Outdoor décor has changed the way we look at outdoor living. With companies like Wayfair and Target and even home improvement centers like Lowe’s offering lines of affordable furniture and fixtures, most budgets can afford to step up the look and feel of their alfresco entertainment centers.
With these reasonable prices, you can outfit everything from your deck to your changing cabana with a cohesive look. When all colors and textiles combine, you will have set a spectacular stage for your gathering and relaxation zone.
Like any decorating job, you’ll need foundations upon which your vision can stand. Besides the color palette, your landscaping and deck will frame the visual experience.
This is your opportunity to bring beautiful texture into your backyard escape. While you may want to include showy, flowering plants and shrubs, integrating some robust greenery will bring the yin to the yang. Celebrating plants indigenous to your area of the country will bode well for their survival of course, but also offers up a celebration of your locality.
The DIY Network serves up 15 Gorgeous Ways to Landscape Around a Pool and they are simply inspirational, from a Zen garden they refer to as “Asian Fusion” where they showcase clean lines and streamlined concrete pavers “with tidy beds and plants such as mondo grass, pine, Japanese maple trees and bamboo,” to the rustic, lower maintenance fashioning of a Mediterranean-style courtyard.
Also pictured is the modern trend of using the existing sod as the underpinning for stepping stones. For this geometric design, oversized squares are cut out from the lawn in a specific pattern like a chess board. The square cuts go down to the dirt layer effectively removing the grass in defined patches. Replacing these are same-sized slip-resistant tiles.
The final effect is that contrasting tiles appear “grouted” by the grass. As a DIY project it will take some precise measuring to do it right, but it certainly proves a lovely integration of man-made and nature-made elements.
The use of walkways, retaining walls, and edging is referred to as hardscaping. With some perseverance, you can purchase stone leftovers from a local landscaping or big box store for less. What’s compelling about dry-stacking stones and rocks to form sections like flower beds is that it creates a natural appearance, as though these flowers and plants were always there.
The trick to many landscaping ideas is that they look effortless, highlighting key areas in your yard, adding beauty and dimension. However, these treatments are not as effortless to execute as they appear. We recommend you get some help for the heavy lifting. Consult with your lawn maintenance company.
You may not want to contract the entire project so you can save money and have the pride that comes with sweat equity, but consider having these pros make the cuts into a retaining slope or natural hill to carve out the sections you wish to fill with stones and rocks and plants. They likely have the tools on their truck to make cuts with tillers and other equipment to establish the backdrop you need.
Unless you really want to rent machines and go full-on Weekend Warrior, there’s nothing wrong with a little professional assistance to get you rolling!
Elevating Your Backyard Deck
If you haven’t shopped decks in a while, you will see they have come as far as the smart phone apps that control your pool’s functions.
It’s been a long time since a stack of lumber and wood stain comprised a deck. Today’s decks are diverse.
For Elle Décor, decking expert Lucas Congdon gives his insight into creating the perfect pool deck for your needs “from slip resistance to heat reflectivity.”
Here are what we think are the Top Five of Lucas Lagoons’ Pool Deck Tips:
- Remember that you are installing something for the outdoors. You want it to be easy on the feet for temperature and comfort. “It’s important to look for a material that won’t get too hot, or to put a material that will get hot in a shaded area.”
- The last thing you want to worry about is slippage around the wet pool area. “A lot of materials feel fine, but as soon as they get wet, they become slippery. Polished concrete for example, is very popular indoors now but can be extremely slippery, especially if it’s sealed. Leave it unsealed or apply a stamped pattern that adds texture to it.”
- Plan ahead for the entire infrastructure. “A lot of people leave an area for plants but forget about irrigation, so then they have to hand-water those plants all the time. Whereas if you run all the conduits for lighting, irrigation, and outdoor speakers to those areas before you do your deck, it’s much easier.”
- As far as materials, because Congdon’s company designs and installs extreme pools, their budgets generally allow them to leverage higher end supplies like a Brazilian iron wood called “ipe.” However, there are artificial wood and wood-composite options that suit a larger range of budgets. The caveat with these synthetics is that they can warp and settle over time, so pools in locales where the temperature shifts are extreme should seek an alternative.
- Congdon says that, “We use a lot of travertine because it gives you a high-end look, but it’s still a pretty good price point. It’s a natural stone, like marble, but softer. It’s pretty much our go-to product.” He also recommends pavers as probably the most economical option. They have a lot of colors/styles to choose from. However, he does caution that the ground prep must be virtually flawless to give them the soundest foundation so their installation remains intact.
With the new pool season upon us, everyone is looking forward to shedding the scarves and boots for suits and flip flops! Take a look at your backyard’s landscaping and decking and consider what changes you’d like to make.
Even if you’re not ready for change this pool season, this might be a great time to start brainstorming about kicking off the next year with a new look. Endless options provide the chance to splash into something fabulous!
We are pool financing experts who also provide the means to install pools and outdoor kitchens, and any kind of backyard update you can dream up! Low rates and 20-year terms make the decision to renovate your backyard oasis much easier.
At Lyon Financial, we love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about installing your corner of paradise!