family playing charades at bonfire in garden

Make the most of the summer weather by spending family time outdoors. If your backyard isn’t the family-friendly space you’ve been dreaming of, then it’s time to explore these seven ways to make it your own.

1. Add a Splash of Color

Create an oasis of color by adding some paint and decorations to your backyard. If you have young children, hand out a few paint brushes and let their imaginations go to work. For a more organized option, decorate flower boxes, bird houses or pallets for some outdoor color.

If you’re not ready to take on a DIY task, choose a color palette and shop for professional decor. Here are some outdoor items that can add both class and color to your family-friendly space:

  • Mats and rugs
  • Furniture
  • Flowers
  • Planters
  • Bird feeder
  • Walkway

Whether simple decorations, like flowers, or practical items like a stone paver walkway or comfortable furniture, these decorations personalize your outdoor gathering area and encourage your family to spend more time together. Consider your family size and age as you look for items that brighten your day and create an appropriate gathering space environment.

2. Create a Comfortable Lawn

Dry grass and weeds aren’t an appealing feature in a backyard oasis. Roll up your sleeves and take on a few backyard improvements to lay the foundation for a comfortable sitting or playing area. Soft grass starts with quality seeds, organic fertilizer and plenty of water.

You don’t have to remove all your grass and lay down sod to enjoy a comfortable lawn. Start small with some water and fertilizer. Be sure you choose organic options that are safe for children and pets.

Caring for your lawn doesn’t have to be a DIY task. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with cutting, fertilizing and watering your lawn, ask for a quote from a local lawn care company. You may be surprised at how simple and cost effective a professional solution can be.

3. Spruce Up Your Flower Beds

Flowers are a great backdrop for any outdoor activity. They naturally brighten up a play area, add class to an outdoor eating area and are a relaxing addition to your backyard living space. Try to choose low-maintenance plants so you can spend more time with your family, or select your favorite annuals for a personalized view summer after summer.

Pick up some mulch and landscape fabric to cut down on the amount of weeds. Mulch comes in many different colors and chip sizes. Spread it out so that there are at least a few inches across the entire flower bed. Aim for between two and four inches of coverage.

Landscape fabric is another layer of protection. Install this fabric before mulching, using landscape stakes to secure it in place. Use fertilizer if you’re laying landscape fabric, otherwise this product can prevent nutrients from reaching the plant.

4. Choose Stylish Outdoor Furniture

A family-friendly outdoor area wouldn’t be complete without comfortable, stylish furniture. Just like your living room, you can start with a quality sofa as the foundation of your outdoor gathering area decor.

You don’t have to choose outdoor furniture if you have a three-season room or covered porch. Compare the best modular sofa options from a highly rated store to find the cornerstone to your dream space.

Personalize your space with a modular sofa layout. The best part about a modular option is that you can try out multiple layouts with the same high-quality furniture. This makes it more versatile than a sectional, so you don’t have to commit to a particular seating arrangement year after year.

Compare outdoor-rated furniture with indoor options. If you have an uncovered deck or patio, you need a sofa that can withstand direct sunlight and rain. In a covered area, you may be able to use the latest indoor modular sofa designs to add style to your backyard.

5. Personalize Your Play Area

If you have children or pets, then your family-friendly area needs to have room for play. Set up an obstacle course, playset or enough room to throw around a ball. A play area can be as small or as large as you need, so size your recreational area to your backyard space.

6. Plan a Picnic

Eating outside is a great way to shake things up in the summer and foster a love of the outdoors in your family. A picnic blanket on the grass can be a spontaneous way to spend time together in the summer sun, but a dedicated eating area can be more comfortable and encouraging.

Set an outdoor table in your yard, on your patio or on your deck. Be sure there’s enough seating for your family and friends, as outdoor gatherings tend to grow.

7. Shade Your Seating

It may be comfortable to soak up the sun for a few minutes, but direct sunlight can cause sunburns, UV damage and uncomfortable heat. Here are some common ways to give your seating area the relaxing shade it deserves:

  • Umbrella
  • Sail shade
  • Pergola
  • Patio roof
  • Retractable awning

A completely covered area allows you to protect your furniture from UV rays and rain. Umbrellas, pergolas and other sun shade options help you stay comfortable, but won’t protect your furniture from a sudden summer shower.

Refresh Your Outdoor Space This Summer

Fall in love with your outdoor space this summer. You don’t need to have a sprawling yard and elegant patio features to make time and space for family gatherings. Consider one or more of these ideas this summer, and check out other posts for more backyard ideas to spruce up your space.


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