Everyone should enjoy a beautiful home inside and out. There’s nothing better to come back to after a long day at work, and there’s no better place to be on a relaxing day off. Your home’s space should be comfortable and pleasing to look at, and that sense of comfort and joy should be with you all the way up to the property line. That means beautiful and functional spaces outdoors as well as in. Your home’s curb appeal depends on its front yard, and your summer comfort depends on its backyard. Your outdoor space can be a center for summer fun, complete with a pool and an outdoor kitchen; or it can be a quiet place for thought, full of plants and water features. All that matters is that your outdoor space suits you, and that it’s everything that it can be.

Create an eden in your outdoor space

Outdoor space means one thing above all: landscaping. To get the most out of your front and backyard, you’ll want great landscaping. That means plants that are beautiful and appropriate for your location arranged in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. It means getting plants that only require the level of maintenance you’re willing to provide for or pay for. And it means caring for your plants so that they always look lush and beautiful.

Landscaping is work you can do yourself, but you may find that it pays to hire a professional – particularly when you’re first getting started. A landscape architect can help you arrange your planting beds and other features in a way that makes sense, stays functional, and will stand the test of time. You don’t want your lawn to look lopsided or dated!

Once everything has been planned, you can opt to have a landscaper install your new yard – or your can deal with a nursery and plant everything yourself. If you’re looking for something in between, speak with your landscape architect about mixing annuals and perennials in a way that will let you plant some new annuals every year without having to re-do the entire yard!

Summer fun starts here

Of course, there’s more to your outdoor space than plants and beauty. Many of us enjoy using our outdoor property to host parties and barbeques. There’s a lot you can do to make your yard the perfect place for summer fun.

Pools and spas are backyard staples in America, and for good reason. There’s nothing better than a cool pool on a hot day, and the same is true of a hot tub after a long day of work. Turn to a professional for installation and important maintenance. Pools require a lot of care, and if you want yours to stay healthy and look good, you’ll want to make sure that you’re always on top of your maintenance needs.

A pool isn’t the only option for improving your yard. You can install incredible things in yards these days – not just porches and patios, but entire outdoor living rooms! Permanent outdoor conversation spaces are possible when you work with talented contractors.

And that’s to say nothing of outdoor kitchens. Barbeques have long been the summer party of choice for backyard lovers, but the traditional gas and charcoal grills that we’ve been using for years are put to shame by some of the modern outdoor kitchen options that today’s contractors can provide. While not cheap, a fully-functioning outdoor kitchen with sleek steel appliances (including ovens, refrigerators, and other options) is within the reach of many Americans. Want a drink by the pool? Get it from your outdoor wet bar instead of trekking back inside for a can of beer.

There have never been more options for improving your outdoor space, and this summer is the perfect time to claim the backyard you’ve always dreamed of. It’s your yard – do what you want with it!