The humid Texas summer days are giving way to cooler evenings and comfortable daytime temperatures, inviting you to enjoy the outdoor spaces of your home more frequently. With that in mind, creating an inviting patio and backyard that fits the needs of the entire family is a challenge worth tackling.
“Think of your outdoor space as an expansion to your home,” says Christina Wilcocks, the in-house designer for Normandy Homes. “We are blessed in Texas to be able to use our outdoor spaces practically year-round, so it’s definitely worth some investment.”
Most Normandy Homes offer a covered patio, landscaping, a sprinkler system, and a fenced yard. To personalize your backyard, the possibilities are endless. Below we offer several outdoor patio and yard ideas to inspire relaxation, entertainment, and play.
Before you order patio furniture, first decide how you plan to use the space. Will it be a retreat at the end of the day? Will it serve as a weekend gathering spot for outdoor dinners? Is it a place for you to read while the kids play outside? Do you need space for a grill or fire pit?
Your intentions will guide your purchasing decisions and layout, says Wilcocks. Measure the space first, then buy the needed furniture to personalize the area, whether it’s a sectional couch, glider chairs, or an outdoor bar and grill.
“Once you have the basics in place, accessorizing is what really makes the outdoor space inviting,” says Wilcocks, as you extend your personal style from the indoors to the outdoors. Use potted plants, lighting, and seasonal décor to liven up the area. For the fall, add a cozy throw blanket and some outdoor pillows. Finally, outdoor rugs are a great addition to soften the look and feel of a plain concrete patio.
Here are some ideas to warm up your patio space:
- Seating — This is the apex where function meets creativity and design. From hammocks to hanging chairs, swings to sectionals, comfortable seating is key. Yes, even outdoor recliners can make your patio the perfect spot to catch an afternoon nap!
- Layered lighting — To incorporate layers of lighting, you can hang string lights or install landscaping lights. Build a fire pit, set out a portable gas pit, or display table lamps to make a dreamy evening escape. Plus, install a ceiling fan light to generate a breeze and add another layer of lighting. And you can have the patio space wired for a ceiling fan when you build with Normandy.
- Container gardens — Since Texas is warm year-round, many plants provide color and visual interest throughout the calendar year. Hanging baskets and heavy planters can boast colorful flowers from Fall Aster to Zinnias. Or plant fragrant herbs like rosemary to use in your fall recipes. For inspiration, check out these 125 container garden ideas from Southern Living. And if you struggle with keeping greenery vibrant and hearty, consider these low-maintenance plants for the Texas climate.
Many Normandy Homes neighborhoods include backyards that provide space for the whole family to enjoy. “For families or while entertaining guests, it’s smart to create zones where each age group has a place to enjoy,” advises Wilcocks.
Kids can climb on a backyard playset or treehouse, while the adults can catch up as they’re grilling dinner. Set up a soccer goal for kids of all ages to run off some energy before you eat. The fences provide extra safety precautions for little ones. After dinner, you can keep an eye on the kids in their playspace, as adults take in a cold beverage and a game of cornhole. To wind down as the sun sets, challenge your kids to checkers or a board game on the patio.
Your new home provides the perfect setting for you to create the backyard of your dreams. If you want to up the ante and customize the space once you move in, consider some of these great options for your fall backyard retreat:
- Mount an outdoor TV for football season.
- Hire a company to install a built-in bar and grill, an outdoor kitchen, or a permanent fireplace.
- To extend a small patio space, construct a pergola or attach a retractable shade, which provides additional shade from the sun.
- For those with a green thumb, create a vegetable garden or elaborate flower beds. You can use natural areas to define spaces and add additional privacy.
Texas Climate Considerations
Besides prioritizing protection from the sun, Wilcocks reminds homeowners that the greater DFW area also brings with it Texas-sized bugs! While your outdoor spaces will never be truly bug-free, numerous pest control options abound from over-the-counter solutions to paid services. Additionally, you can buy insect-repellent candles or plants like lavender, lemon balm, marigolds, and rosemary. Keeping up with lawn maintenance and disposing of any piles of debris, like fallen limbs or dead plants, also helps with pest prevention.
Texas storms and wind also present another challenge, says Wilcocks. Buy heavier patio furniture or have a place to quickly store light furniture and accessories, like pillows, when a storm pops up unexpectedly.
A Patio All Your Own
An inviting, comfortable patio retreat is just one of the perks of homeownership. Check out our Normandy Homes communities to find a home and neighborhood to call your own, then create a backyard oasis where you can relax and play.