By Kristyl Clark
Summertime and the living is easy, especially when you have a backyard oasis to retreat to after a hard day’s work.
However, if you’re looking to do a little more than just grillin’ and chillin’ – perhaps, dial the fun factor up a notch or two – there are endless options for creating a happening outdoor haven that will have your neighbours green with envy.
Nowadays, trampolines, bouncy castles and swimming pools are a snore compared to some of the outrageous backyard amusements popping up in homes around the country. All one has to do is stre-e-e-e-tch their imagination as far as it will go for big backyard fun.
Of course, a hearty budget and roomy outdoor-living space can go a long way to making your dreams a reality. With these funtastic tips that Jodi Bueckert of Simply Inspired Design shares with Indulge, one’s yard can be transformed into a lively hotspot for thrill seekers of all ages.
So go ahead and pour yourself a cold one, sink into your favourite lawn chair and let this Langley interior designer take your mind on an alfresco adventure you won’t soon forget.
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere
You may like pina coladas, but do you really want to get caught in the West Coast rain? If the answer is no, a tiki hut is definitely the way to go.
“Just imagine sitting at your own personal tiki bar with friends – you’ll feel like you’re always on vacation,” says Bueckert, who suggests cranking the feel-good tunes and lining up the bar with blenders, which will give guests ample opportunity to make their own fresh-fruit margaritas. “It’s sure to be a big hit and a lot of fun for the adult crowd.”
Alfresco Life in Surrey carries little custom-created cabana gazebo huts with a Margaritaville flair that simply bolt together and mount to your patio or deck.
Warning: Your company may never leave, so you may want to invest in an ice machine.
Visit www.alfrescolife.ca to check out the vast variety of huts available.
Take backyard sports to a higher level with a custom-built climbing wall. From natural-looking faux rocks to explosions of colour, the sky’s the limit – quite literally.
“You could have one big towering climbing structure in the middle of your yard, or do the entire perimeter of your property,” suggests Bueckert, a mom of two who is on top of the summertime fun scene.
“While my kids are too young, I know my little nephew would be a huge fan of something like that and it’s really not all that over-the-top of an idea.”
Rockwerx Canada – Canada’s leading manufacturer of climbing walls in North America – can help thrill-seekers custom design a wow-worthy rock-climbing wall for the interior or exterior of their home. They’re typically built with a natural rock product, which is a synthetic concrete coated with a UV-resistant stain. Rockwerx can even add a unique natural rock aesthetic to your landscape, incorporating water or themes. Check out www.rockwerx.ca for more information.
Imagine having your very own personal putting green in your backyard. It certainly gives the phrase ‘puttering around in the garden’ a whole new meaning.
Backyard greens have become the focal point of residential landscapes – relaxing and inviting as they are ‘fun-ctional.’ While you could create a backyard putting green with real turf, a synthetic turf – like you’ll find at Precision Greens in Langley – is environmentally friendly, hassle free and extremely durable (see www.precision-greens.com). After all, who has time to worry about watering and maintenance when there’s so much backyard shenanigans to be had?
Movies under the stars
Capture the magic of the outdoor cinema with your very own quintessential backyard movie night. Or, if you’ve got a pool, why not host a dive-in?
“I’ve always wanted to have my own theatre under the stars,” says Bueckert, who notes one can always make their big screen if they are feeling handy. “I’d use some PVC piping and connect the elbow pieces to make your frame – a durable white heavy-duty sheet should do the trick for the screen. To keep that sheet tight, you could wrap it around the piping on the sides and drill it into the pipe.”
And of course, what’s a movie night without a plethora of indulgent goodies?
“Bring out a big popcorn machine on wheels and load big buckets full of ice and cans so everyone can help themselves.”
For those looking for something a little more temporary and easy, Fresh Air Cinema has inflatable screens of all sizes for rent; even ones that will fit in your yard. For more information, visit www.freshaircinema.ca
There truly is no place like home, especially when your backyard rivals your favourite vacation hotspot.
For more inspiration on enjoying every square inch of your living space – including your backyard – visit www.simplyinspireddesign.com