While Arizona summers are more a time for swimming in your pool than barbecuing in your backyard, the fall is a great time to have friends over for drinks and to roast some s’mores. Before you send out the invites, though, you may need to spruce up your backyard first. Here are some tips from Nancy Duffy of Imagine Backyard Living, a custom backyard and pool designer located in Scottsdale, for Arizonans looking to spruce up their home.
1. Add a pop of color. Drop the dusty desert colors making your backyard look drab, and brighten up your space instead with a burst of color. “Orange is the new brown,”Duffy says. She recommends mixing together vibrant oranges and lime greens. Make sure not to lose your personal style, though. If you prefer a beach feel for your backyard, then go for dark and light blues. Whatever you do, stay far away from dull colors that make your decor look old or used. “However you landscape back there, I think it makes you feel good when you walk back and see all that color,”Duffy says.
2. Choose pieces that will stand out. Your backyard is no longer a place for boring portable fire pits, but for statement fireplaces that reach up to 12-feet high and gas logs that look more realistic. “Pizza kitchens are really big right now,”Duffy says. She suggests a two-foot to three-foot high fire pit to add some contrast to your yard. What with beautiful Arizona weather practically year round, people are using their backyards more often than before. “They want to bring the outside in,”Duffy says. “So a lot of your colors and stuff kind of go with your flow of what you’ve got going on inside too.”
3. Invest in chic and durable decor. Throw out the paper plates and cups, and set your table with fancy wine glasses and utensils. More and more manufacturers are making wine glasses that look like glass, but can withstand being outdoors and going through the dishwasher. “When you drink out of them, you don’t get the feel that you’re drinking out of plastic that you do some of the cheaper ones,”Duffy says. Entertain your guests with new glasses and plates that have fun prints and patterns on them as well. Another tip Duffy recommends is investing in a high-grade fabric for your umbrella that will make the color last longer in the hot Arizona sun.
4. Rearrange your space. If your backyard is on the smaller side, one easy way to make your space look bigger is with the right-sized patio furniture. Avoid buying oversized furniture that will make your space look cramped. “Cushions are always good on a smaller frame, where the cushion still gives you that look of big nice and comfy,”Duffy says. Make sure you have no-mold cushions that will let you get 10 years of full sun with no fading. Don’t feel the need to fill every space either, but treat your backyard like you would the rest of your home to create a nice flow. “You don’t want too many different things going on where the eye can’t focus,”Duffy says.
5. Give life with plants and flowers. To make your backyard look more like a tropical getaway, add palm trees and ferns that will endure the summer without losing their leaves. For those who like the traditional desert look, decorate your plants with fun, colorful pots. If you’re not sure what the best plants are to grow in the desert, Duffy suggests enlisting the help of an expert. “One resource that is so awesome is the Desert Botanical Garden,”she says. “They have classes that teach you what grows well year-round.”You can also hire a designer to come out to your yard and let you know what would grow well there, or how to achieve your preferred theme.
Give your backyard the attention it deserves, and add new life with the help of these tips!