Outdoor living is as important as indoor space, especially in the summertime. Everything in your backyard — whether it’s a fire pit, dining area and bar, or theater — should be part of a well-planned, integrated design. Here are a few outdoor accessories that will turn your backyard into another room of your house.
Fire pits add a warm touch to an outdoor area and can serve as a focal point in landscape design, especially if you live in an area that gets cool at night. You can choose from wood-burning, propane, gel fuel and natural gas fire pits. If space is a consideration, go with a tabletop model.
Outdoor kitchen and bar
Offered in a variety of styles, such as gas, charcoal or hibachi, a grill should be part of any fully equipped outdoor kitchen. A mini-fridge, sink, an ice maker, a beer tap, a wine chiller and warming drawer are just some of the other equipment you can add to enhance your outdoor drinking and dining experience. And don’t forget to make sure the area is well-lit for those evenings of entertaining.
What good is it to eat and drink outside without a dining area? Make sure it has comfortable chairs with durable cushions, and a table for dining with an expansive umbrella for shade and shelter. You can design them with a Mediterranean, Japanese or Victorian flavor, or with whatever stylistic flourishes tickle your fancy. Citronella candles or tiki torches will help keep away those pesky mosquitoes.
The next best thing to a drive-in, a backyard theater can entertain family and friends. For a well-designed movie-viewing experience, make sure you have a video projector, a free-standing portable screen, a DVD player, surround sound, theater seats and, to top it all off, a popcorn machine. Another outdoor viewing option is a self-contained outdoor TV. LED/LCD outdoor TVs come in sizes from 32 inches to 65 inches, or even larger, and incorporate heavy-duty construction, making them resistant to temperature and weather. Some also are resistant to rain.