Let’s face it – Canadian winters can be long, harsh and cruel! When summer finally rolls around, most of us take every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors for as long as we can. What better way to do than than in the comfort of our own backyards?
Here are five design ideas for an outdoor living space you’re sure to love – whether for relaxing, entertaining or even adding resale value to your home.
Fireplaces are hot right now (pun intended!). In fact, more than 35 per cent of Canadians surveyed consider an outdoor fireplace a must have in a new home, according to the 2019 Home Buyer Preference Survey, powered by Avid Ratings Canada. Keep warm on cooler nights. Snuggle up with a book or have a fireside nap after a long day of gardening. Take a cue from Dependable Renovations and add storage space on either side to store firewood and add visual interest. Not sure whether you’re allowed an outdoor fireplace or fire pit? Check with your municipality before getting started.
Photo: Dependable Renovations, Calgary, AB
Covered sitting area
Speaking of naps: be sure to relax in your outdoor oasis, rain or shine, with a covered patio. This outdoor feature continues to grow in popularity each year, and with good reason. A covered deck offers shelter from the elements and adds valuable living space to your home. Depending on where you live, adding some heaters can allow you to enjoy the backyard for a few more months each year. Concerned about escaping the summer heat? Take a cue from this patio by My House Design/Build Team: the skylights were built with solar-cool green tempered glass, allowing sunshine to filter in while minimizing the amount of heat that reaches you.
Photo: My House Design/Build Team, Surrey, BC
Some families love lounging, others are always active, and many enjoy a mix of both! Providing a space for everyone’s enjoyment is key to maximizing your outdoor living space. Take this award-winning backyard by Alloy Homes, for instance. It’s divided into distinct yet seamless spaces for different activities: cooking, napping on the daybed and meditating by the water garden.
Photo: Alloy Homes Incorporated, Calgary, AB
Whether it’s for cocktails under a canopy or cooking at the cottage, outdoor lighting offers many benefits. Lanterns and string lights can add a magical vibe to your backyard, while pendant lamps or LED pot lights provide more direct lighting for certain tasks like barbequing or reading. Combine styles and create a stunning atmosphere for your patio like Ultimate Homes & Renovations did in this Calgary backyard featuring deck lights, LED strip lighting along the beams and pot lights on the ceiling.
Photo: Ultimate Homes & Renovations, Calgary, AB
Backyards are truly an extension of the home, so it’s no surprise that more than 70 per cent of Canadians surveyed are in favour of a space to cook outside. Outdoor kitchens can be as simple as integrating a BBQ into a countertop, or include a full kitchen with plumbing, storage, and bar fridge. Incorporate comfortable seating and your guests will love being near the action. Diamond Valley Custom Homes built this custom outdoor kitchen for the homeowners to cook, relax and entertain. It features a smoker, BBQ, artesian-style pizza oven, cooktop and fridge.
Photo: Diamond Valley Custom Homes, Okotoks, AB
Like what you see? Get in touch with a RenoMark renovator in your area to discuss the endless possibilities for your backyard oasis.
This blog post was originally posted on the RenoMark website.