By Jennifer Riner of Zillow
Backyards are essential for relaxing, dining and socializing. During the summer months, homeowners throw summer parties, host backyard barbeques and cozy-up around the fire with close friends and family. Patios reach peak usage for just three to four months out of the entire year. Otherwise, cloudy days and breezy nights force homeowners to regale and unwind indoors.
Don’t waste another summer season sitting on plastic lawn furniture and uncomfortable metal lounges. To make the most out of outdoor spaces, consider the following luxurious seating options.
Daybeds are the best options for homeowners looking to add luxury and comfort to their backyard seating arrangements. Daybeds act as large sofas for multiple people to sit and unwind, but also accommodate a single person looking to spread out and stretch his or her legs. Adorn daybeds with various throw pillows, focusing on creating a back cushion to create upright seating. This is important for homeowners who entertain, as their guests probably won’t feel comfortable lying down at a party but need to rest against something while mingling.
Rope and canvas hammocks are classic staples in bohemian-style backyards. Find two sturdy, wide-trunk trees to use as posts for hammock hanging. Typically, hammocks should be hung on hardwood trees, such as oak or maple and measure at least one foot in diameter. Hammocks equipped with spreader bars, or support slats that prevent twisting, should always be positioned parallel with the ground and pulled as taut as possible. Homeowners who have sparse backyards can purchase hammocks with floor stands if trees aren’t close enough together for rope ends to reach.
While hammocks are comfortable and fun, they need to be used with caution. Monitor small children using hammocks, as slings tend to flip over easily. For the very same reason, people with prior injuries or back issues might want to avoid falling asleep on hammocks. Keep in mind, fabric hammocks are easier to lie on and provide increased comfort since the material is more supportive. Rope hammocks are patterned with multiple gaps which allow air to flow freely across users’ backs, but their rough surfaces may irritate skin.
Many homeowners incorporate small loveseats or sofas in their backyards, but find themselves frequently replacing cushions due to weather damage. Choose weatherproof materials that can withstand long hours in the sun or unanticipated downpours – without fading or deteriorating. Additionally, construct awnings or pergolas to cover large furnishings from inclement weather. Place umbrellas close to seating arrangements for more mobile, inexpensive cover options. Or, invest in weatherproof slip covers to protect outdoor furniture when it’s not in use.
Even with protective awnings, homeowners should safely stow their outdoor décor before stormy weather hits. Outdoor benches create comfortable lounges and can function as storage pieces simultaneously. Use old pallets to construct a do-it-yourself bench and cover with plush cushions for added warmth.
Homeowners looking to entertain outdoors more often might consider shopping for homes in warm climates with added backyard space. High-rise renters lacking full backyards can use small-scale furnishings to create tiny, but functional, balconies. Either way, take advantage of the summer sunshine before fall hits and chilly temperatures force individuals to convene indoors yet again.