Your home should be a sanctuary — an escape and a stimulation amidst the humdrum and repetitive nature of life. You want it to be the most of everything, your dream getaway. Having a boring view in your backyard may not be your fault, but there are ways to transform it from tragic to terrific.
Your first step is to really know what you’ve got and what you want. If you’ve got a wonderful screened in pool, you may have noticed nosy neighbors peeking inside when you’re just trying to unwind. Maybe you’ve got a great gazebo, but your lot is situated so that you see nothing but other houses or traffic. It’s quite possible that you have a lovely backyard with no neighbors, but staring at the same treeline for years has left your imagination stale.
Take a look at the land and dream up some improvements. First and foremost, you need to see what you want to change so that you have somewhere to start.
The next step is to see what you can afford. This may be the most unpleasant portion of your planning, but you need to set a limit. Dollar limits, however, don’t place limits on creativity. You may not be able to put in a deck that spans the length of your home, but it doesn’t mean you can’t place the deck that fits both your budget and your plan. There is no sense drawing up plans for something you can’t or don’t want to spend money on doing. This might be where you figure out whether it’s a do-it-yourself style makeover or you can afford a professional to make your dreams a reality. You might also be surprised how knowing the size of your “box” leads to “outside the box” thinking.
With a number or a price range in mind, you can plan and adjust accordingly. You may need permits. You may need to know if power or plumbing is going to be in the way or part of your new vision. Start with the broad strokes and work your way down into details, but at every step, you’re going to check back on previous steps to see if things need to change down the line.
If you are faced with an expanse of yard, decide where you want to enjoy the vista. From that place, work close to that point rather than trying to fill in every available space in the yard. A number of large plants near your chosen spot can create the illusion that you’re surrounded while not actually enveloping the entire yard and your budget. Then, accent with the touches that fit your style. If it’s tropical, tiki torches, maybe a small fire pit, and tropical plants can help create that image. If it’s desert, large sculpted sandstone rocks, rock gardens, cacti and minimal greenery will get you to your goal.
Perhaps you’ve got a great pool, completely enclosed in screens, but privacy is still lacking thanks to a backyard that faces a neighbor and no fence. Instead of trying to block just their view, why not improve your own with a privacy screening concept? Sure you could block out the view with solid colors, but you could also choose a bright pattern that will let the air in, while keeping strangers eyes off the water. A professional can install them quickly and cleanly and you’ll have a myriad of options on the view you’d like to see from inside the screen. You can choose a tropical horizon, a dense jungle, or maybe a snowscape. You can consider doing the same to any kind of screened enclosure — pool or not.
You could alternatively decide on privacy curtains. These will let you close or open the view depending on your mood or the weather or for any reason. The all-weather fabric means not having to worry about taking them down or spending too much valuable time cleaning and hanging them.
If you already have a fence, think of some ways to hide it with features so that the “fence in” looks more natural than it does purposeful. Staging the area smartly may be a cleaner look than opting for a mural on the backyard fence, but that’s an option as well.
You’re ready to pull the trigger and greenlight a home improvement project. This is the time to check your checklist and see that nothing has been missed. If you’ve budgeted for a professional, now is the time to see if they’re needed throughout or just in a small portion of the project. It’s always better to use a licensed pro, but make sure you’re ready for them when you need them so you don’t waste time, because time is most certainly money. After you’ve double-checked your plans, it’s time to make it happen cap’n! That boring view will be a dream getaway before long!