Technically, it's possible to have more than enough outdoor living space. However, homeowners are usually looking for ways to make their yards more accommodating to their outdoor living. Even so, many homeowners tend to overlook their side yards as anything more than a pathway from the front to backyards.
In fact, unless you have only a couple of feet of clearance between your side yard and, say, a fence, you can transform this prime real estate into usable living space.
Ideas for Narrow Side Yards
If you have at least 48 inches of clearance in your side yard, you can create an attractive and even useful space. The easiest idea is to create a pleasant pathway. For example, Forbes recommends installing a pathway made out of pavers. The pathway features curves, which makes it feel meandering and also gives the walkway an illusion of more width.
Landscaping is important to make your side yard look attractive. Consider planting at least two layers of plants to add to that illusion of width. For example, you could plant tall flowers that reach up the side of the house fronted with groundcover near the pathway.
Another option is to construct raised planting beds out of a material that complements your home's exterior. The beds can become a terrace of planters for flowers, or you can use them to grow herbs. Just make sure you note the amount of sun your side yard gets to accommodate the plants' needs.
Ideas for Wide Side Yards
If you your side yard has at least six feet of usable space, your options increase significantly. For example, you could design an outdoor dining room. Start with your paving - like your planting beds, the material must complement your home's façade. Stamped and painted concrete is an easy and attractive way to pave your side yard.
You'll want shade. You could have a retractable awning installed or buy sun umbrellas. Pergolas are another classic way to provide shade for outdoor dining.
If you already have a dining space on your patio, you could turn the side yard into an outdoor lounge. You'll still want to start with pavement and add shade. However, consider having a fire pit installed along with built-in seating. The fire pit can provide both illumination and heat on chilly nights.
A water feature, such as a water fountain or pond, can transform your side yard into an attractive and soothing space. Naturally, the water fountain provides water music. While you don't get much sound out of a pond, you still get the beautiful interplay of water and light. A side yard might also be an ideal space for a koi pond.
Creative Ideas for Side Yards
Do you like to garden? If so, you're probably always looking for a space to house your supplies and also to pot plants. You could turn your side yard into a potting station. Start by aligning a table with the house or another structure as your working surface. Make sure to include storage, such as shelves or cabinets, for your tools.
You may also want an outdoor space where the kids can play. Consider constructing a wooden playhouse for the kids. Boost the lawn in front of the playhouse so the kids have a place to roughhouse. If they like playing tea, you could include a cute table and chairs. You could also construct a banquet seat that doubles as storage for their toys.
Your side yard can also become a garden focal point. For example, you could install a birdbath tucked to one side and surround it with lush foliage. A pretty garden path both draws the eye to your focal point and provides passageway to the next space.
Don't let the real estate of your side yard go to waste. Instead, chat with the knowledgeable associates at Chandler Landscapes, Inc., about more ways to transform your side yard into a useful space.