(BPT) - If you’re dreaming of summer, imagining how you could be relaxing with a good book in the shade, entertaining family in your outdoor kitchen, playing with the kids in the sunshine — or just breathing in the sights and sounds of nature in your own personal oasis — here are some tips to help kickstart the planning process when the time is right for you.
Modern landscaping and hardscaping offer limitless possibilities, so you can find the right solution to complement the way you live and your own personal tastes. Whether you want a stylish lounge area for entertaining, a green-filled hideaway for connecting with nature, or a clean, minimal space for family fun and games, you can make it happen using a combination of pavers, walls, fire pits or even full outdoor kitchens.
Channel your imagination, plus a little pro advice, to help you create an outdoor space that is perfect for your family, budget and home. One great resource is Collections by Belgard, which offers outdoor designers, contractors and homeowners a way to virtually re-imagine their outdoor space by combining product offerings that pair the right textures and colors to match your home’s style — as well as your vision.
First, spend a little time with your dream, nailing down what type of outdoor space you really want. What do you most want to do in your outdoor space, and what style best expresses your vision and personality?
Cozy natural retreat
Create a space for unwinding from the week’s stresses. Could you arrange a trellis or pergola bursting with plants and flowers to set your retreat apart from the rest of the yard? You could install relaxing hammocks or a serene fountain to complete your oasis.
Then choose hardscaping elements to work hand-in-hand with your favorite natural elements. For example, Belgard's Natural Collection provides hardscaping with the look of slates and worn stone that can set the perfect tone for your special hideaway. You can also pair this style with elements from their Heritage Collection for a classic, earthy look — or combine walls or pavers from the Natural Collection with items from the Metropolitan Collection, creating a contemporary yet soft and inviting vibe.
Relaxed entertaining center
Maybe your dream sanctuary is a cozy fire pit surrounding by lounge seating to create a comfortable outdoor living room family and guests can enjoy day or night.
Or perhaps you want to dazzle guests with your culinary skills at a complete outdoor kitchen — including fun extras like a smoker, wine cooler or brick pizza oven.
Plan the exact features you want before choosing the style, and you can make your dreams come true.
Eye-catching extension of your living space
Whatever plans you have for hardscapes, furnishings, appliances and more, consider the overall ambiance you want to create. Consider not only the natural environment, but what style best complements your home's aesthetic.
Want a more aged, rustic appearance to suit your traditional style home? The antique, tumbled look of features from the Heritage Collection combined with elements from the Natural Collection may suit that style. Or if you want a sleeker, more contemporary look, consider opting for streamlined, modular outdoor furnishings, surrounded by pavers or walls using the smooth finishes found in the Metropolitan Collection.
Focus on family fun
Maybe your dream is to add outdoor recreation areas for you and your family. Consider making space for giant stacking blocks, life-size checkers or chess, cornhole or ring toss. How about a mini hedge maze or paver labyrinth?
Then use the existing feel of your home's exterior as the basis for your stylistic direction. You could go for a traditional, old-world aesthetic by combining the soft edges and accent pieces from the Legacy Collection with the old-world charm of the Heritage Collection. Or you could pair aspects of the Legacy Collection with features from the more modern-looking Metropolitan Collection to add warmth to your contemporary space.
Homeowners and outdoor designers can work together to mix and match a variety of textures, colors and styles to create an outdoor space that suits any landscape — creating an extension of your home to make all your summer dreams come true.
Visit Belgard.com/summer for more design ideas and inspiration.