Plan on enjoying time in your retreat year-round by including a fire pit or other source of warmth for the chilly seasons. Tending a cozy fire brings its own magic for unwinding after busy days. Keep the makings of s’mores on hand if that makes you happy. Tall ornamental grass clumps enclose this retreat with a living privacy fence, and pretty seasonal container gardens offer a just-right splash of color. Before adding a fire feature to your outdoor spaces, be sure to check local codes.
Take a peak at the gorgeous back exterior of this Tarrytown, NY mansion. Complete with balconies and a large patio, there is plenty of room for outdoor fun. Although most of the patio is open, the trees offer ample shade for those hot summer days.
The charming courtyard behind Smithfield Cottage features a trellis adorned with jasmine, a Philippe Starck gnome for a cheeky nod to the garden gnome tradition and a long, communal wooden table where guests can congregate in this private, shady oasis. The Astroturf backyard means lower maintenance and a more sustainable design.
This vibrant backyard features all-over green landscaping, including palm trees and tropical plants. A paver stone walkway creates a path to a gray stone water fountain. Wall-to-wall windows provide a peek at the indoor living room, while a white roof overhang creates a touch of shade.
The owners of this tin roof chicken coop wanted to create a home for their chickens and guest houses for visiting bluebirds: "We read that bluebirds like to have 15 to 20 feet of open space in front of their nesting houses. When we built the coop, we left the posts tall on the back side. My parents brought me the 'See Rock City' house, which I was thrilled to have because it's a great nod to my happy Southern childhood spent hiking and camping with my family. The Rock City birdhouse lets guests know we want them to be relaxed and happy in our garden."
The owners said landscaping was a key factor in the positioning of the coop. "We thought about the placement for several weeks. It made sense to be on the far side of the garden because it's tall and creates a separation between our yard and the street that runs behind our next-door neighbors' yard. It works as a privacy screen and looks like a charming shed or rustic playhouse. The screens across the front of the structure came from my grandparents' house when it was torn down. The major drawback to our design is the lack of a human door, which makes spring cleaning the coop no easy task."
With an outdoor kitchen, bar and grill, this modern backyard is ready for hosting a crowd. Sliding glass doors encourage cool breezes to filter inside, while plush sofas and chairs keep guests comfortable.