If your home is your sanctuary, then your backyard is your oasis. You work hard and should be able to come home after a long day and relax in comfort. But, for all the comfortable accoutrements, the modern backyard haven won’t be enjoyable if you can’t temper the climate anb2ap3_thumbnail_misting-system1-150x150d other natural forces. If you have all the basic necessities for relaxing and want to make your retreat even more livable, take a look at what you can do:

Misting System
– These systems work best in low-humidity climates, but are still valuable anywhere it’s just too hot. A misting system sends out a vapor mist that cools the surrounding air a few degrees, similar to the mist from a waterfall. Used in conjunction with an exterior ceiling fan, this type of cooling system can really make a difference during warmer days.

b2ap3_thumbnail_artic-heaterOutdoor Heaters
– Utilizing heaters in your outdoor design allows you to extend the enjoyment of your backyard well into the chillier fall months and open things up earlier in the spring. You can now find a large variety of free-standing heaters specifically made for patio and pool areas. Also look for built-in versions and compare pricing. If you have a beautiful backyard and can only enjoy it three or four months out of the year, the investment may be worth it.

Bug Misting System – This may be one of the best inventions ever. Instead of running around lighting citronella candles and spraying guests down with bug spray, maybe it’s time you consider investing in a bug misting system. Basically, small misters are strategically placed throughout the yard, in planting beds, near the pool or next to the porch. The mechanisms spray an all-natural bug repellent that works on flies, bees and even those annoying mosquitoes.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shade-sailsShade Sails
– We dream for the warm summer sun all winter, and when it finally arrives, we are reminded that it can be (too) hot to enjoy the outside the way we want. Shade sails are a great, contemporary way to bring a little shade into your outdoor life. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and are made of weather-resistant materials. A few areas of shade are always welcomed the deeper we get into the summer heat.

Pergola – For a more classic shade solution, build a traditional pergola. You can find pre-fabricated pergolas available, or there are often craftsmen looking for just such a project. The structure creates a romantic, dappled shade formed by the frame work and climbing vines. You can even drape flowing curtains from the support posts to add to the ambiance.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Outdoor-Furniture-300x210Cozy Seating
– Move beyond the folding lawn chair. Instead, design dining and living areas in your outdoor space with comfortable seating just like you do indoors. A comfortable sofa and chairs pulled  up close to an outdoor fireplace or fire pot would be welcomed by all. Think about including a chaise lounge or small daybed tucked away in a shady corner for lazy afternoon naps.

Putting a few chairs and tables next to the pool or on the patio is not the same as making your outdoor area comfortable. Think of your outdoor area the same as you do your home. After all, the square  footage you enjoy outside should be as important as the square footage inside.