Do dreams of lazy days soaking up the sun have you looking for ways to extend your living space outdoors? You’re not alone. According to a recent Qualified Remodeler magazine survey on the latest outdoor living trends, creating the ultimate backyard now has as much priority with homeowners as kitchens, bathrooms and other interior remodeling projects. The appeal of a backyard that can accommodate different activities, from outdoor dining to an afternoon snooze, makes sense as many homeowners look to their yards to provide more usable living space.
If you’re like surveyed respondents and ready to maximize your property’s potential with an updated backyard, the process may seem daunting. Fortunately, a little inspiration and a new pergola make it easy to extend your living space outdoors. Here are three simple ways to incorporate a pergola into your backyard layout and bring the ultimate outdoor space from concept to reality.
Frame an open-air workspace
Between remote work, homework sessions and impromptu art projects, table space in the home may be a commodity. Skip the daily scuffle for space. Consider using a pergola to frame a flexible open-air workspace that’s separate from the house. Pergolas typically sport uncovered rafters for slight but noticeable shade — much like sitting under a tree. This can help reduce the sun’s glare on a computer screen while still allowing natural light and a warm breeze to flow through the workspace. You can increase the amount of shade these open-air structures cast by draping outdoor curtains from the rafters. Finish setting the scene for heads-down concentration with comfortable outdoor furniture, potted plants and lighting accessories. Don’t forget to provide access to an outlet to keep computers and phones fully charged.
Cook up a designated zone for dining al fresco
If your home’s layout is limiting the number of guests you can entertain, consider bringing activities that are traditionally done indoors to the backyard. For example, a pergola can help define a designated zone for cooking and dining, complete with a full-size outdoor kitchen or bar. And with the right building materials, there’s no need to worry about what effects these types of activities might have on your backyard structure.
“Fortress® Pergolas are built with sleek structural steel components that are dual layer protected against fire, which means that stray sparks or hot coals from the barbecue won’t damage the structure,” said Katherine Haverkamp, a senior product manager at Fortress Building Products. “The steel components also sidestep issues associated with moisture absorption, one of the most common reasons a standard wood pergola will deteriorate. Because they’re incredibly durable, steel pergolas make it possible for homeowners to create a truly custom outdoor room that’s built to last.”
Create a relaxing backyard getaway
Designing spaces that promote health and well-being are more popular than ever, which makes sense given the events of the last few years. If it’s difficult to find time for yourself within the walls of your home, use a pergola to create a backyard getaway that invites rest.
Typically, freestanding pergolas can be assembled across any type of outdoor surface, so consider installing it in a secluded corner of your property for moments of meditation. Because they can be configured in different ways to accommodate your design vision, there’s no need to disturb your garden or landscaping during the install process. Create a peaceful sanctuary next to a pool or water feature to enjoy the sound of moving water during an at-home yoga practice — or a nap. Complete your restorative backyard getaway with outdoor lighting for ambience on a summer night.
Ready to get started?
If you’re feeling inspired to extend your living space outdoors to enjoy the lazy days of summer, take note of the ways a pergola can improve the usability of your home. The freestanding structure can become a designated space for heads-down concentration, outdoor dining and relaxation — take your pick. Whatever its function, it will surely add one-of-a-kind personality to your home’s outdoor living space.