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backyard alfresco is perfect for entertaining

It's finally summertime, and what could be better than spending a few lazy days lounging in your very own backyard oasis? Of course, if you're like most men, you enjoy spending time outdoors whenever possible. However, a well-designed alfresco backyard can make all the difference – it's the perfect place to relax after a long day at work or entertain friends and family on a warm summer evening.

What Does Your Alfresco Dream Look Like?

What makes a backyard alfresco? First, think about what you want. Is it a place for entertaining, relaxing, swimming, or playing sports? This will determine your design, so consider the purpose of your new space carefully.

Your Wants and Needs 

Start by considering your needs and wants. What do you want to use your backyard for? If you plan to use it mainly for relaxation and leisure, consider including features like a swimming pool, hot tub, or outdoor kitchen. On the other hand, if you're looking for a space to entertain guests, then focus on adding a deck or patio with plenty of seating options. If you want to bring the inside of your house outside, French and sliding patio doors are the way to go. 

Allocating the Budget 

Your budget is one of the most important things to consider when designing your backyard oasis. Creating a great outdoor space on a tight budget is possible, but you may need to be creative and get help from your friends. Start by evaluating the features most important to you, then allocate your funds accordingly. For example, if you're looking for an affordable way to add shade, consider installing a pergola or arbor. Or, if you want to create an entertainment zone, invest in a quality grill and patio furniture set.

Focus On Natural Solutions To Backyard Challenges

While there are certain things you can overcome with technology and modern conveniences - such as misters and even outdoor air conditioners, natural solutions that focus on sustainability will ultimately help create a much more enjoyable experience.

Here's a table that outlines common challenges and natural ways to address them:

ChallengeNatural SolutionDescription
Mosquitoes and Bugs Planting Citronella, Lavender, or Marigolds These plants are known to repel mosquitoes and other bugs naturally.
Weeds Vinegar or Boiling Water Use as a natural herbicide to kill weeds without harmful chemicals.
Poor Soil Quality Composting Enrich the soil by adding compost made from kitchen scraps and yard waste.
Lack of Privacy Planting Shrubs or Bamboo Use fast-growing plants to create a natural privacy screen.
Harsh Sunlight Shade Trees or Pergola Plant trees strategically or build a pergola for shade and cooler temperatures.
Noise Pollution Water Features or Dense Hedges Mask noise with the sound of water or use dense plantings to absorb sound.
Unattractive Views Strategic Planting or Natural Screens Use plants or natural materials to block unsightly views and enhance the scenery.
Animal Intruders Fences or Natural Repellents (like cayenne pepper) Deter animals with physical barriers or natural repellents to protect your garden.
Lack of Color or Interest Native Flowers and Plants Add a variety of native plants for seasonal color and interest.
Standing Water Proper Drainage or Rain Garden Ensure good drainage or create a rain garden to handle excess water and prevent mosquitoes.

A trained landscape achitect or designer will be able to provide additional insight but these are just some of the things you should consider when creating your ultimate backyard oasis.

Quality is Still Essential 

Choose materials that will withstand the elements. When it comes to outdoor living spaces, durability is vital. Be sure to use materials like stone, brick, or concrete that can stand up to rain, sun, and snow.

Visualize Your Dream

Once you've got your budget sorted out, it's time to start planning! One of the best ways to get started is by drawing up a sketch of your ideal backyard layout. Make sure you include all of the elements that will make this space special for men – be it an outdoor kitchen, barbeque area with seating, or even just some comfortable chairs and a picnic table. 

Keep Your New Living Area Separate 

Create an area that is entirely separate from the rest of your yard. This can be done with hedging and fences but also by using different levels to create separation between various areas of your garden or yard. You don't want people walking through this special spot just because they're passing through.

Repel the Mosquitoes 

Try using plants such as lavender near seating areas because they have been known not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for their ability to repel mosquitoes, which may be a problem in these types of environments. You can also grow potted herbs like mint or rosemary nearby since both have scents that insects don't like either; plus you'll get extra flavor when cooking outdoors with them close by (or use them fresh). And if all else fails: citronella candles!

It Begins and Ends with the Grill

One of the most important elements of an alfresco backyard is the grill. When choosing a grill, thinking about size and features is essential. Make sure you choose one that will suit your needs - if you're only cooking for two people, you don't need a huge grill. It's also important to think about features. Does the grill have a side burner? A rotisserie? Is it easy to clean? These are all important factors to consider when choosing the right grill for you.

Comfort for All

When designing your seating area, consider how many people will be sitting there. If it's a small space for two or three chairs and a table, then don't worry too much about creating an elaborate setup - just find something simple and comfortable. If you're planning on entertaining friends over often, though, try to make a more permanent seating arrangement with some cushions or pillows so that guests can sit comfortably while enjoying each other's company (and eating delicious food!). 

Invest in some comfortable furniture that will make spending time outdoors an absolute pleasure. This doesn't have to mean spending a fortune - there are plenty of affordable options on the market these days. Rattan, wicker, and metal all work well in an alfresco setting and can be dressed up or down as needed.

Get the Pool 

For the ultimate in alfresco backyard living, why not add a pool? Professionals can install this or simply install a cowboy tub or swimspa that you buy online. A swimming pool will provide you with hours of entertainment for both adults and children alike. If you're looking to create an area that is perfect for entertaining guests but want something more private, then adding privacy screens around your property may be exactly what you need to keep them from seeing all those fun things going on inside your home. This way, no one has to feel left out or uncomfortable when enjoying a festive backyard BBQ.

 

Food and Drinks Make it Memorable 

Of course, the most crucial element of an alfresco backyard is the food! So ensure you have everything you need to cook up your favorite dishes - from utensils to seasonings. And don't forget about drinks! Having a cooler filled with cold beers or sodas is always a must when enjoying good company outdoors.

 

Lighting 

Finally, don't forget about lighting. Lighting plays a vital role in setting a mood for any room or outdoor space, so plan accordingly when choosing fixtures and bulbs. There are many different types of lights available, including recessed canister spotlights as well as more decorative options such as paper lanterns which can be hung above tables or along walkways leading up to your house's front door. These simple details will make all the difference when creating that perfect atmosphere you've been dreaming of since last week's BBQ party with friends where everyone ended up inside because it was too dark outside.

Alfresco living is one of life's great pleasures and should never be taken for granted – it takes careful planning and thought to get it just right. But with a bit of elbow grease, you can have the backyard of your dreams in no time. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!


Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.