All this at-home time makes window-shopping online for ways to dress up, shape up, and add visual interest to our backyards, a worthwhile pastime! Take a look at some of the products, features and ideas for turning that space behind your home into a nighttime oasis and warm weather wonderland!
First, The Firepit
For amazing nighttime ambience on a chilly night, the ubiquitous fire pit is almost a necessity in Colorado where temperatures can dip to sweater weather in the evening. And who doesn’t love a good s’more? We’ve talked about building your own fire pit before, and for the handy DIYer, those not only provide nighttime warmth but the satisfaction of achievement. But for those of us who’d rather buy than build, the best backyard fire pits are the ones delivered to our front door!
The Fireplace Lab recently rated 12 different fire pits, along with advice about which might be best for you – from wood to propane. Top honors went to the Landmann 28347, AKA the Big Sky Fire Pit. The black finish makes for easy (read less frequent) cleanups and has wildlife cutouts (wolves, moose and bears) that glow and offer a window to the flames. This wood-burning fire pit is available from Walmart, retails for $109 and comes with a porcelain grate for cooking.
The best fire pit table, according to the Fireplace Lab, is the 44-inch propane-powered Outland Living 401 Series. It’s garnered design awards and is housed in weatherproof resin wicker with a black tempered tabletop. This bigger 100 percent smoke-free.fire pit retails for $503 on Amazon.
Bob Vila champions the look of this hand-hammered copper fire pit, and he’s not wrong. It’s simple and stylish and burns wood for a long-lasting fire under a mesh screen to protect against flyaway ash and embers. The copper will weather with age and use, developing a rustic patina and will last for years. Available at The Home Depot — 10 minutes from Crystal Valley — for $230.
For a propane powered table top, the Savanna Stone Oriflamme Fire Table made of quartz-concrete foam, offers 30-40 hours of burn time for $1900. And the even more upscale Ixtapa Fire Bowl, topped with decorate lava rocks and made from heat-resistant fibercast concrete, is a Restoration Hardware beauty retailing for a mere $3,937!
The Sight and Sound of Water
Dressing up your backyard for super summer enjoyment can include a water feature that provides soothing sounds and hypnotic visual interest. For the type of structure with the kind of massive stones, waterfalls and streams you see at home and garden shows, you’ll want a contractor like Reflections Water Features. They service the Denver metro area from Westminster to Castle Rock and offer consultation services based on your budget and needs.
For something simpler and more economical but still beautiful and relaxing, Wayfair showcases two and three-tier fountains made of resin and fiberglass. Or you can opt for one of the vertical fountain walls with lights and faux stacked stone and cascading rivulets of water. You’ll find similar offerings from Home Depot and Overstock, including table-top options, some with “carved” or sculpted-looking figurines – like birds, children, and smiling Buddhas.
For simple DIY ideas, Country Living curated 20 different looks, some of them easier than others like this 15-minute ceramic pot water fountain from The Interior Frugalista. Blogger Marie made hers for less than $50 – the two pots for $35, a plastic pail and pot saucer, river rocks and a solar-powered fountain pump. (Check out her DIY outdoor privacy screen/wall of water, too!)
Bob Vila offers plenty more ideas for water features — from simple pond-in-a-pot set-ups in decorative bowls to birdbaths that operate by solar power and limestone-finish fountains to hang on a wall.
Hedging Your Best
Moving into a brand-new home means brand-new landscaping and, of course, minimal backyard privacy — since shrubs and trees haven’t had time to grow. For the fastest-growing hedges you can buy, check out Evergreen Hedging recommendations. The Leland Cypress and the Laurel (Cherry, Portugal) are fast growing and if you go with the evergreens — they’ll keep their leaves/color all year round.
Now all you need is a good backyard grill (and they’re on sale around Memorial Day!) plus a cooler filled with cold drinks to celebrate the holiday!
Blissful Backyards in Crystal Valley
The backyards that surround the new homes in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley extend your living space to the great outdoors, this time of year. Just sitting outside on your patio or deck can boost your mood – after being inside most of the day/week/month! Fall in love with a new home from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities or D.R. Horton. With four builders’ designs to choose from, you can virtually visit these homes set in natural surroundings, or set up a private tour. Choose from ranch or two-story models — priced from the $300s.