendly landscape.
Are you looking for a backyard with easy maintenance? Not everyone wants to spend their days off maintaining a planted landscape. Try a rock garden as an alternative to the grass lawn. The turf-free area reduces the amount of time spent cutting the grass or pruning hedges.
A rock garden creatively adds some depth or dimension to a backyard space, especially if it is otherwise flat and plain. It can also be a solution if you have an area that struggles to grow anything but weeds.
Use different kinds of stones and rock sizes to add complexity and depth to the rock garden. Leverage the colors and textures in the rocks to define different areas of your yard. Rock gardens are also fantastic for complementing a custom outdoor sculpture or another visually attractive outdoor art piece.
Installing a pool
Why deal with crowded public pools when you can install a private oasis in your backyard? Your pool can be a place for entertaining family and friends, cooling off in the summer heat, or a place to relax after a long week.
To turn your pool into a place of calm and retreat, think of creating a lush oasis. A waterfall feature adds to the sensory experience of dipping into your pool. Add a bench for sitting underneath the waterfall to allow the cascade to unwind the tension from your shoulders. Surround the pool with colorful, tropical landscaping.
Make a pool more ideal for entertaining family and friends by selecting a larger pool footprint. Surround the surface area with a patio, leaving ample room for comfortable deck chairs. Even though this pool's purpose is more for recreational value, you can still upscale its design with mosaic tiling and lush landscaping surrounding the patio.
For those concerned about the environmental impact of the backyard environment, transform your outdoor living space using xeriscaping principles. A xeriscape uses as little water as possible to minimize the environmental impact yet still creates an attractive outdoor space. Xeriscaping is more likely to use natural plants and to be easier to maintain once those plants are established.
A xeriscaped backyard will make informed decisions about plants and other ways to reduce water use. It starts with making the most of what resources you have in your backyard. Pay attention to the grating and the soil contouring. Use the natural features of the existing landscape to capture as much moisture as you can for the plants.
Xeriscaping does not mean that you will lose any shade trees in your yard. Many trees fit in with this design style. These include Desert Willow, Live Oak, and Cedar Elm.
The best time of year to install a xeriscape in Texas is autumn. This way, your new plants have time to get established before the heat and dryness of summer arrives.
Labyrinths have been used for centuries as a method of creating peace in a place of meditation. A labyrinth is a curving path that whines to a center. It is not intended to be a maze with dead ends. Exiting the labyrinth means taking the same path out.
The Labyrinth Garden is supposed to be for personal contemplation and an opportunity to connect with the natural world. Labyrinth designs are adjustable to the size, space, and style of your backyard.
You can create a labyrinth from stone, such as using pavers to create your circle. A mulched path lined with plants on both sides works just as well. We've seen labyrinths lined from roses, which surrounds the walker with an enticing and peaceful scent in season. Other labyrinths have been created from wildflowers or hedges.
Your backyard labyrinth can be a place of relaxation, where you enter a peaceful space and walk away from any tension you may have.
Reinvented play areas
Part of rethinking our backyards is also rethinking how we use them with our families. We can create an outdoor recreation area that is attractive for the adults yet stimulating for our children.
It goes beyond installing a manufactured playset and sandbox. These rethought play areas meet the need for outdoor playtime and creativity. For example, create a climbing frame from tree trunks, ladders, or wood pallets to create an unusual structure.
For the dirt box, mix up the different textures. Have one area where they can move around rocks and another area for dirt play
Hang a chalkboard on the fence to inspire creativity and art. You can create a suitable outdoor chalkboard using some plywood and chalk paint.
Consider adding some water elements into your new play area. Incorporate an outdoor fish pond a river around your child's outdoor play area. Plant kid-friendly landscaping around the play areas.
Add a treehouse
For a touch of whimsy and retreat, why not add a treehouse to your backyard? These elevated platforms aren't just for children. An upscale treehouse designed for adults can be your place to step away from it all on a busy day. Treehouses lift us into the tree canopy, placing us closer to nature and supplying us with separation from our daily stresses.
The modern treehouse can be a simple platform with a comfortable nook for reclining or an elaborate livable structure. We've seen treehouses built as platforms designed to mimic bird nests, all the way to modern designs shaped like capsules to treehouses reminiscent of log cabins. The Treehotel in Harads, Sweden, has a mirrored exterior that blends the structure into nature.
Of course, you can add touches the kids would like, such as a slide for a quick exit or rope bridges.
What to consider before remodeling your backyard
Now that you have some backyard renovation ideas, remember to keep in mind how your backyard remodel will impact your lifestyle and your home's value.
Select backyard renovation installations that reflect how you use your backyard now and how you'd like to use your backyard in the future. If your kids enjoy using the space for playing sports, is removing that yard space for a firepit in your best interests at this time?
Also, remember your pets in your backyard remodel. A small pool or splash fountain could be fun for your four-legged friends, too. Shade is excellent for them in the summer, and you may consider adding fencing to keep them safe. Select landscape plants that are nontoxic for the kids and the pets.
Work with the natural landscape and contours of your backyard. Pay attention to how water moves around your home and landscape to avoid redirecting water towards your home during the backyard renovation.
Consider additions that are friendly to various lifestyles. Patio decks, firepits, and vegetable gardens are seen as desirable amenities among homebuyers. Even if you don't plan to sell soon, having these can benefit your home's value down the road.
The rejuvenated backyard
The whole point of having an attractive backyard is to create an enhancement to your home. It should be a space that is both comfortable and functional for your family needs. If you want to know how a planned backyard renovation could enhance your home's value, talk to the experts at the Chicotsky Real Estate Group.