Porch vs Patio: Your Design and Decor Questions Answered

Porch vs Patio: Your Design and Decor Questions Answered

Who doesn’t love having a great outdoor space at home? A space we can wind down after a long day, spend a lazy Saturday relaxing, enjoying some peace and quiet. Our own outdoor oasis without having to leave the house. Whether it’s a screened porch or one that wraps around the house, a small backyard patio, or one that surrounds a pool; big or small, a porch or a patio is a great place to sit back, relax, and watch the world go by. Porch vs patio is a topic is a discussion that can have many questions.

The terms porch and patio are often used interchangeably, two terms to describe one thing. But porches and patios shouldn’t be confused with each other as they are two different things, and because they are, there will be different approaches to both design and decor. Hopefully, this will help to answer questions you might have about your porch or patio.


 

What is a Porch?

 

Porch vs Patio red porch

The porch has been a staple in much of the world’s architecture for centuries, first appearing on American homes in the 1700s and quickly becoming a fixture on many. Post-World War II, as the population grew and privacy became increasingly more important, porches began to lose their architectural popularity making way for back yard patios.

Sometimes also referred to as a veranda, lanai or loggia, the idea of a porch can vary from region to region but there are a few things that define the structure. A porch will be raised off the ground with a railing running around the perimeter, whereas a balcony is off the second floor. A porch is typically attached to the house at the ground floor, covered and protects from the elements for that main entry while providing outdoor space for relaxing or entertaining. Homes can have porches of varying square footage, from small and simple, covering the front door and maybe a little more, to a large wraparound porch that not only extends the length of the front of the house but wraps around the sides as well.

While you may choose an open porch, it is not uncommon to see a porch enclosed with a screen, or even windows, especially in climates plagued by insects or cold weather. A sun room is essentially an enclosed porch and involves turning a porch into an extension of the home that can be enjoyed throughout the year. It can have wood flooring, and composite decking.


 

What is a Patio?

 

Porch vs Patio with black outdoor furniture and white table cloth

Coming from the Latin term patere, meaning to lie open, a patio is an open structure, usually in the back yard of the home. While a patio can be attached to the main house, it is also found as a standalone structure made from natural stone or concrete stone. Despite some of the large wraparound porches that can be found, patios are typically much larger and more suited for outdoor entertainment. While some may add a small gazebo or pergola to a patio as a place to escape the bugs or weather, patios are largely open and contain no roofs or pillars. This open style offers a much more versatile outdoor living space suitable for cooking, dining, and entertaining.

Which is Best, A Porch or A Patio?

There is no real definitive answer to this question. Which one is better will be based on your specific needs and wants. Most older homes will have larger front porches, while newly built homes will focus more on a back yard patio and often have a tiny front porch that is nothing more than a buffer between the outdoor elements and the main entrance. As we mentioned before, a backyard patio is much more versatile in terms of usable outdoor space for dining and entertaining. On the other hand, the right front porch can be a great place to sit and relax, enjoying the outdoors and watching the world go by. Because the two each have their place on the home, it is not uncommon to have a bigger patio in the back yard for entertaining, and a small porch on the front of the house with a localized sitting area. Which is best is relative to how you intend to use the space. The question of porch vs patio in this case, all depends on your preferences.


 

What Should I Consider When Designing and Decorating a Porch?

 

Design

If you are planning on adding a porch to your home or making the best use of an existing one, there may be a few things to consider to be sure you have a porch that is right for you.

How you are going to use your porch is going to be one of the biggest factors in determining how long and wide it is going to be. A porch that is an extension of the main entryway or will be used as a simple seating area for a morning cup of coffee will require much less space than one that is intended to be used for entertaining.

Not all climates are suited for year-round outdoor entertainment, be it bug season, or cold winter climates. A porch offers versatility through roof options, composite decking and design features such as a portico. All-season versatility can be enhanced with screens and even window frames, such as a sunroom or verandah. You may not want to install either on your porch, but it is important to know that it can be done if you intend to use it year-round. If outdoor entertainment is more of an important factor in the porch vs patio question, this may be something you take into consideration.

Do you want your porch to be a simple extension of your front entry or are you looking for something more extravagant that acts as an addition to the home, possibly even wrapping around it? A good porch design will create the right flow, connecting the inside of the home with the outside. Consider it not as a separate addition, but an extension of the room that it leads to.

Decor

Porch vs Patio outdoor furniture

When considering a porch as an extension of the room or entry that it is coming off, the décor options can be seemingly endless, especially because the porch can be partially or completely enclosed, opening up options that would typically be used indoors. Whether you’re adding a porch to your house, or working with an existing one, there are some things to keep in mind.

Curb appeal is the most forgotten aspect of decorating a porch. Curb appeal takes into consideration the overall look of the house from a street view. We typically associate this with the aesthetics of the home itself or the landscaping. But that front porch is going to be seen from the road too. The last thing you want to do is clutter it up and make it unappealing to potential buyers. Decor should flow well with the home without being overwhelming to the eye. When it comes to porch vs patio in curb appeal, a porch can have the upper hand.

Big or small, a porch isn’t going to be used to its fullest extent if it’s not comfortable, and what’s the point of having it if it isn’t going to be used? While the size of your porch will determine the size, and amount of furniture you can put on it, it should not determine comfort. Use outdoor chairs and couches that not only invite people to sit but are comfortable enough to make them want to stay there.

One of the benefits of having an outdoor area that is enclosed is being able to use interior lighting outside. This can be as simple as having a couple of table lamps accenting the seating area, or as extravagant as installing ceiling lighting like pot lights or a ceiling fan.

What is a room without art? Take advantage of the wall space by hanging some art pieces. Art can take sometimes-drab outdoor spaces and make them feel warm and inviting.


 

What Should I Consider When Designing and Decorating A Patio?

 

Design

Some of the same things that are taken into consideration when designing a porch should be taken into consideration when designing a patio.

Is your patio going to be something used as a simple outdoor retreat for your family, or will you be using it to entertain multiple guests? You can install a bbq or install something more with an outdoor kitchen. Is it going to be a place to sit and relax, or will you be using it as an outdoor cooking and dining area? Whatever your intentions may be, knowing how you are going to use a patio is going to help to determine the kind of space you are going to need.

Unlike a porch, a patio does not have to be an extension of the house but instead can be its own area. It is often much more practical when it is. A patio that is separate from the house keeps everything away from exterior walls and helps you to maximize the space. On the other hand, if you plan on using it as a dining/cooking area you may want it close to the house for ease of access. Porch vs patio ideas like this, should always be considered.

Just because patios aren’t typically covered or enclosed like a porch can be, that doesn’t mean they can’t be used all year round. It may however take a little more work to do so. If you live in an area that gets snow in the winter, you’ll want to make sure that the patio is designed to be able to clear that snow off. Or maybe you live in an area that gets lots of rain, in which case you might need to have some extra patio space to put a covered gazebo. When you intend to use your patio can be a deciding factor in both size and accessibility.

Decor

Porch vs Patio with outdoor fireplace

The right patio should be an outdoor space that everyone can enjoy, be it your family or your guests. It should be something that you want to spend as much time using as possible, and something you can be proud of.

A patio can be anything from formal to fun, from casual to tranquil. A formal dining area is all together possible but might require a separate space. A patio can be a fun space for the kids to play but may not go hand in hand with a formal dining atmosphere. If you want your patio to be a casual space for people to hang out, the right furniture in the right arrangement can accomplish that. If you want a peaceful escape without having to leave home, a patio with lots of plant life, or even a small pond can give you that escape. Whatever it may be, the right décor will be dependent on the mood you want to set.

When trying to find the right decor for their patio, most will opt for furniture with colors that compliment the outside of the house itself, be it the color of the stonework or the siding. What many people do overlook, however, is the material that the furniture is made from. Have you ever wondered why some patio furniture is much more expensive than others, for stuff that appears to be the same thing? The biggest reason is durability. Invest in quality composite decking or natural stone pavers for the flooring. Your furniture is going to be exposed to the elements, and the wrong material will quickly discolor and even start to fall apart. The right material will save you from these headaches. This is something to consider when thinking about porch vs patio and how it relates to outdoor furniture.

Is there anything more relaxing than a quiet evening outdoors? If there is, we haven’t found it. But it’s not nearly as enjoyable when encompassed by complete darkness. String lights, landscape lights, and even torches can all help to set the proper relaxing nighttime mood.

If you plan on getting as much time as possible out of your patio, then you should consider heating it. The heat will provide the comfort needed on those cool nights and can be as extravagant as the patio stones themselves being heated (especially nice around a hot tub) or can be as simple as having a built-in firepit, fireplace, or fire table. Be sure to check the regulations in your area before using anything fire-related around your home.

Wherever you stand in the porch vs patio debate, there is something about being able to enjoy the outdoors that benefits us all. The right outdoor space can provide us with our own little slice of heaven; an oasis that we can be proud to say we had a part in creating.

 

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8 Practical Hot Tub Shelter Ideas – Enjoy Your Hot Tub Without Problems

8 Practical Hot Tub Shelter Ideas – Enjoy Your Hot Tub Without Problems

Your backyard is a private place for you to escape, so it’s important to put time into making it a comfortable space that suits your needs. One item that can completely transform your backyard is a hot tub. Hot tub shelter ideas are something to consider as well.

8 Practical Hot Tub Shelter Ideas

Having a hot tub is like having your own private oasis. With so many options, it’s easy to find a hot tub that fits your vision for the perfect backyard. But hot tubs require maintenance. Without proper upkeep, your hot tub could turn from the perfect backyard paradise into a source of frustration and headaches. Luckily, the right hot tub shelter will minimize these issues and give you more time to enjoy your outdoor living space.

Keep reading to learn about practical hot tub shelter ideas that can keep your hot tub protected and set it up for long-term use.

Hot Tub Shelter Ideas — What to Consider

Before going ahead with choosing a hot tub enclosure, make sure you consider all the factors.

First, although hot tub shelters help maintain your hot tub, it still needs to be serviced regularly. When thinking about hot tub shelter ideas, make sure the shelter you choose isn’t too constricting and leaves enough room for your service person to access your hot tub for maintenance. If not, you may need to disassemble the shelter every time you need to check your hot tub, which becomes a hassle.

If you enjoy using your hot tub at night, your enclosure could eliminate star-gazing as an option while you’re relaxing in your hot tub after a long day. At the same time, a hot tub enclosure is a useful feature if you want to use your hot tub no matter what the weather is like — your cover can protect you from sun, rain, and snow. You also don’t have to worry about shoveling snow off the cover in the winter. When your hot tub is not exposed to the elements, it will last longer.

The best hot tub shelters can also offer additional privacy. Although a canopy may be enough to get the job done, you can opt for a full-coverage option to surround your hot tub and limit your exposure to bad weather and your neighbors.

Now that you have a better idea of whether a hot tub shelter is right for you, it’s time to take a look at your options.

The Best Hot Tub Shelter Ideas to Protect Your Oasis

Hot tub shelters are a great way to protect your hot tub, as well as you and your guests when you’re in it. But with so many enclosure options, it can be difficult to pick the right one for your hot tub.

To get you started on your journey toward a more protected hot tub, here are some of the best hot tub shelter ideas that vary from simple to complex in design.

Gazebo

Gazebo

This may be the simplest hot tub shelter idea, but it is also the most effective. Gazebos or canopies are meant to protect whatever is beneath them, making them a great way to safeguard your hot tub and the surrounding area.

Gazebos are also one of the most versatile hot tub shelter ideas, as there are so many variations to choose from. They come in several different materials, making it easy to find one that suits your needs and budget.

One of the main benefits of gazebos is that they’re one of the least permanent hot tub shelter ideas. They generally aren’t too difficult to assemble and disassemble, and they’re easy to move if needed. If you do choose a gazebo with a light frame, be sure to monitor it on windy days.

Full enclosure

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a full enclosure for your hot tub. This hot tub shelter idea requires more work and planning but also has more benefits than a simple gazebo.

For one thing, a full enclosure provides you with more privacy than an open gazebo. You have the option of blocking as many sides of your hot tub as you’d like or only enclosing the sides that are visible to your neighbors.

A full enclosure also better protects your hot tub overall. Rather than just covering the top, the surrounding area of your hot tub is protected from wind, sun, rain, and snow. This is a great option if you want your hot tub to last a long time.

You’ll also be protected whenever you are in the hot tub, meaning you can enjoy it year-round, no matter the season or weather.

Deck hot tub shelter

Just like a hot tub, patios make a great addition to your backyard and are a smart way to extend your living space. There are many ways to build a deck, and one of them is to have your hot tub built into it.

There are many benefits to putting your hot tub on your deck. Generally, having a hot tub on your deck means it will be positioned close to your home, minimizing the distance you have to walk between the two. This can make all the difference in the winter.

You can also build a hot tub shelter that matches the deck wood, giving your backyard a more cohesive look. Placing your hot tub on your deck also maximizes your backyard space and gives you an elevated view of your entire yard.

Pergola

Pergola

Pergolas make a beautiful addition to any outdoor space. They’re designed to provide additional shade to your backyard while still allowing for some sunlight. If you don’t want to completely cover your hot tub but want a bit of sun protection, a pergola is the best hot tub shelter idea for your backyard.

These structures are customizable and come in many shade options. If you want the option of full coverage, you can add a retractable canopy to further protect your hot tub.

Build a living space

Adding a hot tub is a way to spruce up your backyard, but you can take it one step further by sprucing up the area around your hot tub and turning it into an entire living space on its own.

When you enclose your hot tub, whether it be with a simple canopy or full enclosure, include some space to add chairs or other patio furniture to turn this into the most relaxing space in your home.

Surrounding furniture gives you the option to relax before you enter your hot tub as well as a place to dry off before you go back inside. By extending your hot tub shelter to the surrounding areas, you create a space where you can lounge and relax year-round. Just make sure you add some water-proof outdoor cushions to your seating area.

Install your hot tub indoors

The last hot tub shelter idea is to install your hot tub indoors.

Although most hot tubs are meant for outdoor use, if you have the right room, you can install your hot tub inside of your home. In most cases, this will require you to build an extension onto your home to have enough room for a hot tub.

This is a good option if you don’t have the outdoor space to build a hot tub shelter, or if weather resistance and privacy are your top priorities. Having your hot tub indoors eliminates the need to build any additional protection and guarantees year-round use. It’s an especially great option if you use your hot tub in the summer, as you don’t have to be deterred by the hot summer days.

Pro Tip: If you’re building a new room for your hot tub, have the hot tub delivered before you build the last wall. This will ensure ample room for the hot tub and prevent any need to tear down the wall if it is too large to fit through the door.

Final Thoughts

Owning a hot tub is a luxury, so you want to make sure that you care for your hot tub year-round to prevent damage and ensure long-term usage.

Luckily, there are a number of practical hot tub shelter ideas that can keep your hot tub looking new, limit its exposure to the elements, and let you enjoy a relaxing soak all year round. Be sure to choose the best option for your backyard to make the most of your favorite relaxing space.

 

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How to Select and Look After Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

How to Select and Look After Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

How to Select and Look After Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Brass Outdoor Lighting

Brass is a fantastic outdoor lighting solution because it comes in many different natural colors, can fit any outdoor home decor, and is low maintenance, lasting for many years.

If you are considering purchasing an exterior wall light fixture to add to your home’s curb appeal, you can’t go wrong with brass. If you aren’t sure how to select the best brass outdoor light or what is required to maintain this metal, then check out the rest of our article below.

Why Choose Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures?

Before discussing why you should choose brass for your lighting fixtures, let’s talk a little about what brass is. Brass is an alloy or mixture of copper and zinc. This mixture creates a strong, durable, and sustainable metal that can hold up in most types of weather conditions and exposure.

The color of brass varies from gold to red and even white, depending on the type of alloy.

So, why should you choose brass for outdoor lighting fixtures? Well, because it will look fantastic with any outdoor setup and will require little maintenance.

How to Select the Right Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Brass lighting fixtures are often hand-made and designed through casting or forging, or are dye cut, wrought, or stamped, meaning the options are almost limitless. Each piece can be made specific to your preference.

Although brass is one of the most commonly used materials in lighting fixtures for the outdoors, there are some things to consider before you go out and purchase any product.

Zinc to Copper Ratio

Many lighting experts recommend choosing a brass fixture made from mostly copper, with only around 15% zinc added to the pot, ensuring that you have a strong, durable, and more weather-resistant product.

Keep in mind, this isn’t a set-in-stone rule; there are many outdoor fixtures you can choose from that have a higher level of zinc and will simply need a little more TLC.

Color

color of brass

As mentioned above, the color of brass can look a lot different depending on the ratio of copper to zinc.

  • Red– Red is one of the most common colors for brass fixtures due to a high concentration of copper to zinc. (Zinc is less than 15%.) The higher levels of copper ensure the most amount of protection for your lighting.
  • Yellow– There is up to 35% zinc in yellow brass metal. Although yellow isn’t as durable as red, it is much easier to work with and will provide more flexibility in design and structure.
  • White- With up to 40% of zinc mixed into the metal, white brass is one of the lesser-used options in outdoor decor; however, it is still an option and does look very nice but will require more care than the other alloys.

You can also find different colors such as brown, black, dark blue, etc., which have other elements added to the mix.

Design

Because there are many ways for brass fixtures to be designed, there are many products to choose from. Keep in mind that these items will cost you more than plastic, aluminum, or other thin metals due to their durability and the fact that most are hand-crafted.

Some beautiful fixtures you can choose for outdoor wall lighting include:

  • Wall mount lighting
  • Wall sconce
  • Landscape lighting
  • Floodlights
  • Spotlights
  • LED lighting
  • Stairs and step lighting
  • Rock lights
  • Tall post lights

There are plenty of other options for brass outdoor lighting, too, if you’re not looking for wall lights. Try a pendant light, path light, outdoor lantern, picture lights, or outdoor chandeliers if you like the look of brass, but want to use it in another way.

Where you Plan on Placing Your Lighting

floodlights garage

Before buying a light fixture, take a good look at your yard and decide the best place to install your lighting and why you want it there.

If you are looking for a way to illuminate your back patio, then a fixture with a higher concentration of zinc may be okay if you install the product under a porch roof or awning.

If you are purchasing lighting to brighten up your driveway, tall posts or floodlights on your garage are great options.

Maybe you want to showcase your beautiful garden at night with an equally exquisite brass light design. Well then, a handcrafted landscaping light would be a perfect fit.

How to Care For Your Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

One of the best things about a brass fixture is that it doesn’t require much maintenance to keep its natural beauty. Actually, the appearance of brass can become more and more attractive as it ages.

The weathered look resembles antique brass, making it just as beautiful as it was on day one, but in a whole new way.

Should You Lacquer Brass Outdoor Lighting Fixtures?

Some people may recommend lacquering your brass outdoor exterior wall light fixtures to add extra protection from the elements. This is not necessary and will lead to much more maintenance in the end.

Lacquer will start to deteriorate from sun and moisture, causing it to peel and look awful. Once this happens, you will need to remove the old product and reapply a fresh new coat. This will happen over and over again.

How to Clean a Dirty Brass Outdoor Light Fixture

While brass may be durable and low-maintenance, it isn’t dirt- and dust-proof, so you will want to wash it from time to time. Lighting in an outdoor space can get messy. Luckily, cleaning doesn’t require very much work and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

If your light fixture is just dusty, you can remove the dirt and debris with a soft cloth and rub it or dust it gently away.

If there are heavily soiled spots, you can use a brass cleaner or a mixture of water, vinegar, and baking soda, as a DIY cleaner.

Use a damp washcloth and wipe away as much of the debris as possible, then apply a small amount of cleaner or your mixture to the cloth or soft bristle toothbrush and gently scrub at the stuck-on residue until it is completely gone.

Rinse the towel and gently wipe away any leftover cleaner or dirt with clean water, then dry the fixture with a clean towel. You can also dry the brass with a blow dryer if you would prefer.

If you have a lacquered brass lighting fixture, clean it off with water and a damp washcloth. If you use any cleaning product, it can dry and be cloudy.

Summing Things Up

There is a reason that brass is one of the most commonly used metals found on outdoor lighting fixtures. There are very few options that compare to its beauty, durability, and low-maintenance designs

 

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9 Creative Long Driveway Landscaping Ideas – Get Ready for Spring

9 Creative Long Driveway Landscaping Ideas – Get Ready for Spring

Creative Long Driveway Landscaping Ideas

Having a long driveway can make landscaping seem overwhelming and a little nerve-racking. These long driveway landscaping ideas should be able to help. How can you make such a lengthy space look fabulous without it being monotonous and boring?

Well, you have come to the right place. Here, we know a thing or two about long driveways, landscapes, and how to combine the two for a brilliant driveway design that will make your neighbors green with envy.

 

9 Creative Long Driveway Landscaping Ideas

With spring finally around the corner, everyone is starting to look at their lawns and see what projects they should prepare to tackle first. For many, their long driveways are a definite starting spot.

In this article, we are going to help you spruce up your driveway entrance for this upcoming season with nine different driveway ideas that will add a little curbside appeal to your exterior and provide a look you can be proud of.

1. Raised Planter Pathways

Use raised wooden planter boxes to line the sides of your driveway going from the road all the way to your house.

You can keep the boxes a few feet apart or place them tightly together to make one straight run down both sides.

Next, add your favorite flowers into the planter boxes, keeping them uniform and well-maintained.

2. Shrubs and Bushes

There is a wide variety of bushes and shrubs out there that are simple to care for, require little maintenance, and can change the entire look of your asphalt driveway.

Try placing bushes every five feet or so and lay down decorative rocks or mulch around them, creating a colorful, natural border that’ll guide you to your garage.

Shrubs and Bushes

3. Planters and Pots

Take some time to research all of the planters and flower pots available for outdoor use, then choose your favorites to line the edges of your long driveway.

You can choose between smaller shrubs or beautiful, seasonal flowers to place in the planters. You can also mix the two up, alternating between every other pot.

4. Topsy Turvey

Straight lines and edges are overrated. If you are looking for a creative and fun way to landscape your gravel driveway, consider creating patches of curvy mini gardens.

Fill your little garden patches with bright flowers, vibrant mulch, and some ground lighting that will bring the look to life at night.

Topsy Turvey

5. Rustic Resources

If you live in the country or any other rural setting, there are ways to really bring a rustic feel to your driveway without making your yard look cluttered or crowded.

First, you want everything to flow nicely from start to finish. One of our favorite ideas is laying landscaping rocks a few feet wide down the entire length of your driveway.

Next, hollow out some small tree trunks or long pieces of balsa logs. Then, plant some small, easy-to-maintain flowers such as daisies, marigolds, or petunias.

Rustic Resources for long driveway landscaping ideas

6. Trees and Themes

Do you have large trees lining your driveway? Whether you have some now or would consider adding some, you can easily utilize these trees to incorporate into some amazing landscape designs.

Create full circles around these trees and fill them in with the mulch color of your choice, then add some greenery with plants like elephant ears or Hostas. Next, fill in the spaces with bold colors that will really stand out.

Finally, follow up with some fun decor to match each season or holiday, such as plastic eggs for Easter or pumpkins in the fall.

Trees and Themes pumpkins

7. Farm Fences

It’s always been popular to line longer driveways with old wooden fences. This is a great Western look that can really improve the look of your yard while guiding guests to your home.

Place the fence five to eight feet back from the driveway and have it extend the entire length, from your house to the road. Then, extend it out in the front to create a beautiful entranceway.

Here, you can place small hanging pots or post lights on the fence, adding plenty of colors and illuminating the look. This is one of the long driveway landscaping ideas that can really make an impact.

Farm fences as long driveway landscaping ideas

8. A Rocky Lane

Flowers and plants are always a great way to create a fabulous landscape look, but have you ever considered decorating your driveway with large rocks?

There are many great ways to lay down rocks to make gorgeous designs that really emphasize and improve the passageway leading toward your home.

If you are a fan of the natural element and want to incorporate a little greenery, you can consider adding a few potted shrubs along the way to boost the look with a little color.

A Rocky Lane

9. Crab Apple Trees

Although the name may not sound all that attractive, the trees themselves are absolutely stunning. Lining your driveway with them, will give you an amazing landscape creation that will practically take care of itself year after year.

You can add to this look if you’d like by adding colorful ground lights to brighten up your driveway at night, or by incorporating statues into the design.

Many people also enjoy adding mini-gardens at the beginning of the driveway to welcome spring with a little floral inspiration.

Crab Apple Trees

Conclusion

There are endless ways to bring your long driveway to life and create a look your guests will love. Try one of the long driveway landscaping ideas above, or put your own spin on any of these options and have fun watching your landscape come to life.

 

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Top 10 Backyard Gazebo Ideas – Create a Relaxing Backyard Retreat

Top 10 Backyard Gazebo Ideas – Create a Relaxing Backyard Retreat

Backyard Gazebo ideas

Have you ever considered adding a cozy gazebo to your backyard? The benefits of owning your own outdoor retreat are endless. Many people have opted to invest the time and money into adding one to their outdoor space. These backyard gazebo ideas are a great start.

If you have been throwing around the idea of getting a gazebo but are not sure what options are out there, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will provide you with the 10 most amazing backyard gazebo retreats that will fit anyone’s style, family, personality, and budget.

10 Amazing Backyard Gazebo Retreats


 

 

If you are looking to spruce up your backyard this summer with a gorgeous gazebo design that will give you a place to entertain, relax, and spend your free time, then we have quite the list for you.

Here are 10 of the most amazing backyard gazebo design ideas we have ever seen.

1. Log Cabin Gazebo

Nothing says relaxation and natural beauty like the look of a log cabin. Utilize this look when building a gazebo in your backyard for some quality outdoor living.

Consider keeping the front and sides open, only building up logs in the back, then add wicker furniture and cute country theme decor like bears, stars, and wolves.

2. Open and Free

Instead of filling your gazebo with furniture or decor, why not make it fun and unique by placing a giant swing directly in the center?

This fun gazebo plan would be amazing for families with children, or for anyone who loves to sit outside and relax while reading a book or gazing at the stars.

Open and Free backyard gazebo ideas

3. Poolside sanctuary

Do you have a pool in your backyard? If so, then a poolside gazebo would make a great addition to your home.

Keep this backyard design full of coolers, towels, pool toys, and plastic furniture that won’t get ruined when wet. Or, add some luxury lounge chairs with soft cushions and vibrant plants to give yourself a great poolside experience.

Poolside sanctuary gazebo

4. Light up the Night

Who doesn’t love a great backyard bonfire on those warm summer nights? We definitely do, and this backyard bonfire pit and gazebo would be a great way to enjoy late-night s’mores and cold drinks with friends and family.

Add some long weatherproof curtains that can pull shut to provide some privacy when required, or string some LED lights around the top to illuminate the fun.

Light up the Night

5. Country Chic

Country chic has become such a trendy way to decorate your home and yard, so why not use it as your theme for a traditional country-inspired backyard gazebo?

Put together a beautiful, traditional, white country-chic gazebo. Plus, you can use colorful flowers to accentuate the look, then add some wicker furniture with denim cushions or floral decor to pull it all together.

Country Chic

6. Zen Getaway

Can you imagine a more serene place than a small wooden gazebo decorated in bamboo, azaleas, and iris? How about an outdoor gazebo with all of that and a small pond full of koi fish and lotus flower peddles?

Utilize a variety of throw pillows with different sizes, shapes, and colors to give your outdoor structure a peaceful and calm sensation.

Zen Getaway

7. Enclosed Gazebo

People often think of gazebos as wide-open structures with fences or rails along the sides. However, you can always enclose your gazebo to keep the elements out so it can be used all year round.

There are multiple ways to add walls to your gazebo, including glass sides, metal wall enclosures, or wooden borders with mesh windows.

Enclosed Gazebo

8. Hideaway Gazebo

Having a gazebo stuffed back into the bushes or trees that make up your backyard can provide you and your family with a great place to go and hide from a busy life for a little bit.

There are a bunch of ways to create a hideaway gazebo that will make the ideal escape. Consider making a traditional small wooden gazebo and placing a few tree swings nearby or in the doorway. You can add some comfortable outdoor furniture and a few cute garden boxes to complete the ensemble.

Hideaway Gazebo

9. Green House Gazebo

Do you have a green thumb? If so, a greenhouse-style gazebo would be perfect for you. Instead of having a few trees and flowers around your space, put plants and greenery everywhere!

Hang flower planters from the frames and plant crawling vines around the sides. Utilize the beauty of lilac bushes and crab apple trees to complete the look and release a sweet aroma into the summer air. This is one of the backyard gazebo ideas for a great natural look.

Green House Gazebo

10. Rustic DIY Gazebo

If you are good with your hands, then you can create your own gazebo out of all the wonderful things provided by nature.

Collect large fallen branches and tree trunks to build a rustic-style gazebo that uses resources straight from the earth.

Create a border on the ground around the gazebo with pebbles and rock and plant some flowers in hollowed-out tree trunks or raised planters.

Set your grill next to your space, giving you somewhere to relax while you are grilling up dinner.


 

 

Things to Consider When Placing A Gazebo in Your Backyard

A gazebo can make a great addition to just about any home. However, it is essential that you do your homework before deciding on a design.

There are many factors that go into the best structures and creations that can make a big impact on the final outcome.

Size

Not only do you need to consider the size of your beautiful gazebo, but you also need to consider the size of your yard compared to other objects and homes.

Do you want your gazebo to be in the direct eye line of your next-door neighbor? Do you want to be sitting right next to where you store your trash cans?

Take your time to find the best location in your yard for a gazebo, then decide what size it should be.

Intentions

What are your intentions for your gazebo? Do you plan to frequently host backyard BBQs, or is it going to be a quiet hideout for a quick escape from the chaos of life?

You want to know ahead of time how you plan to use your gazebo in order to build it with the proper materials and include the best accessories and furniture.

Do You Have Permission?

Most municipalities require homeowners to apply for permits before building a gazebo on their property. This is due to the rules and regulation requirements you have to follow when putting a new structure on your property.

Do You Require Electricity or Running Water?

While most people are looking for a simple gazebo where they can hang out and enjoy the quiet outdoors, there are those who are looking for a modern option where they can play music, watch the big game, or maybe even take a shower.

These are big features you want to consider before getting into the design because this will require a lot of extra work and, more than likely, the help of a professional.

Things You Can Do With A Gazebo In Your Backyard

Although you should have a good idea of the main intent for your gazebo, most of these structures can be used for a whole slew of purposes, making them extremely useful for tons of events.

What are some things you can do with a backyard gazebo?

  • Host a wedding or reception
  • Throw a birthday party
  • Host a BBQ
  • Use it for a getaway and read a good book
  • Use it to study for a big test
  • Have family dinners
  • Relax in a jacuzzi
  • Stay dry next to the pool
  • Sleep under the stars
  • Grab a projector and have a movie night
  • Use it to take beautiful photos
  • Host karaoke

Gazebo Accessories You Must See

Now that you have a good idea of how you plan on building your gazebo, what it is going to be used for, and where you plan on placing it, let’s consider some accessories available to you.

  • Indoor fans
  • Heaters
  • Light fixtures
  • Furniture
  • Decor
  • Curtains
  • Pet supplies
  • Gill supplies
  • Fire pits
  • Plants, shrubs, and bushes
  • Storage and shelving
  • Bug screens
  • Speakers

The list of items you can add to your gazebo to make it more functional and personal is endless. Think about what is important to your space and why you want a gazebo in the first place, and then fill it with everything or nothing at all. These backyard gazebo ideas can help anyone of any budget.

Summing Things Up

There are so many gazebo ideas out there, it won’t be hard to match one perfectly to your backyard, no matter how big, small, or open it is. Take a look at the 10 backyard gazebo ideas listed above for a great starting point to building your very own backyard oasis.

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Outdoor Air Conditioner Enclosure Guide – Clever Ways to Hide an AC Unit

Outdoor Air Conditioner Enclosure Guide – Clever Ways to Hide an AC Unit

home air conditioner compressor system in backyard

Are you sick of looking at that large AC unit sitting on your lawn, taking up space, and causing chaos with your landscape decor? Not to worry, we have the perfect solution for you, and it comes in the form of fifteen clever ways to cover up your air conditioner unit. Our outdoor air conditioner enclosure guide is here to help you choose the best way to create a barrier between your central air conditioner and the rest of the world.

***Homelierpro.com gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post. View our disclaimer***

15 Easy and Clever Ways to Hide With An Outdoor Air Conditioner Enclosure

AC units are often big and bulky and can create an eyesore in your lawn, especially once it gets older and a bit worn. Here are 15 clever outdoor air conditioner enclosure ideas to help keep your backyard looking fantastic.

1. Cover it with bushes and shrubs

bushes and shrubs

Image credit: Kglandscape.com

There are many different types and sizes of bushes and shrubs that can help improve the look of your lawn as well as keep your large outside unit hidden from the world.

If you have a window unit, using tall evergreens is ideal because they can reach higher and last all year long.

2. Give it a purpose

Give it a purpose

Photo Credit: Missionac.com

Consider making your AC unit look like something entirely different. A fun way to transform your air conditioner condenser unit is by building a faux well around it.

This is a fun idea and would be perfect for someone who embraces rustic, old-time country decor.

3. Place a vertical garden in front of it

vertical garden

Photo credit: maxair.com

What better way to cover an air conditioner unit than with a tall vertical garden full of all your favorite plants, herbs, and vegetation?

You can also try placing a variety of potted succulents in this space. These plants are durable, hardy, and easy to maintain.

4. Grow some vines around it

vines

Image Credit: airstair.com

A fun and unique way to keep your AC unit camouflaged is by growing a vine wall around it. You can do this by placing a wooden pallet or some lattice in front of the air conditioner, then planting climbing vines nearby.

A few types of vines to consider using include:

  • English Ivy
  • Boston Ivy
  • Climbing Rose
  • Climbing Hydrangea
  • Moon Flower
  • Sweet Pea

5. Buy an Air Conditioner Cover

Air Conditioner Cover

While this one may seem a little basic, it still should be mentioned as it is an effective option. You can buy a cover from many retailers and keep it sleek and simple or decorate them yourself for a unique way to hide your air conditioner when it is not in use. This is one of the more simple outdoor air conditioner enclosure solutions.

6. Use some white lattice to hide it

white lattice to hide

Photo Credit Pinterest

You can buy white lattice from any local hardware or home goods store and use it to create a beautiful white wall to keep your air conditioner from interfering with the look of your lawn.

Plastic lattice is a good option because it is durable, flexible, and versatile, making it the perfect material for all occasions.

7. Place it inside a storage shed

storage shed

Image Credit: Cielowigle.com

If you are good with your hands or know someone who is, you can build a storage shed around your air conditioning unit, creating a great hide-a-way for this large appliance that also increases your storage capacity.

This is one of the more challenging options and can be pretty expensive. It might require the help of a professional or it may not turn out as you hope.

8. Give it a picket fence

picket fence

Image credit: Homeandgardeningideas.com

Many people dream about growing up and owning a home with a white picket fence. Well, this dream can come true, at least around your outdoor AC unit.

The fun part about this option is it doesn’t have to be white. You can do whatever you want with a wooden picket fence to make it look unique and take the attention off the central air unit.

9. Hide it with a birdbath and other lawn decor

lawn decor

Image Credit: Christcenterdironworks.com

No matter your style, there is outdoor lawn decor that fits your theme. Use your theme and find ways to put objects in front of your AC to keep your eyes focused elsewhere.

Consider purchasing a large birdbath that can hide a large portion of the appliance. It will provide a place for birds to relax and wash up while hiding your air conditioning system at the same time.

10. Cover it with a privacy screen

privacy screen

Image Credit: Pinterest

Privacy screens come in many different shapes and forms, making them versatile and ideal for hiding your outdoor AC unit, whether it is sticking out of a window or sitting on the ground.

You can do a lot with a privacy screen, too, if you don’t want to leave it as is. Try planting some vibrant colored flowers or hanging flower baskets in front of the wall to provide a pop of color and a little natural beauty. This outdoor air conditioner enclosure idea is one of the more versatile choices you can use.

11. Line up lots of bamboo

lots of bamboo

Image credit: greengrowlawns.com

Bamboo is a natural wood that is flexible, lightweight, and durable, with beautiful, earthy colors and designs.

Line bamboo horizontally or vertically to create a long panel, then tie them off with weather-proof string. This creates a bamboo curtain that you can place around your air conditioner to give a little privacy to your AC unit.

12. Conceal it with an outdoor enclosure

outdoor enclosure

Image Credit: audew.com

You can use vinyl panels for a whole slew of things, especially outdoors. People like to use this type of material because it is weather-resistant, holds up in all conditions, and looks fantastic all year round.

Creating an enclosure with vinyl paneling gives you options on color, style, and design, and you know it will last for a very long time.

13. Cover it with beautiful plants

beautiful plants

Image credit: expatwoman.com

Take advantage of nature and let plants and flowers grow high and wide to provide a natural and colorful shield to conceal your air conditioner.

You can use just about any type of plant you desire; however, we do suggest flowers that get bushy and wide, providing more coverage and hiding more of the appliance.

14. Make cement block planters

cement block planters

Image credit: Pinterest

If you are not comfortable planting your flowers in the ground, you can always turn cement blocks into practical and creative planters.

You can get very creative with this option, decorating the cement however you like and planting anything from flowers to strawberries to succulents to herbs. Pick your poison and start growing.

15. Paint a pallet

Paint a pallet

Image Credit: airstair.com

Pallets have become a popular and affordable way to create different DIY projects, so we had to add them to our list of clever ways to hide an AC unit.

Use your pallet as a canvas and let your creative juices start to flow. Design a masterpiece you can use to entrap your air conditioner behind a wall of art and painting.

Things to Consider

While we all understand the reasoning behind wanting to hide an AC unit, there are a few things to consider to make sure you do it safely and functionally and still spruce it up, making it a part of your backyard decor.

Provide Plenty of Ventilation

Your AC unit needs room to breathe to work properly and not break down. When you begin construction on your air conditioner enclosure, measure at least 6 inches away from the unit on all sides, giving it plenty of room and air.

Leave Access Space

Remember to create some space for easy access if you ever need to get to the unit, whether for service, repairs, or any other issue that comes up.

A good way to make sure there is enough room to access the unit for air conditioning repair is to use one of the ideas that doesn’t cover all sides of the air conditioner. Keeping the back open is an easy solution, allows for good air flow, and doesn’t prevent you from hiding the big metal box.

Make it Match the Rest of Your Decor

If your lawn already has a specific theme going, don’t ruin it with an awkward creation; keep the material unified if possible. If you have a wooden fence enclosing your lawn, create a similar style wooden fence to enclose your AC unit.

If you have vinyl siding or vinyl decking throughout the yard, stick with that material for your air conditioner fence enclosure.

If you have tons of flowers, pots, and garden beds taking up your lawn space, stick with plants or shrubs when covering it up.

Summing Things Up

AC units are massive items that stick out like a sore thumb, but life would be very uncomfortable without them. Instead of despising your air conditioner unit, find a way to make it work for you. Dress your AC unit up and stop worrying about your landscaping for good.

 

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